If your English translation of 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our SINS . . .” it is a false translation. Why? Because, if you read the entire verse, it says that by such confession, we can be cleansed of “all unrighteousness.”
Now, one is either righteous in the Father’s eyes, or one is unrighteous in His eyes. There is no in-between. So, those who have been made righteous have been fully forgiven for their sinful condition of unbelief (which is not having the Holy Spirit, but a spirit that is dead because of Adam’s sin), and have been made righteous by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Righteous or unrighteous. It is a binary construct.
Those who have the Holy Spirit are made wholly righteous. Those who do not have the Holy Spirit are wholly unrighteous (Romans 8:9).
So, the proper translation of 1 John 1:9 should be, “If we confess our SIN (our condition of unbelief), He is faithful and just to forgive us our SIN, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
And, what does it mean to “confess our SIN” for salvation? Since the SIN that condemns is a singular condition, confessing it is to repent of unbelief, which is to believe. Those who do that, and who are faithful in that belief before others (confessing Messiah Yahoshua), will be made righteous (cleansed from unrighteousness) in the Father’s eyes when they receive Holy Spirit.
Moreover, this verse does not deal with sins of the flesh, for they have nothing to do with righteousness. Righteousness comes by faith, not by works. If all your “sins” were forgiven, then why do you need to keep up with repentance, as so many christians falsely believe and teach? Some christians actually state that if you have committed, or are committing, sins of the flesh, and you die before you’ve “repented” of them, you will go to hell.
No, all your “sins” are not forgiven, as the only repentance that saves is repentance from unbelief. All other sins will determine one’s reward in heaven, but, as 1 John 3:9 states, those who have been given the Holy Spirit can never again commit the SIN (singular condition) of unbelief, which is not to have the Holy Spirit—it is to be spiritually dead, and that is not possible for the one whose dead spirit has been resurrected.
To claim that one must “keep up with” his repentance to insure one’s salvation is a salvation that is based on one’s works, and not on the Holy Spirit’s imputation of righteousness. If one is righteous, he is righteous. But, nobody can make himself righteous. One either has the eternal seal of justification upon him as Messiah’s bride, or he doesn’t. There is no way to earn it through good works, or lose it by bad works.
After a member of Messiah’s bride has been made righteous, works of the flesh are what determine that person’s holiness, but his righteousness cannot be taken from him. Sins of the flesh affect holiness, and holiness is the basis of reward for those who have been made righteous.
For more information: Was the KJV Divinely Inspired?