Tonight I led my Lifegroup through a discussion on Romans 8:29-39 based on this past Sunday’s sermon.
One question I asked was this: why is it so difficult for people to feel forgiven, especially when we know what the Bible says?
In the midst of discussion, someone said something to the extent: because we don’t often audibly hear that we’re forgiven when we sin.
That led to some deeper discussion, to which I’ll share some of my thoughts…
Rewinding to a couple weeks ago, my pastor said we need to have those close brothers or sisters in the faith who can call us out on our sin. I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment. I have a group text with some brothers where we have that freedom to call each other out.
The statement from that sermon taken with what my group member said tonight led me to bring up James 5:16 that tells us to confess our sins to one another. What if that’s part of James’ point in saying that? Does confession of sins to our brothers/sisters in the faith help us get an audible reminder that our sins are & have been forgiven?
While not done in a wholly biblical manner, maybe that’s the point and appeal of confession in the Roman Catholic church. Both the confession, which is biblical, and the audible reminder that we are forgiven.
It’s one thing to hear “you’re forgiven” as part of a sermon on a Sunday morning… but there’s a deeper level that comes from hearing it in the moment, when someone actually knows what’s going on.
Am I saying we need the Roman Catholic church’s model of confession? Certainly not. But, we need it more in our personal lives. We need that level of accountability, transparency, and honesty with one another in this faith.
As another group member said tonight, “It’ll never happen in the Protestant church. People are too concerned about confessing and then having someone running off and telling someone else.”
This is why discipleship is important. Even more, this emphasizes the importance of discipleship groups, something far more intimate than a church lifegroup. This is your inner circle of likeminded & same gender individuals that you can & should be real with. These should be the people you can call when stuff hits the fan, no matter the hour. They should also be the same people you can confide in and share your sin with. And they should be the ones who remind you of God’s Word and say “God has forgiven you.”
We need more of that in the body of Christ.
I’m thankful for the discussion we had tonight, and I’m glad we’re able to have them in my group.