Today’s devotion is an excerpt from a Bible Study Series taught at Fellowship Baptist Church, titled “Biblical Building Blocks for Strengthening Relationships.”
Biblical Building Block #25 Confess Your Faults One to Another (James 5:16) -PART 2
James 5:16, 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.
NOTICE: "Confess your faults." Sin must be confessed before it is forgiven. Does this mean that believers are to go around confessing all their sins in all their intimacies and ugliness? No! This is not what this passage is talking about. As Christians, we are not required to confess our sins to every Christian, but we should confess to those whom we have trespassed. It is referring to certain types of sins or to certain times when we are to confess our sins. The faults were either unintentional errors or willful transgressions against another person. After we acknowledge and confess our sins to God, we should go to the one we have sinned against and acknowledge and confess it to them.
Some never confess it at all, but others may indiscreetly share things in public that should never be shared.
We should confess our sin...
We are to confess our sins and clear our conscience. The word "confess" means "to agree with; to see your sin as God sees it and not to make excuses for it." This means we are to agree with God about our sins. This means we are to continually or habitually do this in our lives. When we see our sin as God sees it then we will get it right. In order to do this we need a clear view of Jesus and a clear view of ourselves which is vital. Job 42:5-6, “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. 6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” This was spoken from one of the godliest men you will find in the Word of God. It’s important that we come into God’s presence on a daily basis or else we will never be the Christian God wants us to be. Before there can be healing, their must be confession and repentance. David said in Psalm 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” We are to confess our faults or slips. It is the same word used in Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” When a person clears their conscience and seeks forgiveness from others, you take your confession as far as the ripple goes.
If someone’s offenses are private with one person, confess it privately. If one’s sin hurt specific individuals, they are to confess it to those people and ask their forgiveness. If there are several people involved, then you get right with those people.
If one has publicly committed some sin where everyone knows about them, then public forgiveness is required. Generally, the confession should be as public as the sin. If one’s sin has affected the entire church, then by the pastor’s side an appropriate time and place confession is made before the church. Get your life right with God first, and then get it right with others. Acts 24:16, “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.” I Timothy 1:5, “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned...” I Peter 3:16, “Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.”
We need to pray with an urgent desire and not be apathetic in our approach. God wants us to come to Him with passion. Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” God encourages us to pray and lets us know that he wants to answer and do great things in our life. Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” God not only can answer our prayers, but do far more than we expect. Ephesians 3:20, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” We need to be bold in our praying.
Thank you for reading PART 2 of Biblical Building Block #22 of this series. Please visit this website tomorrow for Biblical Building Block #23 of this series.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.