Monday, October 24, 2011

Confessing Our Sin for the Greater Healing

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)

Excerpt from “Walking with God in Confession of Sin” – 2011-10-23
We are to use our tongues to confess our sins to one another and to pray for one another. Note how this sentence is grammatically connected: confession of sins to one another plus prayer for one another equals healing. The inference here is that there is that there is some sickness in life that is the result of unconfessed sin in our relationships with others. The first step in that healing process is to confess our sin to those we have hurt and then pray for them. Now there are proper guidelines and boundaries in doing this. James is not telling us we are to publicly confess our sins to the entire church. There may be specific instances where public sin must be confessed publically, we see that in cases of church discipline. But we must never confess sin beyond the circle of that sin’s influence. We know from texts like Matthew 18:15-20 that private sin is best dealt with privately. God is urging us in His Word today that if we have sinned against someone, we are to privately confess our sin to the one we have offended and to seek their forgiveness and pray for them so we might be reconciled, just as Jesus taught us to. . .

Walking with God in confession of sin means that if sin is the root cause of our sickness then we must confess our sin so we can be forgiven and pray again for healing. Yes, there are sins that will cause us physical sickness – but the greater sickness caused by sin is the effect sin has on our soul. Sin breaks our fellowship with God. Sin rejects the cross of Christ. Sin grieves the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

1 John 1:9 tells us: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Confession of sin restores us back to God. Confession of sin cleanses us anew with the blood of Jesus. Confession of sin empowers the Holy Spirit to once again rise up in our hearts. Confession of sin agrees with God that we are guilty and humbly receives the mercy of God that was brought by the violent grace of the cross. Like the scraping of barnacles off the hull of a ship so it can move freely again - confession of sin frees us from the bondage of guilt and shame so we might joyfully live with God and fully live for God. Confession of sin deepens our hearts and heals our souls and fill us with joy, humility and gratitude like a child who needs to own up to their rebellion before Mom and Dad – but not to earn God’s love, but to know it, to live in it, and to fully rest in it. Romans 8:14-15 says: “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’"