When Confessing Sin to One Another

This past Sunday, I preached from James 5:13-18 and was struck by God’s desire for the church body’s involvement in confession of sin.  Yet, some take certain aspects of this too far.  Here are some good rules of thumb:

  1. If you have sinned against a brother or sister in Christ, go to that brother or sister in Christ and confess to them one-to-one (see Matthew 5:23-24).
  2. If you have sinned, but not against anyone in particular (except God, or course), find a mature Christian of your gender and share this with them for accountability and for partnership in prayer. 
  3. If you have sinned against the church body or your sin affects the church body, confess it to the church body. 

Thoughts?

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Categories: church, church attendees, Church Life, church membership | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “When Confessing Sin to One Another

  1. Kenneth Clayton

    I think they are helpful distinctions, but how it practically plays out and the reason for it could use some clarification.
    1. What is the goal of confession especially public confession how does it relate to repentance?
    2. I think confessing sin to another believer for accountability can be helpful but needs caution as I have found this beneficial for making my self feel better by getting it off my chest but not necessarily useful towards true repentance. We need to check our motives.
    3. Practically what does it look like to have public confession of sin, how does this fit into an orderly worship service? Should this be reserved for church discipline cases only, should someone be able to speak up at any time to announce their need to confess a sin, should it be spontaneous or set up before a service, I think some of these issues need to be worked through to keep from chaos.
    4. Should absolution be part of this, where someone confesses their sins and and minster pronounces their sin absolved through Christ?

    These are just some questions and thoughts that pop in my head from this sermon.

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