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Dietrich Bonhoeffer (German hung by Nazi’s at the age of 35) in his book life together has a chapter on confession – it is one of the most powerful discussions on biblical confession that I have ever read…. Bonhoeffer writes



Why is 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 a Holy God?


BUT if we do find it easier, 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 (forgiveness)


AND is not the reason perhaps FOR our countless relapses and the feebleness of our Christian obedience to be found precisely in the fact that we are living on self-forgiveness and not a real forgiveness? Self forgiveness can never lead to a breach with sin…



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