I think it first starts with what what do we do on Sunday and it’s first from what we do on Sunday then, that affects the other things not just the confession of sins, why do we preach a sermon, why do we sing and all of those kinds of things.
So, what we do on Sunday, you know the church is a body of people of Christ structured in a particular way to achieve God’s mission, to grow spiritually and to bring offering of worship to God. So, we are to gather together, we are structured in a particular way to achieve God’s mission but to grow spiritually and also bring our offering of worship to God.
So, on Sunday what we do is a worship gathering, obviously there are other things we do on other days of the week but what we do is a worship service. So, the main reason why we gather is to worship God. Right? When we come into the presence of God, if you notice we start with a call to worship. Because it’s a worship service, we are calling ourselves from wherever we have been to come and worship God and the first thing we then do is to sing God’s praises and adoration, that is, we start with God and we say who is this God, what has the bible said about Him. Now, we sing then because the bible tells us that not only should we communicate in speaking, we should communicate in singing.
Now, when we do that and we’ve just beheld the glory of God, it should tell us about who we are. You know that song that we sang in response, it says “here I am, knowing I am a sinful man”. It’s talking about majesty, majesty. The majesty of God reminds him that he’s a sinful man. So, the reason why we confess our sin is not because as christians we don’t believe that we have moved from a status where our sin has condemned us to a status where christ has made us righteous. But being made righteous in Christ doesn’t mean that we live righteously all the time. We just don’t. That’s just the truth. We sin so when we have seen the majesty of God, we are reminded of the sins that we also have committed but the good thing about the worship of God, when we confess our sins is that we also remember this is a merciful God.
When we think about the way the gospel works, it starts with God, it then comes to sin in man, and then comes to Christ, and then comes to our response which is the way our service is actually structured if you notice. God in our singing and adoration, man and our sin in our confession of sin, then Christ which takes us to the section of the word: confessing what we believe, Citykidz, the bible reading and our preaching. And then response in praying, in giving, in singing again and then we are commissioned, that’s the benediction.
So, we try to structure our service in the gospel but then we use elements of the gospel. The final thing i’ll say on the confession is this, it’s a collective worship it’s not an individual worship. When we gather together, we’re not individually trying to worship God because you can do that at home, we are expressing a collective worship as a body to God. That’s why the confessions are written because the confessions help us to collectively say the same thing. Now many times you are given a moment to reflect so that you can say your own personal thing but the reason why it’s written, so that we say together is that it expresses our collectiveness. It is City Church confessing our sin to God and then receiving the pardon of God. So, I hope that helps. I’m not saying every church must do it, but we feel that that’s something that enables us to express the gospel in a vivid way.
Answered by Femi Osunnuyi, Lead Pastor of City Church, Lagos.