The Confessing Church

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

James 5:16 (NLT)
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

James tells us to confess our sins to one another, but who really feels comfortable telling someone else our deepest struggles? Many of us do not have anyone in our lives with whom we would feel confident in sharing our weaknesses. Let’s be honest, we would fear either condemnation or that our secrets would hit the rumor mill. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book Life Together, writes, “Why is it that it is often easier for us to confess our sins to God than to a brother? God is holy and sinless, He is a just judge of evil and the enemy of all disobedience. But a brother is sinful as we are. He knows from his own experience the dark night of secret sin. Why should we not find it easier to go to a brother than to the holy God? But if we do, we must ask ourselves whether we have not often been deceiving ourselves with our confession of sin to God, whether we have not rather been confessing our sins to ourselves and also granting ourselves absolution…Who can give us the certainty that, in the confession and the forgiveness of our sins, we are not dealing with ourselves but with the living God? God gives us this certainty through our brother. Our brother breaks the circle of self-deception. A man who confesses his sins in the presence of a brother knows that he is no longer alone with himself; he experiences the presence of God in the reality of the other person” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community). Why can’t we accept one another the way God accepts us, as is? As Paul writes in his Letter To The Romans, “Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory” (Rom. 15:7). Jesus died for us while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8), why can’t we do the same for our Christian brothers and sisters?

In Christ,
Pastor Mark

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