The Discipline Of Confession

Wednesday Mid-Week Latte

11/7/11 5:32 PM


If you have spent any time at all studying the great ones of the faith throughout history, you have then encountered individuals who understood the Discipline of Confession.
Martin Luther jumps off the page of my brain, as does Augustine, as Jonathan Edwards, … Calvin, the list goes on…


The discipline of Meditation can be understood as
The discipline of Prayer can be understood as
The discipline of Fasting can be understood as
The discipline of Study can be understood as
The discipline of Simplicity can be understood as
The discipline of Solitude an be understood as
The discipline of Submission can be understood as
The Discipline of Service can be understood as


The discipline of confession

“The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works”
~Augustine of Hippo~

At the heart of God is the desire to give and forgive. Part of larger redemptive process

The response of Jesus on the cross was a moment of victory: Mk. 15:34

An objective starting point

The discipline of confession requires an objective basis to make our transformation some more than therapeutic.
An objective change in our state (relationship with God) driving a subjective change in us.
Phil. 2:12
The discipline of confession helps us grow into mature manhood… To the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.(Eph. 4:13).

The ability to forgive

Our Ability to forgive
Text: John 20:23
The privilege of setting others free
Part of our status of being part of a royal priesthood. I Peter 2:9

  • Function of a priest: bring the forgiveness of sin through the sacrifice. (Hebrews : Jesus as the final sacrifice)
  • A word of forgiveness taking root in our lives:

Bonhoeffer: ” a man who confesses his sins in the presence of a brother knows that he is no longer alone with himself; he experiences the presence of God in the reality of the other person. As long as I am by myself in the confession of my sins everything remains in the dark, but in the presence of a brother the sin has to be brought into the light.”

The value of the formal confessional

The value of a confessional: among other thing it puts in contact with a sense of revulsion that God has for sin. (Jer. 44:4)

What makes for good confession?

What makes for good confession?
1. An examination of conscience:
Let a man examine himself…
When the soul comes under the gaze of God…When my soul is pierced to the quick…
When I then become conscious of the things that must be forgiven if the relationship is to function on a rich spiritual level.

Why then is the “conscious as our guide idea” only partially helpful?

2. Sorrow is necessary.
Not as an emotion … An abhorrence at having committed the sin, a deep regret for having offended the Father.

As such, it is an issue of the will…

3. A determination to avoid sin.
A prayer that we might receive from God, a yearning for Holy living, a hatred for unholy living.

Wesley, ” Give me a hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God… Such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth.”


Thot: Let confession has its work and then let the joy of my salvation return.
Foster notes, “Confession begins in sorrow, but it ends in joy.”

Who to find that can have this great work in our lives?

Who becomes our Confession partner?
Looking for mature, wise, compassionate,and balanced men and women of the faith, who can keep a confidence, laugh with you and bruise you with godly integrity when you require it the most.., that is, when you think you gave nothing to confess.


Foster writes,
“The discipline if confession brings an end to pretense. God is calling into being a church that can openly confess its frail humanity and know the forgiving and empowering graces of Christ. Honesty leads to confession, and confession leads to change.”…


Mark J. Congrove

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