Confess your faults and be healed

James_5-16
The Verse of the Day for yesterday, May 5, 2016, the National Day of Prayer, emphasized the power of prayer on a corporate level, as groups of individuals focused on the powerful words of 2 Chronicles 7:14. This conditional sentence indicates that if the people of God will meet certain conditions, God will respond and heal their land. The Verse of the Day for today, May 6, 2016, however, looks at the powerful effects of praying for one another on an individual level, as expressed in James 5:16 (KJV):

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Here is how the New Living Translation renders the verse:

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

We find a parallel verse related to confessing our faults one to another in Matthew 18:15 (KJV):

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

Take a look at the New Living Translation:

If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.

In examining the verses found in James and Matthew, we ask, what does it mean to “tell him his fault” or “point out the offense”? Similar expressions are also translated “to confess to one another your trespasses . . . your offenses . . . your sins.” To confess is to say with one’s mouth.

With our mouths we acknowledge our shortcomings, our misdeeds, our sins of omission and sins of commission. We acknowledge that in far too many instances we have missed the mark and fallen short. 1 John 1:9 in the Amplified Bible assures us that:

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

In a similar manner, as we learn to value and steward our relationships, first and foremost with God, as we confess our sins, we also acknowledge our faults one to another and seek to heal any broken relationships with our fellow believers.

Ephesians 4:29-32 offer this exhortation:

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

I recall lyrics” which are addressed first to God and then to others in this original song:

Please Forgive Me

For each careless word and each thoughtless deed,
For each time I failed to follow your lead,
Each time I ignored you and went astray.
And let go your hand and walked my own way.

Please forgive me.
Please forgive me.
Please forgive me.
Please forgive me.
Please forgive me this time.
Please forgive me each time.
Please forgive me.

Though I may have offended unknowingly,
I give up my right to hurt you because you hurt me.
As God in Christ Jesus has forgiven me,
I release all past hurts, and I set you free.

I forgive you.
I forgive you.
I forgive you
I forgive you.
I forgive you this time.
I forgive you each time.
I forgive you.

God first gave to us so that we might live.
We give to others when we learn to forgive.
Jesus, our example so perfect and true,
Said, “Father forgive them; they know not what they do.”

I forgive you.
I forgive you.
I forgive you
I forgive you.
I forgive you this time.
I forgive you each time.
I forgive you.

Do not resist Him; He wants you to yield.
Accept His forgiveness, and you will be healed.
Each sin committed, each iniquity
Is cast into the depths of the deepest sea.

God forgives you.
God forgives you.
God forgives you
God forgives you.
God forgives you this time.
God forgives you each time.
God forgives you.

Oscar Paris closes this blog entry with a beautiful musical reminder to “Forgive one another”:

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