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1another :: confession

one-anotherWe continue with the 1another series. hope you are finding it worth your while. Remember to check Danny’s post each day as he and I are co-blogging this series.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16

We are confronted here with a passage of scripture worth meditating deeply on. A great, largely unrecognized, truth exists in this verse and in its surrounding context. That is, there is a very real power in the verbalized confession of sin and in the prayers of the saints (believers).

In fact, I feel a bit irresponsible talking about this verse without talking about 13-20 where James explores many more facets of the church as a people of prayer so be sure to read that on your own. Today, we will cover the first part of this verse, tomorrow the latter.

I digress. Let’s talk about the first part of this verse. Confess your sins to one another. This is probably, along with fasting, the most overlooked command of scripture among protestants in our time. When you hear confession your mind either wanders to the confessional booths of the Catholic church, or to the last 5 minutes of your favorite TV crime show where the criminal finally reveals what happened.

Yet it remains a 1another command. Confess your sin. why? Because there is great victory in bringing sin out into the open where it can no longer eat away at you in private. Confession to another is what helps you maintain a correct perspective on the grace of Jesus Christ given to you. When you confess, you acknowledge you have disobeyed God in some way. This acknowledges God as your authority whom you are a servant of. And you dont offer some sort of gift to God when you confess. All you have is your acknowledgement of sin and your repentant heart. yes repentance must come with confession.

Deitrich Bonhoeffer, one of my favorite authors, talks about confession in his book Life Together. Read below

In confession the break-through to community takes place. Sin demands to have a man by himself. It withdraws him from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him, and the more deeply he becomes involved in it, the more disastrous is his isolation. Sin wants to remain unknown. It shuns the light. In the darkness of the unexpressed it poisons the whole being of a person. But in confession the light of the gospel breaks into the darkness and seclusion of the heart….

Since the confession of sin is made in the presence of a Christian brother, the last stronghold to self-justification is abandoned. The sinner surrenders. The expressed, acknowledged sin has lost all its power.

I could go on and qoute the whole chapter. You should read it. Suffice it to say, I know beneath your pride is fear of being exposed as a sinner among the righteous. This however is a lie from hell. You are instead a sinner among sinners who are all made righteous by the grace of Jesus.

How? Again, this is why we have SummitLIFE groups. And to our group leaders, make confession a part of your prayer time together. Break up into groups of 3 (SINGLE GENDER PLEASE) and offer a time to confess sin together. And as you do dont say “thats okay man” but instead say “praise God you are not enslaved to that sin and that God doesnt love you less for it. Praise God for the gospel. believe the gospel that you are forgiven” or something like that.

If you are not in a SummitLIFE group….I think you know.

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  1. January 8, 2009 at 10:47 am

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