Why do we do that? Corporate Confession

Why do we do that? Corporate Confession

“Many Evangelical churches do not often include a time of corporate confession as part of their weekly services. This is, I believe, a weakness of our gatherings.”

Greg Strand, EFCA Executive Director of theology and credentialing

We confess our sins together as a part of corporate worship each Lord’s Day. In the past, the Pastor has offered the confession sometimes on behalf of the congregation while the congregation prayed responsively at others. This is one area where our study of the Book of Leviticus has strengthened your Pastor to be better and to grow. Why do we do that? Why do we confess our sins together? There are at least 5 things that are taking place when we pray a corporate prayer of confession on the Lord’s Day:

We are being obedient to the order of worship given in the Bible. We confess our sin, we are consecrated by the Word preached that declares Christ as our substitute and we communion with God in a meal that celebrates that we are at peace with Him.

We acknowledge the confidence we have in full forgiveness that is found in Christ alone. Because we have been forgiven and are right with God because of Jesus, we are free to confess the smaller, daily sins that break fellowship with Him and with each other. 

We declare what kind of community we are. We are a community of sinners who have covenanted together for better and for worse. There is no perfect person in the room. We are a community of priests who have direct access to God in Christ. The Pastor is not the priest, he may not confess for you. We confess together because it is true of all of us.

We are repenting of actual known sins we committed in the previous week. You may have done all the confession necessary on Thursday. Amen to that. This time becomes a grateful acknowledgment of the restoration of fellowship that we have through Christ.

We declare that we are (right now) not what the Call to Worship is calling us to be and we declare that we need Christ to be our substitute and the Spirit to be our help.

Corporate confession shapes our loves and gives us a vision of the good life. We love the forgiveness that we have because Jesus paid for all our sins. We long for the day in which every one of us in marked by the maturity that comes with regular, joyful repentance. Amen! 

Upon your profession of faith, your confession of sin and the promise of God in His Word, be assured today that your sins are forgiven in Jesus’ name.