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Verse 21. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not. If we so live as to have an approving conscience—that is, if we indulge in no secret sin; if we discharge faithfully every known duty; if we submit without murmuring to all the allotments of Divine Providence.

Then have we confidence toward God. Comp. See Barnes "1 Jo 3:19"; See Barnes "1 Jo 2:28"; See Barnes "Ac 24:16".

The apostle evidently does not mean that we have confidence towards God on the ground of what we do, as if it were meritorious, or as if it constituted a claim to his favour; but that we may so live as to have evidence of personal piety, and that we may look forward with a confident hope that we shall be accepted of him in the great day. The word here rendered confidenceparrhsian—means properly boldness; usually boldness or openness in speaking our sentiments. See Barnes "1 Jo 2:28".

The confidence or boldness which we have towards our Maker is founded solely on the evidence that he will graciously accept us as pardoned sinners; not in the belief that we deserve his favor.

{b} "heart" Job 27:6; Ps 101:2 {c} "confidence" Heb 10:22

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