John Calvin’s comments on I John 1:9, which I am preaching from next week.
It is of great moment to be fully persuaded, that when we have sinned, there is a reconciliation with God ready and prepared for us: we shall otherwise carry always a hell within us. Few, indeed, consider how miserable and wretched is a doubting conscience; but the truth is, that hell reigns where there is no peace with God. The more, then, it becomes us to receive with the whole heart this promise which offers free pardon to all who confess their sins.
Often, for the Christian who wants to please God, one of the hardest truths to believe is that God forgives us. We keep dragging up old sins. We feel that our guilt never goes away. We do not experience peace with God because we refuse to believe the promises given in this verse. We sin. But instead of looking to the faithfulness of God and the cleansing power of the blood of Christ (I John 1:7) we look to how ugly our sins. John encourages us to look away from our sins and so does Calvin. Look towards the cross where free atonement has been made. Look towards God, who is faithful and just. Look towards the Savior who freely gave himself.