CONFESSION

Protestants have a hard time thinking that a man can give absolution for another’s sins. They claim there is only one mediator between God and man: Jesus (1 Tim 2:5).  

- Catholics believe Christ gave His apostles the power to forgive sins, a power that has been handed down for generations through apostolic succession. The sacrament of reconciliation is Christ’s gift to us. The root of all sin is pride; its antidote is humility. Confessing one’s sins to God’s appointed representative is thoroughly biblical, and calls for tremendous humility. The priest does not act on his own. He acts in the name of God and on behalf of His Church, administering God’s forgiveness (absolution), The sacrament of Confession wipes away our sins, increases sanctifying grace, and reunites us with Christ and His Church.

CONFESSION IS NOT A PRIVATE AFFAIR IN THE BIBLE

Lev 5:14-26 (Public confession with animal sacrifices.)

Num 5:6-7 “man.. .commits a fault. . he shall confess the wrong he has done”

Matt 3:6 “baptized by him,. as they acknowledged their sins”

Acts 19:18 “believers came forward and openly acknowledged their former practices” (i.e. they confessed)

James 5:16 “confess your sins to one another, that you may be healed.”

(See also: Lev 26:39-42; Psalm 32:3-5; Prov 28:13; Mark 1:5)

JESUS HAS POWER TO FORGIVE SINS

Matt 9:1-8 (Healing of paralytic — “which is easier to say, your sins are forgiven.”)

Mark 2:10 (Jesus says Son of Man has authority to forgive sins

on earth.)

Luke 7:48 “He said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’”

(See also: Acts 2:38; 1 John 1:9)

JESUS GIVES HIS POWER TO FORGIVE SINS TO HIS PRIESTS

John 20:23 “whose sins you forgive are forgiven them … , whose sins you retain are retained.”

Matt 16:19 (Jesus gives apostles power to bind and loose sins.)

Matt 18:18 “whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven”

2 Cor 5:18 “God.. has reconciled us to himself.. given us the ministry of reconciliation”

James 5:14-15 “presbyters of the church., ,pray over him,.. he will be forgiven”

(See also: Luke 22:29-30; James 5:16)

JESUS CONTINUES EXAMPLE OF PRIESTLY FORGIVENESS IN OT

Lev 4:20 “priest shall make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven”

Lev 5:14-26 (Sin offerings brought to OT priests, who make atonement for sinners’ forgiveness.)

(See also: Lev 4:13-21, 27-35, 5:5; Num 5:8)

AFTER FORGIVENESS, THE NEED FOR REPARATION CAN REMAIN

Luke 19:8—9 (Jesus praises Zacchaeus for his promise of reparation for his sin.)

PENANCE AS SATISFACTION FOR SINS

Matt 3:8 “Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.”

2 Cor 7:10 “godly sorrow produces a salutary repentance without regret”

(See also: Luke 3:8: Acts 2:38)


Reference


The Bible Thumper - Ascension Press 2004