1 John 1:9 – The Bible (KJV) – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Some teach that this verse is telling believers how to receive restoration of broken fellowship with God. This teaching puts the onus on us to keep our relationship with God in good standing. If this is the case, we are obliged to become introspective, always watching ourselves to be sure nothing we have thought, said, or done, or not done, could have caused God to stop fellowshipping with us.
Read the entire first chapter of 1 John with some knowledge of church history, and be freed from this unreasonable burden.
Gnostics had infiltrated the early church. They did not believe that salvation came by Jesus dying on the cross, and they did not believe that they had sin. John addressed the Gnostics, contending with them, and offering them the gospel in 1 John 1:9.
I found an article online that explains in depth the beliefs of the Gnostics and the result of our misunderstanding 1 John 1:9.
Why did the Gnostics claim to be “without sin”?
The following article has an interesting historical and biblical perspective: