Confession is important because it exposes our sin and the objects of our sin so God can throw them away. Take for example Jesus at the Temple courts (Matt. 21:12-17). He just entered into Jerusalem and goes to the temple courts and sees people buying and selling offerings. Jesus is totally ticked; he begins to throw the tables saying that they have made God’s house a den of thieves. This is a scary part of scripture, because it changes our view of God and Jesus, we think he’s totally peeved at the people and wishes he could throw them, but chooses the tables instead.
However, Jesus rather throws the OBJECTS of their sin. I think he’s mad at the deceiver, he hates the sin, his anger is burning against the sin and he is displaying his utter hatred of the sin to the sinners by throwing the table.
I can hear him saying: “ This is NOT what God wants for his house and this is NOT what God wants for you! So let me just get this out of your way!”
When we confess to one another, we are exposing our sins and the objects of our sin: the computer, the TV, the phone whatever it may be, we’re exposing it so God can throw it away and say: “This is NOT what I want for your life!”
Guess what? We don’t have to deal with it alone anymore, we have a brother or a sister to fight along side of us and wrestle with the sin, and us because God put them in our lives to help us.
However this can only come if we decide to expose our sin. We can expose it to God, but we have no earthly accountability and eventually we’ll slip back into the unhealthy pattern. God desires to heal both body and soul!
I could continue to harp on this idea of confessing our sins to one another, not only in the context of healing, nor only to our elders, but as a continual practice with our brothers and sisters. It creates a transparent, authentic atmosphere where we can come to know others, ourselves and God better.
I think so much of this concept that I am currently writing a book on the topic, which is highlighted heavily in 1 John 1:5-2:14. It is a point of healing that I think the church as a whole overlooks, yet it is right in the middle of a passage we often use to teach about healing! When we confess our sins to one another, we not only receive fellowship (1 John 1:1-10) but healing (James 5)!
What does this all translate to for healing ministry in the local church? The local church should definitely hold to the scriptures that lay out how we should practice such healing.
However, there are still the miraculous healings of the unsaved that need to be addressed. The people Jesus healed were more often than not, un-believers with a “faith-inkling” that he could help.
They cried out for healing and received it. The church should be the catalyst for such healing! If the church isn’t willing to heal the ailing saved AND unsaved of the World, where will they get such healing?
The answer is they won’t.
Bailey talks about the two types of healing available to the world; the Children’s Bread (part of the atonement and a mercifully generous gift from God to His children) and the miraculous healings of the unsaved. I am totally on board this line of thinking. These should be the focal points of healing for the church. God has some amazing healing for us, both physically and emotionally. We need to seek God, position ourselves and get ready for His amazing healing.