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Why Confess to Other Christians?

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sin wants to be alone with people. It takes them away from the community.

The more lonely people become, the more destructive the power of sin over them. The more deeply they become entangled in it, the more unholy is their loneliness.

Sin wants to remain unknown. It shuns the light.

In the darkness of what is left unsaid sin poisons the whole being of a person. This can happen in the midst of a pious community.

In confession the light of the gospel breaks into the darkness and closed isolation of the heart. Sin must be brought into the light. What is unspoken is said openly and confessed. All that is secret and hidden comes to light.

It is a hard struggle until the sin crosses one’s lips in confession. But God breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron (Psalm 107:16).

Since the confession of sin is made in the presence of another Christian, the last stronghold of self-justification is abandoned. The sinner surrenders, giving up all evil, giving the sinner’s heart to God and finding the forgiveness of all one’s sin in the community of Jesus Christ and other Christians.

Sin that has been spoken and confessed has lost all of its power.

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by KB and his friends
Article: 7 Min

Does Prayer Change God’s Mind?

by R.C. Sproul at Ligonier Ministries

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Confessing to Each Other

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book, "Life Together"

Why is it that it is often easier for us to confess our sins to God than to a brother? God is holy and sinless, he is a just judge of evil and the enemy of all disobedience. But a brother is sinful as we are. He knows from his own experience the dark night of secret sin. Why should we not find it easier to go to a brother than to the holy God?  
 
But if we do, we must ask ourselves whether we have not often been deceiving ourselves with our confession of sin to God, whether we have not rather been confessing our sins to ourselves and also granting ourselves absolution... Who can give us the certainty that, in the confession and the forgiveness of our sins, we are not dealing with ourselves but with the living God?  
 
God gives us this certainty through our brother. Our brother breaks the circle of self-deception. A man who confesses his sins in the presence of a brother knows that he is no longer alone with himself; he experiences the presence of God in the reality of the other person. 

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Quote

A man who confesses
his sins in the presence
of a brother knows
that he is no longer
alone with himself;
he experiences

the presence of God
in the reality of the
other person… in the
presence of a brother,
the sin has to be
brought into the light.

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Good Discipleship Requires Good Listening

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

There is a kind of listening with half an ear that presumes already to know what the other person has to say. It is an impatient, inattentive listening, that despises the brother and is only waiting for a chance to speak and thus get rid of the other person. This is no fulfillment of our obligation, and it is certain that here too our attitude toward our brother only reflects our relationship to God. It is little wonder that we are no longer capable of the greatest service of listening that God has committed to us, that of hearing our brother's confession, if we refuse to give ear to our brother on lesser subjects. 

Secular education today is aware that often a person can be helped merely by having someone who will listen to him seriously, and upon this insight it has constructed its own soul therapy, which has attracted great numbers of people, including Christians. But Christians have forgotten that the ministry of listening has been committed to them by him who is himself the great listener and whose work they should share. We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God. 

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