Monday, June 7, 2010

Confession - Adams, JOFMM Fall 2005

Confession is poorly understood by many Christians. What, for
instance, does it mean to adhere to the Westminster Confession of
Faith? What is a confession of faith anyway? How does the title of
this important document relate to confessing sins? And, in relationship
to the latter matter, does one confess his sins to God
alone – or also to others? Moreover, if he is to confess to others, to
whom does he confess, and in what manner? These – and other
issues – may be confusing to your congregation. Perhaps I shall be
able to help you clear it up for them.
The one fact that ties confession of one’s faith to the confession
of his sins is the word confession itself. In Greek (as in its
Latin equivalent, from which the English word is derived) to “confess”
means “to say the same thing.” When one confesses anything,
he is agreeing with someone or some idea. In extra-biblical
writings from New Testament times the word homologeo (“confess”)
was used when persons entered into contracts as the parties
involved agreed to the terms of the contract. Thus, when we confess
our faith in terms of a “Confession of Faith” we are agreeing
with what is written in it. We, and others today, are together saying the
same thing that the framers of the confession did...

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