Is it a sin to receive communion without first going to confession?


Clarify Share Report Asked December 08 2013 Moi2 Ma. Bernadette Lavin

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Mini Jennifer Henkel Bible/History Middle School Teacher, Lover of the OT!
If, by "going to confession," you mean going to a church building, and telling your sins to a human priest, then NO, this is unnecessary.

Forgiveness of our debt to God cannot be doled out by any human. Our forgiveness of sin comes when we confess our sins to God, through Jesus Christ, our only mediator needed (Hebrews 9:11-15, Hebrews 4:14-16).

Paul tells us that we should first examine ourselves (I Corinthians 11:27-32) before taking communion, so that we are not participating in an unworthy manner. I believe this would include confessing your sins privately, to God, through prayer, being truly sorry for them. Then you are ready to take communion!

Communion in the early church was actually a pot-luck affair, in which the attendees would bring food to share, and remember Christ's death during the dinner when they ate bread and drank wine, which would have been a normal part of every meal (See 1 Corinthians 11). They often ate together (possibly every night), because they loved being together and sharing what Christ had been doing in their lives.

How we ended up eating a tiny bit of bread, matzoh, wafer, etc and sipping a bit of wine or grape juice, and worse, teaching that the little wafer magically becomes Jesus' actual body, and you have to "eat" a certain amount of Jesus during your lifetime in order to go to Heaven (paganism!) is really tragic and not Biblical.

December 08 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Gary Wofford
We are told several things about communion, mostly from Jesus himself and Paul. Jesus says, "As oft as you do this, do this in remembrance of me." He doesn't specify how often that is. Some churches do it at each meeting. Some on an infrequent calendar basis, like every quarter. Most are somewhere in between. Don't get hung up on frequency and always try to sort out what comes from scripture and what is nothing but tradition of the church. As oft as you do this is about the only instruction we have as to the frequency. 

We are also told to do this as a remembrance of Jesus and what he did for us on the cross and resurrection. We are told that if we "Eat and drink unworthily, not discerning the Lord's body, we eat and drink damnation to ourselves.? This simply means that we are to not take it flippantly (one risk of very frequent observances. It can become routine and mundane if we are not careful.) What does it mean, "not discerning the Lord's body? Exactly what it says, but probably much more. We are to deeply consider and be full of gratitude for what He did for us on the cross. What did he do there besides the physical suffering? He took our sins on Himself and literally "became sin for us who knew no sin." The shame and guilt must have been almost unbearable. This is likely why he felt so humiliated that he felt abandoned by the Father and cried out, "My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?" We aren't frequently taught this part of his suffering in this context, but when we are given instructions about communion and have the ability to eat and drink damnation to ourselves, we should take this seriously. This doesn't mean we lose our salvation, which can't be lost, but that we are sinning by not discerning the Lord's body. I would wager that almost no one asks this question, "What does it mean to not discern the Lord's body?" And far fewer understand it. 

Paul tells us that we are to examine ourselves. If we discover sin in our lives, we are to repent prior to partaking of the observance of communion. This doesn't mention going to a priest for confession. That is a tradition of the Catholic church. We are told a few other things about communion, but these are the main things we need to keep at the forefront of our hearts and minds when we observe communion. 

1. Remember Him and what he has done for us.

2. Discern the Lord's body when we partake.

3. Examine ourselves and repent to God for forgiveness of sin. 

Only if we do these things can we fully get the benefit of the observance and honor Him as he desires. This observance gives us a reminder to do these things and we will be supernaturally blessed.

May 24 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining