What is confession?
Confession has two parts.First,that we confess our sins,and
second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the
pastor as from God Himself,not doubting, but firmly believing
that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.1
It is hard to say,”I was wrong. I am sorry. Forgive me.”
God’s Word makes it clear that the “wages of sin is death”
(Rom.6:23).In confession and absolution,God’s Word is having
its way with us,moving us to confess the truth about ourselves
and our need for His forgiveness.
Because of Jesus Christ, confession and absolution is a
blessed, joyful,happy exchange! “For our sake He made Him to
be sin,who knew no sin,so that in Him we might become the
righteousness of God”(2 Cor. 5:21).When Jesus hung on the
cross,He became sin for us.He was the ransom for sin.God
poured out His just wrath on Christ.Christ won peace between
God and man. In confession,Christ takes the burden of our sin
and gives us in exchange His complete forgiveness and love.
Absolution is the ongoing work of Holy Baptism,in which
our old,sinful nature in Adam is drowned and the new man in
Christ arises.Through Holy Absolution we receive “the gift of
God,”which is forgiveness of sins and “eternal life in Christ
Jesus our Lord”(Rom.6:23).
What sins should we confess?
Before God we should plead guilty of all sins, even those we
are not aware of,as we do in the Lord’s Prayer; but before the pastor
we should confess only those sins which we know and feel in
our hearts.Which are these? Consider your place in life according
to the Ten Commandments:Are you a father,mother, son,
daughter,husband,wife,or worker? Have you been disobedient,
unfaithful,or lazy? Have you been hot-tempered, rude,or quarrelsome?
Have you hurt someone by your words or deeds? Have
you stolen,been negligent,wasted anything or done any harm?
Confessing our sins in the Divine Service, we hear the
Lord’s servant, our pastor, absolve our sins in the name of
Christ.Privately,we go to the pastor for confession and absolution
precisely for those sins we are most aware of and those
sins that are particularly troubling to us.These we confess to
our pastor and hear the words of Christ,”I forgive you.”
By what authority does the church forgive sins?
The Office of the Keys is that special authority which Christ
http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/med … lution.pdf