The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV
A little tip on reading the Jewish Christian Epistles, especially 1+2 Peter, James and 1 John...they are written to both saved and unsaved Jews. Case in point is the scripture quoted above.
A correct understanding of the Scriptures tells us once a person has trusted Christ, he/she is saved forever.
So it follows Peter is addressing unsaved Jews on the basis of their ethnic ties with him... “usward” being the inclusive term.
By no stretch of the Scripture is God holding off the coming of Christ to give saved Jews an opportunity to repent!
Great harm is done by preachers and teachers who attempt to ham-handedly apply ALL of the Jewish Christian Epistles to the Church.
This may be especially disastrous in the case of Chapter One of First John. Reading the chapter before reading commentaries will allow the unbiased reader to see its strictly evangelistic nature. Evangelism is always directed to unsaved individuals, not believers.
1 John 1 is first encouraging non-believing Jews to believe on Christ and thus enjoy the same fellowship with the Father and the Son the Apostles were experiencing by faith in Christ.
1 John 1:9 has been an uneasy, ill fitting yoke of bondage to Christians who should be rejoicing in a once and for all salvation, sustained by the knowledge we are new creatures in Christ, whose old sinful nature is nailed to the cross.
The call for Christians to daily confess their sins is based on a misapplication of who John is addressing when he writes, “If WE say WE have no sin, WE lie and the truth is not in US...”
Now, who continually claimed they were not sinners by virtue of being Abraham’s descendants? Rhetorical question indeed!
John is really writing “if we Jews claim we have no sin, we lie and do not the truth...but if we confess our sin and trust Christ we will have no sin before God." Later in his Epistle, John does indeed speak to saved believers truths applicable to both Jewish and Gentile believers.
The truth of what I am teaching here is validated by the simple fact neither the Apostle Peter or Paul taught the daily confession of all sin as the way of maintaining our salvation.
If the usual application of First John is correct...it would be vital and essential and therefore repeated many times in the NT scriptures, as are all other fundamental doctrines. Such is simply not the case with this teaching!
How then can we Christians overcome the sin always present in us and around us? By understanding what Christ taught at the last supper in washing the feet of the Apostles and then telling them to do the same for each other. Our understanding of these things helps us to minister grace to other believers.
We then follow Paul's instruction: Galatians 5:16: I say then, "Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh." Notice Paul does not say we won't have the lusts of the flesh. What he does say is they can be defeated by the Spirit of God who dwells in every believer.
While the foot washing incident is a wonderful example of Christ’s humility and love, there is a far deeper meaning than that frequent observation.
Remember, Christ told the hesitant Peter,”Except I wash you, you have NO PART in Me.”
Christ went on to make clear He was not speaking of initial salvation (the washing of the blood) but rather the washing of our minds from the “dirt” of this world.
This is to allow our focus to return to our beloved Lord Jesus and His further revelation of Himself, His agenda for Israel, the Church and the Gentile nations. A believer full of lust and loving the world simply cannot have true fellowship with Christ.
The water Christ personally applied to Peter's dirty feet represents “the water of the Word” and as Christ freely applied it to those already “accepted in the beloved”, so He called us to do for our fellow believers in Christ. We do this by validating their faith and reminding them of our Heavenly calling.
Believers have all been washed in the blood of Christ once and for all. No need to repeat that washing, but as we walk in this corrupt world we cannot keep our minds clean anymore than Peter could keep his feet clean while walking in the dirty streets of Jerusalem. Therefore, our minds must be periodically washed with the "water of the word". This allows true fellowship with Jesus. Another way of saying the same thing is to note Paul's call to 'be renewed in your mind daily'.
I hope these truths will do for you what it did for Peter, as we follow the example of Lazarus’ sister Mary, who sat at the feet of Jesus...worshipping...learning things from Him...the good part...which, Jesus promised will not be taken away from us. Glory!