Confessing to One Another
The New Testament assumes the church is a gathering of sinners saved by grace (cf. Matt. 18:15; Gal. 6:1). The key designation is "sinners," and the inevitable result of such a relationship between saved sinners will sometimes be sin. While we enjoy forgiveness for our sins and the removal of sin's dominance over us, we still experience its ongoing presence in our lives (cf. Rom. 7:13-25). With sin's presence firmly established in our expectations for life here at Grace Church, it is also critical for us to establish a pattern of obedience in response to sin. In the context of James 5:13-15, some believers were suffering illness that was connected to sinful patterns of living. That fearful potential should drive you and me to a James 5:16 lifestyle, a pattern of confession and prayer for one another. John MacArthur comments, "Maintaining open, sharing, and praying relationships with other Christians will help keep believers from bottoming out in their spiritual lives. Such relationships...provide godly pressure to confess and forsake sins before they become overwhelming to the point of total spiritual defeat." Confession of sin flows from a heart that is humbly aware of the pervasive corruption of sin, as well as the matchless grace of God covering us in Christ. Those who confess often to one another find fewer causes for confrontation from one another!