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Monday, March 30, 2015

Communion

Question: Should we invite to the Lord's Table all who believe themselves to be Christians, whether or nor they have previously been received into the membership of the church?

Jesus Christ commands all believers, "Do this in remembrance of Me" (1 Corinthians 11:24). Therefore, all believers should have the privilege of doing this, whether or not they have previously been received into the membership of the church. But the importance and necessity of church membership should be urged upon all believers. 

Confession of Sins

Question: Should we confess our sins to man or only to God?

First of all, we should confess them to God. David said in Psalm 32:5, "I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,' and You forgave the iniquity of my sin." In 1 John 1:9, we read, "If we confess our sis [and it clearly means, "to God"], He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

However, if we have sinned against someone, we should confess our sin to the person against whom we have sinned. We should be reconciled to our brother who has something against us (Matthew 5:23-24). It is well also to confess our sins to one another so that we may pray for one another (James 5:16). There is not the slightest hint, however, that this means we should confess our sins to a priest any more than to any other brother. The verse says, "Confess ... to one another" (v. 16). There is not any more reason why we should confess our sins to ta priest than that the priest should confess his sins to us!

If we have sinned publicly, we should make public confession of our sins. But there is nothing in the Bible to indicate that one should make a detailed public confession of all his transgressions, or even that he should confess to any man every sin that he has committed. Religious impostors often require this of their disciples, and, in this way, they gain control over their disciples and rule them by fear of exposure. I know of one religious impostor who gained control over his people in this way. He made them confess everything base and vile that they had ever done; then he terrorized them, got their money from them, and made slaves of them. There are some things that a man should keep to himself and God!

~R. A. Torry~

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