Updated: Dec 20, 2019
It has been such a fantastic experience of learning and growing together in the Coptic Orthodox faith. It’s been a profound experience on this blog and one can only look forward to more engagement that will benefit our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In this article, we are going to touch on another important aspect of our faith which, is the subject of confession.
To begin with, repentance is an important pillar in Christianity. At the point of repentance, a sinner recognizes their sin and opens up to God for forgiveness through the price paid by Christ on the cross. The Coptic church’s teachings regard repentance as a process and one of the crucial parts of repentance is the confession of sins.
Let us explain.
Repentance is the change of heart of mind and heart of someone who has realized their weakness as a human. Repentance is submitting your shortcomings to God with purity of heart and a longing to be better acquainted with God. Repentance is sought by someone who has realized that without God, they cannot live a life full of joy and gladness. However, repentance cannot happen unless the individual is first aware of their sins, hates the sins, and is willing to overcome the sins by confessing them.
Now, you will agree with us that the subject of confession is another part of the Coptic Orthodox faith believed to be shrouded in mystery. The truth, however, shows that it is not so. Most Christians have only failed to adhere to the very instructions of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The practice of confession is found everywhere in the new testament. In the book of Matthew chapter 3:5, we see St. John the Baptist lifting his voice and admonishing his listeners to confess their sins. Likewise, Christ in Matthew 18:18, and John 20:22-23, Jesus Christ speaking to his disciples confirmed that when people confess sins to them, they can forgive sins. St. John the Baptist laid down the path for confession, Jesus Christ taught his disciples, and the apostles practiced confession of sins as seen in Acts 19:18.
Confession either to yourself or to the priest, or God, is, however, void if done without repentance.
The Coptic Church believes that forgiveness of sins begins in the heart of any man who is desirous of an active fellowship with God; however, they must maintain a truly sorry disposition, desire not to sin again, and pray for repentance. When an individual has found a means of expression in these ways, then they can be ready for confession in the presence of a priest.
Many Christian folks fault confessing before a priest, but the Coptic church regards priests as essential links between man and God. Priests are equipped to communicate the mysteries of God with salvation inclusive. When we confess before priests, we strip off our shame and embarrassment, and we are allowed to pick on humility that is essential for a long-lasting fellowship with God.
See our friends, confession is letting go, opening up your vulnerabilities before God and man (the priest). The priest is also there to guide, mentor, advise, and offer prayers on behalf of anyone who comes to confession with all sense of repentance.
Here’s how to confess the right way.
Conduct a personal examination of your life. Be open and honest with your failings and weaknesses. Admit your guilt without excuses.
Be ready to expose your deepest secrets from the depth of your heart. You should be prepared to stay clear of sin and refuse to wear it as one of your identities.
Take time to document your confession before arriving in the presence of the priest. If you must, write down your confessions so that you will not miss any of it.
Find the right confession, Father. It is essential to know that the Father can answer questions and give adequate advice.Meditate before confessing.
Listen to the Father after confessing, and follow his instructions.
Pray and fellowship more with God.
Above all, confession is not just one of the seven sacraments of the Coptic Orthodox church, it is an express instruction from the Lord Jesus Christ through whom men receive salvation from sins.