Exhortation: Confession of Sins

The next part of our liturgy is the confession of sins. I think if there is one item that modern churches are quick to dismiss it is the corporate confession of sins. I want to make three observations about the significance of the confession of sins:

a)     The first has to do with the location of the confession in our liturgy. Our confession of sins takes place at the beginning of our liturgy as opposed to the middle or the end. The reason this is important is because we come to the presence of God in the beginning of the liturgy, and not in the end. We as a people do not dare to come into God’s presence without humbling confessing our sins and receiving the forgiveness of Christ. The Psalmist echoes this when he says “if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”[1] We have a corporate written prayer, so that we can come together as a body, indicating that we as a church, and not individuals, are coming together and confessing our sins as a body. Once we confess our sins together as a people, there is no more need to confess our sins during this worship service. After this corporate confession, everything is simply joy, delight, celebration, and feasting with God our Lord.

b)     The second observation is that after corporately confessing, we give you a short time of silence to confess your sins individually. This does not mean that you are going into your private prayer closets separated from the body, but this is your opportunity to confess to God your faults and sins in relationship to one another in the body.

c)     Finally, the posture of our confession is kneeling. Some who are not able to kneel may remain seated, but if you are able kneeling is an appropriate posture of confession. I know that the floor may be a little hard on our knees, but confession is also a painful moment. After all, we have transgressed God’s laws. We confess our sins this morning, because if Christ had never suffered death for us, our posture from now and to the end of our days would be one of perpetual kneeling, but we know the rest of the story. We have forgiveness in Christ Jesus, and after kneeling we stand to hear the assurance that our sins are forgiven in Jesus’ Name.

 


[1] Jeff Meyers, The Lord’s Service, 181.

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About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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