Do we confess our sins like the Catholics (a priest)?
NKJV - 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
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We are not obligated to confess our sins to anyone on earth. We confess our sins (1 John 1:9) when we stray from God's Word. Confess to Him. Confessing to someone else is like this: "I lied to you the other day, and I'm sorry. Please forgive me." "I'm the one who took your coat. Here it is back. Please forgive me." "I was speeding in a school zone. The cops stopped me. I'm sorry, Dad. Have you got an extra 50 bucks?" "Honey, I confess that I saw a beautiful lady at the market and had some sinful thoughts. I've confessed 1 John 1:9. Please forgive me." The whole idea is to maintain peaceful, courteous relationships. Carefully note that James is still clinging to Jewish duties and obligations. He was still convinced that Jesus was about to return to set up His Kingdom.
The larger context of the verse you're asking about is this: James 5: 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. In this context, believers are encouraged to praise and to pray in various circumstances; ultimately, it is meant to point believers to communion with God and with each other in times of need, as well as in times of rejoicing. Getting back to your question about confession, ultimately, when we sin, we sin against God. David says in Ps. 51, 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Therefore, when we are made aware of our sins, we need to first confess and repent of our sins to God. If we have wronged someone else, either knowingly or unknowingly, when we are made aware of it, we need to confess and repent to the person we hurt. God wants us to have nothing between ourselves and others. In Matthew 5.23–24, Jesus says: “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” Sometimes people have "secret sins" that are not out in the open, not easy for others to see. Some can be seemingly harmless at first glance, although willful sin makes meaningful relationship with God difficult and can lead to more areas of sin. However, some can either BE harmful or BECOME harmful if left unchecked. In these cases, it's advisable to confess to a trustworthy friend or a leader in your church for the sake of accountability. James 5 says, 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. In the original Greek, "confess" means: exomologeo | ex-om-ol-og-eh'-o | from 'ek' (STRONG_G1537) and 'homologeo' (STRONG_G3670); to acknowledge or (by implication, of assent) agree fully:--confess, profess, promise. In the original Greek, "sins" means: paraptoma | par-ap'-to-mah | from 'parapipto' (STRONG_G3895); a side-slip (lapse or deviation), i.e. (unintentional) error or (wilful) transgression:--fall, fault, offence, sin, trespass. In the original Greek, "healed" means: iaomai | ee-ah'-om-ahee | middle voice of apparently a primary verb; to cure (literally or figuratively):--heal, make whole. God's intention for confession is that we are made whole, whether we confess to Him or to someone else.
As a Catholic, who confesses my sins to a priest. I want to break my answer into three parts: 1. Convince you that confessing one's sins to one another is mandatory. 2. Convince you that confessing one's sins to a priest is beneficial. 3. Convince you that confessing one's sins to a priest is the way Jesus intended it to be. Confessing is Mandatory. God hates sin, but God loves the sinner. He loves us so much that He provided a way for our sins to be forgiven - with the condition of confession. In 1 John 1:9, the author writes, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." If no sin is too great that God cannot forgive, then the only unpardonable sin is the sin that is not confessed. Confessing to a Priest is Beneficial. Think of the many advantages you get when you confesses your sins to a priest. It causes you to deeply reflect on what you have done, and how many times you did sin. To speak your sin out and see another person listening without judging you is humbling. You hear a voice telling you, "Your sins are forgiven." You feel peace in your heart. You get good advice from an elderly man wise enough like your dad or grandfather. Confessing to a Priest is the Way Jesus Intended it to be. In John 20:23, Jesus gave this authority to the apostles, "If you forgive anyone's sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." Only God can forgive sins. Jesus can forgive sins because he is God. Now, Jesus DELEGATES this task to his apostles. If you don't believe me, read the verse again.
we confess our sins to one another when we do things to our brothers or sisters in the Lord that we feel and know are not right or that hurt them. example you tell someone something about your friend that you are not suppose to knowing that it would hurt your friend if they heard it elsewhere it is necessary to confess or tell your friend that you told so and so about that issue rather than keeping quiet.
Roman Catholic doctrine teaches the need for confession to a priest for absolution, but the teaching of John in 1 John 1:9 is clear: we should confess our sins to God, because only He can forgive us and remove our guilt. Other passages of Scripture teach us that, on certain occasions, it is necessary to confess our guilt to those who have been harmed by our sins so that the fellowship that was interrupted by our error may be restored (Luke 15:21). --Ligonier
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