February 11, 2015
"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16
When I originally thought to write about this, it was based on the second part. How often we hear the second part of this verse quoted unattached to the first part. God created us for community. The definition of fellowship is friendly association, especially with people who share one's interests.
Christ followers are not called to live in a bubble away from the rest of the world. But they are called to be in fellowship with each other. Hebrews 10:25 says that we are not to forsake the gathering of ourselves together. We are to encourage one another and confess to each other and pray for each other. As we confess our sins to each other, we shine light on dark areas. Hebrews 3:13 says, encourage one another daily as long as it is called 'Today', so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
When we see a brother or sister fall into sin, we are to bring it to their attention. We first confront them in love (Matthew 18:15). Jesus said that if we have anything against our brother or sister (in Christ) we are to confess it to them and attempt to make peace with them before presenting an offering. Confession clears the way to prayer.
The second part is that the prayer of a righteous man availeth much. We confess our sins and our brother and sisters pray for us. Sin holds us down. It keeps us chained to a burden God never meant for us to bear. Confession helps free us of that burden. It sheds light in dark areas, it can help you begin taking steps to work on the area you have confessed about. Sharing it with someone also helps hold you accountable over that area where sin lurks. Furthermore, confession of sin to another is helpful because when they pray for us, it can help encourage our hearts through the words they speak.
Confession also opens the door for prayer and receiving God's blessings. It is hard to receive blessings when you are holding on to a burden. Let it go.
When we confess our sins, we are able to draw closer to Jesus, we ourselves are not righteous. The Bible says that none are righteous. Romans 3:10. Not one! But Jesus is. Through Him, we have salvation. Through Him, our sins are forgiven and through Him, we are made righteous. We confess and recognize that we are out of alignment with Jesus. We admit that we need Him to remain in that alignment. He is the only one able to forgive us of our sins.
We confess to one another are are made righteous through the redeeming blood of Jesus.