Matthew Henry wrote: “The Christian religion is the religion of sinners, of such as have sinned, and in whom sin in some measure still dwells. The Christian life is a life of continued repentance, humiliation for and mortification of sin, of continual faith in, thankfulness for, and love to the Redeemer, and hopeful joyful expectation of a day of glorious redemption, in which the believer shall be fully and finally acquitted, and sin abolished for ever.” In other words: we are sinners and we will have to deal with sin for the rest of our lives until the glorious day when our Lord will call us to His eternal home.
Knowing that will make us understand the importance of our relationship with God and with our brothers and sisters. We are broken and in the course of our lives we will say and do things that we shouldn’t. We will offend, not only God, who is pure and holy, but also we will offend people around us, such as families, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and our brothers and sisters.
It is important for us to understand that these attitudes will affect us, not only spiritually, but emotionally and sometimes physically. Sin is painful, not only to those who suffer them, but also to those who commit them.
If we want to live in a community we will need to learn how to fix broken relationships caused by sin. The Bible tells us that the remedy is mutual confession. We need to admit our sins and repent. This is what James asks us to do: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16.”
Here are a few steps about confession that can help you in your journey:
- Confess your sins to God
Every sin is first of all against God. Every time that we sin we sin against God. We break His law. Confession is the acknowledgment of that. We come before the Lord and recognize that He is right and we were wrong.
- Confess to the person who was offended
Jesus said that if we sin against a brother or sister we should go, confess, and apologize to them. The confession and apology would stay between the sinner and the offended brother or sister.
- Confess to the church
Some sins are public and they need to be dealt with publicly. In the past the person who committed a public sin would come in front of the church and recognize what he or she had done and ask for forgiveness. Sometimes it is just a few people or a small group that was involved. The idea is to recognize the sin in front of the group involved and ask for forgiveness.
- Confess to a spiritual leader or a mature friend
In some cases we do things that are against God, and we need help, or we struggle in certain areas of our life. In these cases a spiritual leader or a mature friend, someone trustworthy, could hear our confession and help us in our journey toward recovery.
The Bible says that when we confess our sins to one another, we will be not only forgiven, but we will be healed. Our relationship with God and our brothers and sisters will be restored. This is what the apostle John wrote: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9.”
Have a blessed week,