Have you ever read something and thought to yourself: “What in the world does that mean?” Well, you might feel that way by reading the title of this particular blog. What do I mean by “Corporate Confession?” Corporate confession simply means confession with a group of people. What does this look like? Does this mean I have to confess all my sins to the whole church? Do I have to confess my sins to the council? To a small group? What does this mean and/or look like?
The discipline of corporate confession is something that is extremely difficult for most of us to think about. It is difficult for a number of reasons. It is difficult because as Reformed Christians we know that we do not NEED to confess our sins to anyone other than God himself. It is especially difficult for the practical reason of: we don’t want others to know our sins. We want to keep up a certain persona. We want to make sure no one looks down on us. We want to make sure that, for all intents and purposes we never sin. We want to make sure people think we are good people. So even the very idea of confessing our sins to someone else is almost out of the question.
The reason why corporate confession is a discipline is precisely because it is so difficult. But, the idea behind why we should consider this practice is very practical. When we confess our sin to someone that we trust and have a good relationship with, we are in a way asking for their help. Asking for them to help keep us accountable to stay away from that particular sin that we have confessed. It is very easy to confess our sins in private to God, and then to continue on doing those same sins. It is a discipline to share it with someone else, and to ask them to help us along in the process.
James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” As we continue on this journey of becoming more like Christ, we have each other in a community of faith to lean on and to help us in our walk. And as we hear from 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I know this discipline, might be more difficult to practice than any other, but let us consider how we may practice this, and to help and encourage each other along the journey of becoming like Christ.