“confess your sins to one another …” (James 5:16, ESV)
Verbally confessing sin reminds us of the ugliness of sin. It is, as Richard Sibbes reminds us, the vomit of the soul. The sin that seemed so tasty is brought back to our remembrance as disgusting.
What makes sin so ugly (and confession so humbling) is to understand that each sin in our heart is worthy of eternal damnation. The failure to worship God with all of my heart and soul and mind (Matt. 22:37) is worthy of the cup of God’s wrath – to be trampled under the boot of God’s winepress of judgment.
Confessing this damning sin reminds me daily of Christ’s payment. He substituted Himself under the boot. He became sin, bore my sin, so I may be declared righteous in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). And so to see the remains of ugly sin in my heart causes remorse and confession.
To confess is to verbally hate sin and to declare war against it. Confession is a verb that means much more than sitting in some booth with an anonymous figure sitting on the other side of an opaque opening. Confession for the Christian church is part of its daily life – it’s not only secret and hidden but also public!
Confession is personal (between me and God), interpersonal and heavenward (from me and my friend to God), interpersonal (to those I have wronged), and corporate (between my community of faith and God). Confession is the reminder that I am a sinner – wholly sustained by the sanctification, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption of Christ (1 Cor. 1:30). Confession proclaims, “Christ is our life” (Col. 3:4).
The current series focuses on the importance of confessing sin to one another. Here is the series outline:
1. Kris Lundgaard, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and confessing sins.
2. Richard Sibbes: Why do we confess sin?
3. Richard Sibbes: The church is comprised of humbled sinners
4. Stephen Charnock: Confessing in light of our Advocate
5. Anthony Burgess: Word convicts us of sin
6. Thomas Manton: Confession is the vomit of the soul
7. Richard Sibbes: Confess and find mercy
8. Bonhoeffer: To whom should we confess?
9. What exactly is confession (future)
10. Ezra and Nehemiah: The power of public confession (future)
11. Acts 19: Lessons from the Ephesian confession (future)
12. Dangers of concealing sin (future)
13. The power of confessed sin (future)
14. Shepherding as modeling confession (future)
15. Confession as commitment (future)
16. Concluding thoughts (future)
You can find the series (in descending order) << here >>