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CONFESSION OF SIN

Confession of sin is a lost “art” among Evangelicals. We are big on petition and more recently are learning again the beauty of praise and adoration. But confession of sin should naturally follow upon adoration and praise, for when we see how great a God we have, how holy and majestic, we also see how low and filthy we are in comparison (Isaiah 6.1-5).  We ought therefore to confess our sinfulness and unworthiness (Luke 18.13; Matthew 6.12; 1 John 1.9). We cannot simply saunter into God’s presence as if all was well with us. It is not. We must come with confession on our lips and repentance in our hearts..

Confession of sin ought to be made speedily after sinning.  If a seamstress has lost her needle that is vital to her trade, she looks until it is found. Similarly, when we sin against God (for in the final analysis, all sin is against God), we should not wait days till we confess it; we must seek His forgiveness as soon as possible.  As the Scripture says: “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”  (Proverbs 28.13).

"Confession of sin should naturally follow upon adoration and praise ..."

When taught to pray, many of us were taught the acronym ACTS for, adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. Personally, I think it should be taught as CATS, confession, adoration, thanksgiving and supplication.

Confession should preceed adoration for how can we praise, worship and adore God when we have offended Him? If we get in an argument with our spouse is not and apology and reconciliation necessary before they will listen to us sing their praise? I know its not a perfect analogy, but we do have a personal relationship with God and He is a being who can be offended.

This is also born out in the historic liturgy of the Church, (the liturgy being something most Baptist have ignored to their own loss). If you examine liturgical worship services in any tradition (Roman, Orthodox, Lutheran, Episcopal, etc.) you will discover that the confession of sins and pronouncement of forgiveness takes place early on in the worship service.

Thanks Tom. Exposure to the structure of worship in the traditions you mention would help orient our understanding of worship. But even in these traditions, the liturgy begins with adoration and moves on quickly to confession. Consider Isaiah 6 in this light. Thanks for a stimulating post.

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