Four Facts about Confession (Part Two)

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).

Confession plays an essential role in the life of the godly. Confession of your genuine belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God is essential to becoming a Christian, a child of God (Acts 8:37). Confession of sin—as described above—is essential to a child of God’s spiritual health and well-being.

Because of its importance, the four facts about confession found in this verse deserve your focused attention and diligent retention. The first two—“Confess” and “Your trespasses”—were considered in yesterday’s blog.

To one another indicates the universal priesthood of all Christians. Confessing your sins into the ear of an ecclesiastical clergyman is nowhere taught in the New Testament. Every child of God is a member of a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5). Therefore, no one person or class of people has been designated by God to be the unique audience of His children’s confessions of their trespasses. Wearing a clerical collar does not make a person righteous. Obeying God does.

The people who hear one’s confession of sin are the same people who are to pray for you. Because prayer is a privilege shared in common by all Christians, Christians are the same people to whom confession is made.

Confession, then, is not a one-way street which funnels all the sins of God’s people to one person in a congregation. Rather, it is a reciprocal action among all of God’s royal priesthood.

“That you may be healed” communicates the importance of confession. Like your physical health, your spiritual health in Christ must be maintained. Just as your body has to purge itself of waste and accumulated impurities so that your health is not compromised, your soul has to purge itself of sin’s pollution. Confession is good for the soul because it is essential to your spiritual strength and well-being. Ridding your soul of sin’s potent cancer cells can only come through a lifestyle of confession and prayer.

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Author: jchowning

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