“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
A while back, my daughter gave me a new watch for my birthday. It is a pretty watch with a snap band. I especially like the fact that its numbers are large because I am older and sometimes have trouble reading small print, and it also tells the date. It kept perfect time for a while, but then one day I looked down at it and discovered that it had stopped. A watch that does not keep time might look all right at a glance, but in reality it is useless. I needed to replace the battery.
Seeing my dead watch made me think of people who practice religion in some form, but have settled for less than the whole Gospel. Our focus verse says that Jesus can deliver from all unrighteousness, and anything short of that is surely useless. A person may look nice at a glance—friendly, well-dressed, and attending church on Sundays—but unless he has been delivered from all unrighteousness, his religion is powerless and will not work. Though others might not notice the problem, it will be clear to the individual that something is wrong.
That one little word “all” holds so much power! We are not delivered from some unrighteousness, but all of it! Imagine what would happen if we ignored that word, or any part of God’s instructions—would we expect to be cleansed from part of our unrighteousness? Or would we go part way to Heaven? The Gospel does not work that way—it is all or nothing. When we do our part, God is faithful to do His part, just as He promised.
Often, a watch will slow down before it stops altogether, which can also happen in our spiritual lives. We can grow distant and disinterested without losing our salvation, but unless something improves, we will not last long in that condition. However, if our faith has been losing power, we do not have to wait for it to run out completely—we can go to the Lord and ask Him to recharge it right away, and He will! Salvation works, and it can keep working until we arrive at our home in Heaven.