If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Whenever one proclaims the good news of the gospel of God's grace and who we already are because of Him, criticisms immediately arise. Some critics are more abusive with their commentaries and accusations than others. Again, let me emphasize the importance of responding rather than reacting to such criticisms. We respond in love not anger or wrath.
Now one major critique of New Covenant grace is the notion that 1 John 1:9 is not to believers but to the unbeliever. Many fight this idea. They truly believe this must be written to Christians. The idea that we are already forgiven is something their minds cannot grasp. Nor will they accept this as truth. This objection should be addressed properly, in love and with the truth of God's Word.
First, lets say we agree with the grace critics. Let's say 1 John 1:9 is for believers. Ok, now what does our Christian walk look like? One, we must now confess each and every single fault, failure and misstep we make. Now this must include any thoughts our minds wander to. This would include any time are eyes glance at something a second too long. Also, each and every action or deed you know should be engaged in and have not needs to be confessed.
So knowing all the spectrum our confession must cover, how should the Christian life be portrayed before others? It is seen in keeping extremely short accounts with our Father. We would need to be truly confessing our faults and failures continually before the throne. Secondly, if 1 John 1:9 is for believers, any lone misstep not confessed; any misdeed, no matter how slight the infraction, unrecalled or lapsed in your mind due to focusing on other mistakes, would equate our sin not being forgiven. Thus, if we were to pass from life to death with unforgiven sin our eternal destination would not be Heaven but Hell. No sin is allowed in Heaven.
Lastly, If 1 John 1:9 is for believers, then you must believe that each and every time we sin we are immediately unrighteous. If we are unrighteous then if we in the midst of committing a trespass no matter the severity, and we were to instantly pass into death we would be eternally lost. For only the righteous have a place in Heaven.
Do you see how severe and impossible the Christian life would be if we agree 1 John 1:9 is to believers? Here is another thought which proves the absurdity of thinking 1 John 1:9 is for the Church. In Mark's gospel what did Jesus state?