True Community Requires Confession

“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done in the sight of God.” (John 3:20-21 NIV)

Our sin hides in the darkness and whispers to us that it should remain unknown. And when we keep it in the darkness, it spreads within us like a toxin, eventually seeping into our fellowship with each other.

The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, “Sin demands to have a man by himself. It withdraws him from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him, and the more deeply he becomes involved in it, the more disastrous is his isolation.”

This is why Jesus calls us to confess our sins to one another. It allows the light of the Gospel to enter the darkness and seclusion of the heart. By confessing our sin in the presence of another, our self-justification crumbles away and our sin loses its power over us — and the community.

We are no longer alone in our sin, and those in our fellowship can now bear the sin with us, strengthening us when we face temptation and helping us to see that our sin reveals a place where we still do not trust God.

Each one of us must remember that we belong to a fellowship of sinners who live within the grace of God, so we need not fear confession because it brings us back into alignment with God. In a community submitted to Jesus, our confession should bring us into greater intimacy with each other. How does it do that?

  • Confession deepens our relationships, allowing us to be transparent with one another (Proverbs 24:26).
  • Confession keeps our fellowship open and authentic, freeing us to speak the truth in love as we practice remarkable integrity (Ephesians 4:15; Titus 2:7).
  • Confession keeps us sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and helps us battle deceptions that corrupt our lives in Christ (John 16:13; 2 Corinthians 10:5).

Talk About It

  • Our sin wants to stay in the darkness. How does that connect to Jesus being the Light of the world and telling us to let our light shine before others?
  • What must you sacrifice in order to have truly transparent community?

Jon Walker’s new book, Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, is a story of God’s faithfulness during struggles with bipolar disorder, divorce, and economic uncertainty.

This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.


SIGN UP FOR PASTOR RICK’S FREE DAILY HOPE DEVOTIONAL

SIGN UP FOR DAILY HOPE DEVOTIONAL

Special Offer

Connecting_bottomleft_460x247

Connecting with God: The Lord's Prayer - 8 CD Boxed Set and Bonus Music CD: FIRST

The Bible says very clearly that you were created for connections. In this new message series, Connecting with God: The Lord's Prayer, Rick Warren lays out practical steps for you to connect with God and loved ones by examining the Lord’s Prayer.

REQUEST YOUR COPY

On the Radio

Connecting_bottomright_460x247

Connecting With God, Complete Audio Series

The Lords Prayer is one of the most well-known prayers in the Bible. It's also one of the richest, filled with hope and answers to life's most stressful situations and difficult questions. Join Pastor Rick as he mines each verse of The Lords Prayer, both uncovering God's wisdom and discovering what it truly means to be spiritually connected to God and to one another. Your life will forever be transformed.

Purchase this seriesListen to this series