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1 John 3:21 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God;
 The Greek word (παρρησία parrēsia) literally means freedom of speech or outspokenness. The sense is boldness in being willing to undertake activities that involve risk or danger, primarily being honest and straightforward in attitude and speech. Here, it means the kind of boldness, or calm assurance, which arises from the evidence of devotion, holiness, and reverence and of preparation for eternal life that is to come. It means that they would not be overwhelmed and confounded at the coming of the Savior by it being then found that all their hopes were fallacious.
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us. 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. 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 favor; 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 confidence—παῤῥησίαν—means properly boldness; usually boldness or openness in speaking our sentiments. Our confidence or boldness towards our Maker is founded solely on the evidence that he will graciously accept us as pardoned sinners, not on the belief that we deserve his favor.
By Albert Barnes and Edward D. Andrews