Article Display
Email  |  My Account  |  Donate
What is the Bible referring to when it says we should confess our sins one to another (James 5:16)?

Let's review the text to which you refer in its context. I have found the New King James version of the Bible to be most accurate regarding this verse.
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.

And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
(James 5:14-16 NKJV)
In verse fifteen, the word sin is translated from the Greek word "harmatia." This word means "to sin." It covers any type of sin.

In verse sixteen, the word trespass (sin in many translations) is translated from the Greek word "paratoma." This word is always referring to a trespass that a person commits that offends or affects another person in a negative way. These two words can be seen in the same verse in Ephesians 2:1.

In James 5:15, we are being told that any sin we have committed will be forgiven when we are anointed with oil. In verse 16, we are being told to confess our trespasses, if we have sinned against each other, and then pray for each other to be healed.

I believe many Christians can't receive healing because of harboring unforgiveness. This verse is telling us to deal with unforgiveness. I don't believe it is a good practice to confess any sin to just anyone. If you have harmed a person by your sin, then this verse says to repent and confess it to them.

Copyright © Bible Answers Foundation
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Joseph Cameneti
Web site: Believers Church
Joe Cameneti Sr. is the lead pastor of Believers Church, located in his hometown of Warren, Ohio. Pastor Joe, along with his wife Gina, pioneered Believers Church in 1983 following his graduation from Bible School. In addition to leading a thriving local church, Pastor Joe is the host of a weekly show called "BCTV." The program is aired locally, reaching over 30,000 people each month. Pastor Joe is a gifted communicator, skilled in the art of building bridges to unchurched America. Transparent and authentic, you'll walk away challenged and encouraged to connect with God in a deeper way.

About Us

The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

At cfaith, you can strengthen your faith and deepen your understanding of the Word of God by digging into the vast collection of teaching articles, streaming audio and video messages, and daily devotionals. No other website offers such a unique and extensive collection of spiritual-growth resources aimed at helping you grow in your knowledge of the Word.




Support Us

Why support cfaith?

(All contributions are 100% tax deductible)


For every Internet search you make using
goodsearch, cfaith will receive one penny!

GS Logo 250x38

Contact Us

Business Hours:

Monday—Friday: 9 a.m.—5 p.m. CST
Saturday & Sunday: Closed


(763) 488-7800 or (800) 748-8107

Mailing Address:
9201 75th Avenue North
Brooklyn Park, MN 55428


Login Form

Please ignore the “Secret Key” field; it is not needed to log in to cfaith.

Login Change Article

You need to enable user registration from User Manager/Options in the backend of Joomla before this module will activate.