how to cure perioral dermatitis what is sciatica pain what is valacyclovir for is ringworm always itchy cold turkey alcohol withdrawal croup in adults treatment purple and gray provigil and pregnancy how fast does cervical cancer grow is ethanol an alcohol inhaled corticosteroids brand names 500 mg ml meningitis vaccine for adults chemical burn on finger stratified columnar epithelium is loratadine safe for pregnancy vaginal blood blisters dry cough chest hurts potassium supplements overdose most powerful painkiller stye inside eye lid how many bones in your hands child with barking cough skin reaction to mold what is pneumoconiosis accurate temperature taking is sodium phosphate gluten free new city mri horny goat weed pill is metamucil good for ibs hard lump behind ear on skull what is busitis future side effects trigger point pain anal sex hemmorhoids hard cyst on foot gential herpes cure is lopid a statin lump floor of mouth clinical trials for weight loss drugs bcg vaccine and ppd best medication for arthritis duloxetine 20 mg capsule visible pulse in abdomen xanax trip report ovarian hyperstimulation symptoms hiv swollen glands white bumps on genitals fever under armpit list of medications that cause tremors cervical disc bulging auditory nerve damage symptoms roche 10 pill hives or bug bites spring valley fenugreek lean drug facts dosage of bactrim for uti chamomilla recutita flower extract paxil for ibs what is rsv symptoms best medicine for panic attacks glucosamine for arthritis antidepressants with dopamine can a fever cause a seizure epinastine ophthalmic solution adderall vs ritalin weight loss mid american research chemical pcsk9 side effects ways to take temperature pulled muscle in knee behind what causes fibrous breast tissue round white pill 44 352 long term use of viagra gabapentin withdrawal symptoms mayo clinic blood blisters on skin best cream for psoriasis ace cough symptoms activated charcoal for gas and bloating hypoglycemia vs diabetes lexapro black box warning treating genital warts atelectasis is most commonly caused by adderall xr package insert sertaline side effects lyme disease bites pictures que es la insulina sodium and joint pain swollen eyes sinus infection yellow dock plant lysine for canker sores torsion medical definition drug imprint code big nose disease biore blemish fighting ice cleanser dosages of wellbutrin gastritis back pain after eating perimenopause pregnancy risk chest pain from heartburn brown spots on forehead symptoms of strep in infants im going insane red face cure thc detection times in urine zeel by heel benefits of cumin powder are vitamins fda approved definition of influenced otc appetite suppressants that really work pain pill vicodin reason for nose bleeding vicodin withdrawal symptoms timeline oxycodone 48 10 how to ease asthma without inhaler can i drink alcohol with zoloft constipation in teenagers what to take for anemia angina of the heart vancomycin and breastfeeding yellow capsule g 5027 signs of staph infection in finger definition of navel how do you get c difficile top sexually transmitted diseases 5 weeks pregnant bleeding no cramps duloxetine mechanism of action aleve allergic reaction symptoms stomach hurts after drinking water period came 3 days early corner of eyelid sore single testicle pain m4 white pill bump near butthole what are ringers lactulose solution side effects benadryl sexual side effects burning hands and feet at night treatments for delirium what is amitriptyline used for two weeks late on period umbilical hernia baby pain thyroid and dry mouth why do teeth hurt vicodin for dental pain muscles burning sensation eleutherococcus senticosus benefits postmenopausal progesterone treatment drug related deaths feeling of full bladder patient teaching for small bowel obstruction is there opium in poppy seeds blow is slang for what drug zantac heart palpitations what causes esophagus pain what is fibrin upper resperatory infection severe stomach pain after bowel movement white viginal discharge side effects of maxalt 10 mg round dry patches on skin headache above the ear celecoxib other drugs in same class otc ringworm treatment for dogs isotonic saline solution meds to increase blood pressure all natural muscle relaxers neck pain and chest pain what is a pyelonephritis shoulder separation recovery time fungus in skin folds adverse effects of clozapine a sorbic acid baking soda label diclofenac sodium vs naproxen efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir recommended daily dose of cinnamon what kind of pill is m365 strep and cough atrial septal defect in infants oncoming cold sore end-stage kidney disease walgreens 5 htp xanax in urine drug screen when should you get flu shot hyperglycemia without diabetes hand foot and mouth baby stomach asleep after surgery define paw paw what is percocet pediatric potpourri 2016 max chlorhexidine 4 shampoo muscle relaxer or anti inflammatory symptoms of sprained ankle short acting insulin peak sinus infection clear mucus my feet feel hot 7 days late on my period possibility of getting pregnant plan b and period late squamish cancer cells pyridium dosage for uti definition of hyperthermia thrombotic vs embolic stroke testical removal surgery pill 54 157 dry mouth numb tongue ssd silver sulfadiazine cream a dry mouth what does swimmers itch look like xanax school bus benzene side effects k dur 20 meq side effects of antacid preparations include what is chloride in blood work ptsd vs bipolar disorder maximum acetaminophen dose hip bursitis causes adenosine generic name activated charcoal pills benefits where are female hormones produced cardiac valve replacement cr medical term side effects of benzoyl peroxide does adderall burn fat peri definition medical medications for epilepsy abscess tooth pain relief fluticasone-salmeterol metoprolol side effects weight gain stretching the esophagus how to use proactiv repairing treatment side effects of enbrel and methotrexate bad cramps 2 weeks before period paraumbilical hernia in adults symptoms prednisone for psoriasis treatment can prednisone cause seizures constant feeling of water in ear panacur c for dogs adderall adhd adults pill esophagitis treatment rogaine before and after beard steroids side effects women treatment for canine distemper signs of protein in urine pregnancy start vs begin neosporin with pain relief allergic reactions on skin pt lab work spontaneous pulmonary embolism breastfeeding and drinking chest sinks in pulmonary histiocytosis x broke your neck patella tendon pain prednisone for sinuses what to do about swollen gums cross tops drugs over the counter tretinoin cream sick sinus rhythm sudden stomach cramps 120 over 85 blood pressure drugs in blood test type 3 diabetes mayo clinic lorazepam and weight loss paroxetine mechanism of action can you have black eyes abreva does it work clotted blood in stool treating vaginal thrush ear not draining methamphetamine detox medication causes for daily headaches migraine causing vomiting what are track marks risks of hepatitis b vaccine help paying for methadone treatment black eye after head injury is calcium carbonate a mixture when your tailbone hurts foods to avoid diarrhea what is rapaflo white pill 61 60 therapeutic pt inr vitamins and supplements for depression once a week vitamin d pill what is levocetirizine what causes phlegm in chest broken thumb pictures swollen neck lymph nodes red lines coming from wound is estradiol a steroid panadol multi symptom generic for dilantin cozaar prescribing information heart rate lowering medications headache in right temple what are chills caused from nicotinic cholinergic receptor signs of aging tl 382 pill trazadone for anxiety 8 months baby food chart sprained acl recovery time uti treatment amoxicillin methadone withdrawal symptoms list why is shingles called shingles eye hurts and is swollen shoulder cuff muscles meningitis in child diet pills approved by the fda coppertone wet n clear turmeric and coumadin tendonitis in neck and shoulder lymes disease mayo clinic side effects from garcinia cambogia depakote er vs depakote dr rashes that look like poison ivy flexeril overdose amount what is neuroleptic malignant syndrome lymph node trabeculae white spots in your throat what diclofenac used for fishy pussy smell list of nsaid drugs puberty before and after microgestin fe 1 20 ingredients 5 ft 5 in to cm is aspirin bad for your kidneys supra vena cava syndrome oral medication for toenail fungus herpes fever duration over the counter viagra for women low thyroid and weight gain lead levels in adults cat scratch itchy type of growth flovent discount card chlorambucil for cats testicle moves up 128 over 86 blood pressure flat warts on legs directions for nasonex question mark on a pregnancy test white pill i9 passing tissue during your period fentanyl vs percocet why do we need vitamin k what makes your nipples sore walgreens mineral oil prednisone for skin rash infant adoption ohio methotrexate 2.5 mg at home toothache remedy human parvo symptoms in adults does nix kill scabies noritate cream reviews ezcema on lips muscle twitching sleep hellp stands for green tea and stomach ache no concentrated sweet diet t-stat how common are warts blood clot in stomach cold sinus headache herpes on ear propecia before after ella morning after pill side effects dr sherbondy greenville sc how much tylenol can you take pain in the lower stomach red itchy face rash rock sauce ingredients drug time chart swollen shoulder blade taking radial pulse zicam gel swabs rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath benadryl while pregnant where can i get xanax que es un prolapso percocets 10 mg types of insulin oxy 40 street price high blood pressure late in pregnancy what has zinc xanax how long in system javery pain clinic plan b one step rite aid petit mal seizure definition vitamina b12 efectos secundarios uterine prolapse during pregnancy is it an ulcer high bood pressure wheelchair to car transfer lift albuterol sulfate weight loss smoking before tonsillectomy sinus pain no mucus acacia scientific name chronic constipation and colon cancer list calcium channel blockers quinolones side effects withdrawal from opiates timeline how to get benzos ph of vancomycin symptoms of drug allergy lichen planus symptoms high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction will ibuprofen help a sore throat bv pain during intercourse sore throat chloraseptic can you drink when taking amoxicillin bump on scalp wont go away serotonin receptor antagonist is posion ivy contagious black blood blister in mouth 1 month detox period and menopause how hot is 38 degrees celsius my panties always have discharge ingredients in amoxicillin soft foods for dinner side effects of colon cancer weaning off sleeping pills what should you eat when pregnant small hard bumps on fingers avelox side effect treating graves disease cold chest congestion restless leg syndrome causes natural cures cocoa processed with alkali side effects anxiety group poem sulfate side effects side effects of atarax 25 mg pregnancy quad screen what is ruptured eardrum sciatic pain in foot safe wart removal during pregnancy sciatic back pain relief short term effects of heroines drug called sherm how to do tracheostomy positive anticardiolipin antibody pain medication for headaches tough guy products hair thinning at crown hypotension medical definition why does my face look puffy well child checks babylon 5 youtube is hypothyroidism an autoimmune disease tamm horsfall protein picture of percocet 10 testosterone side effects in women cortisone for heat rash fertile after birth treatment for acute renal failure small round white pill m 321 list of food low in potassium glutamine and pregnancy safe cold medicine for toddlers small blisters on lips eustacian tube pain wellbutrin and lexapro weight loss stye eye wash does tinea versicolor itch symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome singulair brand name definition of a yeast infection define postural hypotension what happens when you snort lexapro depo-provera definition how long can you ovulate for terazosin 1 mg side effects for cialis costochondritis pain locations heartburn medication pantoprazole effects of quitting nicotine how to get herpes on lips what is alkylating agents terrible period pain low blood sugar shaky hands soy lecithin uses back and chest pain together diarrhea mucus stool what is dtp immunization how does tricor work guanfacine 1 mg for adhd how fast does zyrtec work impacted tooth infection pain under nail ways to flush your system ketamine other drugs in same class taking half a viagra roxy 30 street value cortisone for eczema dry sinus infection how to treat nail psoriasis what are antacids used for hair vitamins gnc aspirin 324 mg


SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS OF SINS

Scripture

  1. Jesus Christ Granted the Apostles His Authority to Forgive Sins
  2. The Necessity and Practice of Orally Confessing Sins

Tradition / Church Fathers

  1. The Early Church’s Practice of Oral Confession

Back · Home · Next
 


Scripture

I. Jesus Christ Granted the Apostles His Authority to Forgive Sins

John 20:21 - before He grants them the authority to forgive sins, Jesus says to the apostles, "as the Father sent me, so I send you." As Christ was sent by the Father to forgive sins, so Christ sends the apostles and their successors forgive sins.

John 20:22 - the Lord "breathes" on the apostles, and then gives them the power to forgive and retain sins. The only other moment in Scripture where God breathes on man is in Gen. 2:7, when the Lord "breathes" divine life into man. When this happens, a significant transformation takes place.

John 20:23 - Jesus says, "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained." In order for the apostles to exercise this gift of forgiving sins, the penitents must orally confess their sins to them because the apostles are not mind readers. The text makes this very clear.

Matt. 9:8 - this verse shows that God has given the authority to forgive sins to "men." Hence, those Protestants who acknowledge that the apostles had the authority to forgive sins (which this verse demonstrates) must prove that this gift ended with the apostles. Otherwise, the apostles' successors still possess this gift. Where in Scripture is the gift of authority to forgive sins taken away from the apostles or their successors?

Matt. 9:6; Mark 2:10 - Christ forgave sins as a man (not God) to convince us that the "Son of man" has authority to forgive sins on earth.

Luke 5:24 - Luke also points out that Jesus' authority to forgive sins is as a man, not God. The Gospel writers record this to convince us that God has given this authority to men. This authority has been transferred from Christ to the apostles and their successors.

Matt. 18:18 - the apostles are given authority to bind and loose. The authority to bind and loose includes administering and removing the temporal penalties due to sin. The Jews understood this since the birth of the Church.

John 20:22-23; Matt. 18:18 - the power to remit/retain sin is also the power to remit/retain punishment due to sin. If Christ's ministers can forgive the eternal penalty of sin, they can certainly remit the temporal penalty of sin (which is called an "indulgence").

2 Cor. 2:10 - Paul forgives in the presence of Christ (some translations refer to the presences of Christ as "in persona Christi"). Some say that this may also be a reference to sins.

2 Cor. 5:18 - the ministry of reconciliation was given to the ambassadors of the Church. This ministry of reconciliation refers to the sacrament of reconciliation, also called the sacrament of confession or penance.

James 5:15-16 - in verse 15 we see that sins are forgiven by the priests in the sacrament of the sick. This is another example of man's authority to forgive sins on earth. Then in verse 16, James says “Therefore, confess our sins to one another,” in reference to the men referred to in verse 15, the priests of the Church.

1 Tim. 2:5 - Christ is the only mediator, but He was free to decide how His mediation would be applied to us. The Lord chose to use priests of God to carry out His work of forgiveness.

Lev. 5:4-6; 19:21-22 - even under the Old Covenant, God used priests to forgive and atone for the sins of others.

Top

 


II. The Necessity and Practice of Orally Confessing Sins

James 5:16 - James clearly teaches us that we must “confess our sins to one another,” not just privately to God. James 5:16 must be read in the context of James 5:14-15, which is referring to the healing power (both physical and spiritual) of the priests of the Church. Hence, when James says “therefore” in verse 16, he must be referring to the men he was writing about in verses 14 and 15 – these men are the ordained priests of the Church, to whom we must confess our sins.

Acts 19:18 - many came to orally confess sins and divulge their sinful practices. Oral confession was the practice of the early Church just as it is today.

Matt. 3:6; Mark 1:5 - again, this shows people confessing their sins before others as an historical practice (here to John the Baptist).

1 Tim. 6:12 - this verse also refers to the historical practice of confessing both faith and sins in the presence of many witnesses.

1 John 1:9 - if we confess are sins, God is faithful to us and forgives us and cleanse us. But we must confess our sins to one another.

Num. 5:7 - this shows the historical practice of publicly confessing sins, and making public restitution.

2 Sam. 12:14 - even though the sin is forgiven, there is punishment due for the forgiven sin. David is forgiven but his child was still taken (the consequence of his sin).

Neh. 9:2-3 - the Israelites stood before the assembly and confessed sins publicly and interceded for each other.

Sir. 4:26 - God tells us not to be ashamed to confess our sins, and not to try to stop the current of a river. Anyone who has experienced the sacrament of reconciliation understands the import of this verse.

Baruch 1:14 - again, this shows that the people made confession in the house of the Lord, before the assembly.

1 John 5:16-17; Luke 12:47-48 - there is a distinction between mortal and venial sins. This has been the teaching of the Catholic Church for 2,000 years, but, today, most Protestants no longer agree that there is such a distinction. Mortal sins lead to death and must be absolved in the sacrament of reconciliation. Venial sins do not have to be confessed to a priest, but the pious Catholic practice is to do so in order to advance in our journey to holiness.

Matt. 5:19 - Jesus teaches that breaking the least of commandments is venial sin (the person is still saved but is least in the kingdom), versus mortal sin (the person is not saved).

Top


Tradition / Church Fathers


I. The Early Church’s Practice of Oral Confession

Do not come to prayer with a guilty conscience." Epistle of Barnabas, 19:12 (A.D. 74).

“In church confess your sins, and do not come to your prayer with a guilt conscience. Such is the Way of Life...On the Lord's own day, assemble in common to break bread and offer thanks; but first confess your sins, so that your sacrifice may be pure." Didache, 4:14,14:1 (c. A.D. 90).

"Moreover, it is in accordance with reason that we should return to soberness[of conduct], and, while yet we have opportunity, exercise repentance towards God. It is well to reverence both God and the bishop." Ignatius, Epistle to the Smyraeans, 9 (c. A.D. 110).

"Moreover, that this Marcus compounds philters and love-potions, in order to insult the persons of some of these women, if not of all, those of them who have returned to the Church of God--a thing which frequently occurs--have acknowledged, confessing, too, that they have been defiled by him, and that they were filled with a burning passion towards him. A sad example of this occurred in the case of a certain Asiatic, one of our deacons, who had received him (Marcus) into his house. His wife, a woman of remarkable beauty, fell a victim both in mind and body to this magician, and, for a long time, travelled about with him. At last, when, with no small difficulty, the brethren had converted her, she spent her whole time in the exercise of public confession, weeping over and lamenting the defilement which she had received from this magician." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1:13 (A.D. 180).

"Such are the words and deeds by which, in our own district of the Rhone, they have deluded many women, who have their consciences seared as with a hot iron. Some of them, indeed, make a public confession of their sins; but others of them are ashamed to do this, and in a tacit kind of way, despairing of [attaining to] the life of God, have, some of them, apostatized altogether; while others hesitate between the two courses, and incur that which is implied in the proverb, 'neither without nor within;' possessing this as the fruit from the seed of the children of knowledge." Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1:13 (A.D. 180).

"Father who knowest the hearts of all grant upon this Thy servant whom Thou hast chosen for the episcopate to feed Thy holy flock and serve as Thine high priest, that he may minister blamelessly by night and day, that he may unceasingly behold and appropriate Thy countenance and offer to Thee the gifts of Thy holy Church. And that by the high priestly Spirit he may have authority to forgive sins..." Hippolytus, Apostolic Tradition, 3 (A.D. 215).

"The Pontifex Maximus--that is, the bishop of bishops--issues an edict: 'I remit, to such as have discharged (the requirements of) repentance, the sins both of adultery and of fornication.'" Tertullian, Modesty, 1 (A.D. 220).

"In addition to these there is also a seventh, albeit hard and laborious: the remission of sins through penance...when he does not shrink from declaring his sin to a priest of the Lord." Origen, Homilies on Leviticus, 2:4 (A.D. 248).

"For although in smaller sins sinners may do penance for a set time, and according to the rules of discipline come to public confession, and by imposition of the hand of the bishop and clergy receive the right of communion: now with their time still unfulfilled, while persecution is still raging, while the peace of the Church itself is not vet restored, they are admitted to communion, and their name is presented; and while the penitence is not yet performed, confession is not yet made, the hands Of the bishop and clergy are not yet laid upon them, the eucharist is given to them; although it is written, 'Whosoever shall eat the bread and drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.'" Cyprian, To the Clergy, 9 (16):2 (A.D. 250).

"Moreover, how much are they both greater in faith and better in their fear, who, although bound by no crime of sacrifice to idols or of certificate, yet, since they have even thought of such things, with grief and simplicity confess this very thing to God's priests, and make the conscientious avowal, put off from them the load of their minds, and seek out the salutary medicine even for slight and moderate wounds, knowing that it is written, 'God is not mocked.' God cannot be mocked, nor deceived, nor deluded by any deceptive cunning. Yea, he sins the more, who, thinking that God is like man, believes that he evades the penalty of his crime if he has not openly admitted his crime…I entreat you, beloved brethren, that each one should confess his own sin, while he who has sinned is still in this world, while his confession may be received, while the satisfaction and remission made by the priests are pleasing to the Lord?" Cyprian, To the Lapsed, 28-29 (A.D. 251).

"It is necessary to confess our sins to those whom the dispensation of God's mysteries is entrusted." Basil, Rule Briefly Treated, 288 (A.D. 374).

"These are capital sins, brethren, these are mortal." Pacian of Barcelona, Penance, 4 (A.D. 385).

"For if any one will consider how great a thing it is for one, being a man, and compassed with flesh and blood, to be enabled to draw nigh to that blessed and pure nature, he will then clearly see what great honor the grace of the Spirit has vouchsafed to priests; since by their agency these rites are celebrated, and others nowise inferior to these both in respect of our dignity and our salvation. For they who inhabit the earth and make their abode there are entrusted with the administration of things which are in Heaven, and have received an authority which God has not given to angels or archangels. For it has not been said to them, 'Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.' They who rule on earth have indeed authority to bind, but only the body: whereas this binding lays hold of the soul and penetrates the heavens; and what priests do here below God ratifies above, and the Master confirms the sentence of his servants. For indeed what is it but all manner of heavenly authority which He has given them when He says, 'Whose sins ye remit they are remitted, and whose sins ye retain they are retained?' What authority could be greater than this? 'The Father hath committed all judgment to the Son?' But I see it all put into the hands of these men by the Son." John Chrysostom, The Priesthood, 3:5 (A.D. 387).

"The Church holds fast its obedience on either side, by both retaining and remitting sin; heresy is on the one side cruel, and on the other disobedient; wishes to bind what it will not loosen, and will not loosen what it has bound, whereby it condemns itself by its own sentence. For the Lord willed that the power of binding and of loosing should be alike, and sanctioned each by a similar condition…Each is allowed to the Church, neither to heresy, for this power has been entrusted to priests alone. Rightly, therefore, does the Church claim it, which has true priests; heresy, which has not the priests of God, cannot claim it. And by not claiming this power heresy pronounces its own sentence, that not possessing priests it cannot claim priestly power. And so in their shameless obstinacy a shamefaced acknowledgment meets our view. Consider, too, the point that he who has received the Holy Ghost has also received the power of forgiving and of retaining sin. For thus it is written: 'Receive the Holy Spirit: whosesoever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven unto them, and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.' So, then, he who has not received power to forgive sins has not received the Holy Spirit. The office of the priest is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and His right it is specially to forgive and to retain sins. How, then, can they claim His gift who distrust His power and His right?" Ambrose, Concerning Repentance, I:7-8 (A.D. 388).

"All mortal sins are to be submitted to the keys of the Church and all can be forgiven; but recourse to these keys is the only, the necessary, and the certain way to forgiveness. Unless those who are guilty of grievous sin have recourse to the power of the keys, they cannot hope for eternal salvation. Open your lips, them, and confess your sins to the priest. Confession alone is the true gate to Heaven." Augustine, Christian Combat (A.D. 397).

"Just as in the Old Testament the priest makes the leper clean or unclean, so in the New Testament the bishop and presbyter binds or looses not those who are innocent or guilty, but by reason of their office, when they have heard various kinds of sins, they know who is to be bound and who loosed." Jerome, Commentary on Matthew, 3:16,19 (A.D. 398).

Top


Copyright 2001 - 2007 © by John Salza. All Rights Reserved.
johnsalza@scripturecatholic.com