The meaning of "Confess your sins, one to another"


#1

Confession to others is necessary in order to gain or keep God’s acceptance. According to Catholic doctrine, the priest has divine authority to dispense God’s forgiveness through the sacrament of confession and penance (CCC1486) Unless you are willing to confess your sins to a priest and follow his instructions on doing penance, you cannot be forgiven by God.

This teaching directly contradicts the main message of the New Testament. The good news is not that God doles out forgiveness week by week through a priest prescribing penance–but that God grants you complete and permanent forgiveness once and for all when you confess your guilt before him and receive Christ’s full payment for it (read Rom. 5:1). This is the basis for all biblical confession to other people. When you have received Christ and know that God now accepts you apart from your works, you can afford to be honest with him and other people. If you want to experience the benefits of confession to other people, you first need to experience the benefit of God’s complete forgiveness.


#2

Taken from the CCC, all Paragraphs as a whole:

1485 “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week,” Jesus showed himself to his apostles.** “He breathed on them, and said to them: 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”’ **(Jn 20:19, 22-23).

Forgiveness is a right (as well as a Rite :stuck_out_tongue: ) conferred to Priests (as well as other Authorities in the Church) by God.

1486 The forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism is conferred by a particular sacrament called the sacrament of conversion, confession, penance, or reconciliation.

It is meant for sins committed after baptism - which is AFTER acceptance of Christ, and the consequential ‘initial’ forgiveness conferred at that time, which is meant for Original sin, as well as any committed prior to the first confession. Note also that the Sacrament of confession is not (so far as I am aware I am a convert as of '06) instituted upon people until after the age of reason, and catechism, at which time Communion is also available.

1487 The sinner wounds God’s honor and love, his own human dignity as a man called to be a son of God, and the spiritual well-being of the Church, of which each Christian ought to be a living stone.

Sin is abhorrent to God, “The wages of Sin is death” do you think this only applies to those who ‘were’ guilty of sin? Or does this point blank statement also include those who - by our fallen nature - continue to commit sin?

1491 The sacrament of Penance is a whole consisting in three actions of the penitent and the priest’s absolution. The penitent’s acts are repentance, confession or disclosure of sins to the priest, and the intention to make reparation and do works of reparation.

“Works of reparation” also include going back to the person(s) you harmed and apologizing or making right the act you committed. Not just ‘3 Hail Mary’s’ and an ‘Our father’.

1492 Repentance (also called contrition) must be inspired by motives that arise from faith. If repentance arises from love of charity for God, it is called “perfect” contrition; if it is founded on other motives, it is called “imperfect.”

Faith is always the foundation of repentance - without it, confession is useless.

1494 The confessor proposes the performance of certain acts of “satisfaction” or “penance” to be performed by the penitent in order to repair the harm caused by sin and to re-establish habits befitting a disciple of Christ.

See above

EpistemesThis is the basis for all biblical confession to other people

Correct - so then why did you state also:

The good news is not that God doles out forgiveness week by week through a priest prescribing penance–but that God grants you complete and permanent forgiveness once and for all when you confess your guilt before him and receive Christ’s full payment for it

?

Because that only applies to Original Sin Not what sins we commit after that.

You list yourself as a Catholic but… :confused:

Peace :blessyou:

John


#3

Scott Hahn says this:

It isn’t just me and Jesus. It is me and Jesus, but it isn’t just that! Jesus Christ has instituted the priesthood, and it’s through priestly absolution that we receive the grace of this sacrament because it’s through them that the oath is sworn and the grace is given.

Editted/Added Information:

We have to take a look at a few passages. First of all, Matthew 18. In Matthew 18, Jesus tells us how to deal with sin in the Church. He says, “If a brother sins against you, go to him privately and show him his fault, and if he repents, you’ve gained him back; but if he doesn’t listen, take one or two others along with you that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. It he refuses to listen to them, then tell it to the Church. If he refuses to listen even to the Church,” you could hear Christ’s emphasis, “EVEN to the CHURCH.” Can you imagine somebody not listening even to the Church – to an individual, sure. To two or three individuals, sure; but if he won’t listen even to the Church, Jesus says, “Let him be to you as a gentile and a tax collector.”

Why? Because Christ institutes, in the 20th chapter of John, the sacrament that we are speaking of.
…This is Christ in one of his resurrection appearances: “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you’.” He says this to the eleven Apostles, not to all of us indiscriminately, “‘As the Father has sent me, even so I send you,’ and when he has said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained. As the Father sent me, so I send you’.”

***Holy Healing ***
zuserver2.star.ucl.ac.uk/~vgg/rc/aplgtc/hahn/m5/scmnt5.html


#4

On the evening of the Resurrection, Jesus appeared in the midst of the apostles and said to them:

“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:21-23)

Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Elsewhere in the gospels, Jesus tells the apostles that the Father has sent him into the world with “all authority”. In like manner, Jesus commissions them with the authority He has been given – authority the apostles will need to carry out the mission He has entrusted them with.

Notice that Jesus prefaces his remarks about forgiveness by saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Fr. Dowling rightly notes here that the capacity to have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us is a far greater thing than the ability to forgive sins. If the former is possible, the latter does not seem impossible.

Unless we assume that Jesus has also given the apostles the ability to read minds, this passage presupposes that there is a hearing of the sins in order for a judgment to be made as to whether the sins should be forgiven or retained, depending on whether or not the person is truly sorry for his or her sins. Without sorrow for sins, there can be no forgiveness; even God cannot forgive an unrepentant sinner or hardened heart. In saying “if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven”, Jesus precludes the possible argument that He was merely giving the apostles the authority to preach the message of forgiveness. Clearly, the apostles were to judge and forgive or retain the sins of men.

Matthew’s Gospel provides another important passage revealing God’s intention for the power Jesus shares with His Church:

“Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” And the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.” (Matthew 9:2-8)

The central focus of this story is not the healing of the paralyzed man but the revelation of the authority of Jesus. Why does this passage indicate that this authority has been passed on to the Church? Verse eight says, “When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.” Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew records correctly that the authority to forgive sins had been given not to a single man, Jesus, but to men. We can know this because he is not quoting the comments of the crowd in this verse but ascribing to them the proper reason for why they were filled with awe. Additionally, we know that Matthew wrote this passage some 15-20 years after the event described thus giving us the assurance that he had plenty of time to reflect upon the truth of what he has just written and had seen the forgiveness of sins through confession in actual practice in the early Church. If this were not the case, then Matthew would not have written as he did.

(cont.)


#5

Paul also talks about the ministry of forgiveness that has been passed on from Jesus. In his second letter to the church in Corinth we read:

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)

Here Paul speaks of both the message and the ministry of reconciliation. Forgiveness of sins is proclaimed as part of the good news; actual reconciliation through confession and absolution is administered through the sacrament. In this way, the Church completes the mission of Jesus by preaching, by baptizing, and by forgiving sins.

Note, too, the use of the pronouns “we”, “us”, and “you” in this passage. When speaking strictly of the ministry of reconciliation, Paul says that God “gave us the ministry of reconciliation” and that “we are therefore Christ’s ambassadors as though God were making his appeal through us.” Then, he says “We implore you” to be reconciled. Clearly, there are two groups: those who have the ministry of reconciliation and those to whom he is speaking of being reconciled. The “you” – his audience – to whom he is speaking does not share in that ministry. Therefore, we can understand that some have the responsibility to reconcile men to God and some do not. This ministry is consistent with the function of the priesthood. For example, consider the following passage from the Gospel of Matthew:

“When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” (Matthew 8:1-4)

In this passage, we see that Jesus healed the man of leprosy, but He still directs the man to show himself to the priest at the temple and to offer the sacrifice commanded by the law. Why? First, in doing so, the man’s cure gave testimony about Jesus because the miracle performed was a sign of Christ’s divine nature. Second, the priest confirmed the healing and reconciled the man to society which he was then allowed to re-enter.

Confession to a priest is very similar to this. As Patrick Madrid notes in his book, Does the Bible Really Say That?, “No [one] can make a good sacramental confession without first confessing directly to God. Only then can one properly receive the sacrament of confession, receiving sacramental absolution from the priest, who ministers in persona Christi (in the person of Christ).” This refers back to the ministry of reconciliation Paul described above. Once the penitent has confessed his sin to God, shown himself to be truly contrite and received absolution (offering the sacrifice or penance prescribed by the priest), he is reconciled to both God and the Body of Christ and, in the case of grave matter, allowed to re-enter the sacramental life of the Church.

Finally, we read in the Letter of James (which Martin Luther called an “epistle of straw”):

“Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:14-16)

“Presbyter” is the word from which we get our English word “priest”. It means “elder”. James encourages us to call a priest to pray and anoint someone who is ill – a passage from which we get the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. The prayer of this righteous man will not only heal the sick, but will forgive any sins that they may have committed. This passage confirms the ministry of forgiveness of sins which the Church carries out in Christ’s name.

Hope this helps. :tiphat:


#6

Wong. This teaching of yours directly contradicts the very simple and pure New Testament message of the apostolic authority to forgive sins: Matthew 18:18 Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

Please stop teaching a different gospel from what the apostles taught or you will receive the apostolic curse:
Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! :mad:

James


#7

Easy on him James! :smiley:


#8

Technically I think its too late to recall - its allready incoming and on autopilot… oops :shrug:

James


#9

Keep in mind that we dont need to confess all of our sins to a priest, but only very serious sins that violate the ten commandments.

I cant see any harm in having to verbally confess serious sins to a member of the clergy. That seems like a good discipline to me. God can of course forgive somoene of mortal sins without them going to confession, as God is omnipotent.

The bible isn’t clear about whether someone can lose their salvation. There are passages that can support perserverence of the saints, and the possibility of losing salvation through sin.


#10

Nowhere in the Scripture is it recorded that men lined up to confess their sins to an Apostle in order to receive forgiveness of them. OTOH, it is recorded that the Apostles themselves declared the forgiveness of all sins upon FAITH in Jesus Christ:Acts 10:43 “Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

Acts 13:38 “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you,”

Acts 26:16-18 “‘But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the {Jewish} people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’”

Col 1:14 "…in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
The forgiveness of God toward sinners is a judicial pardon of a debtor in view of the FACT that his debt has been fully paid by Another (Col. 2:13-14). By gospel preaching, sinners are to be told that they may now stand forever pardoned before God; not because God is gracious enough to excuse their sins; but because there is plentiful redemption through the blood that has been shed:Eph 1:7 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.”


#11

No contradiction at all.

If Scripture tells us to confess to one another, why should we not do so?

Others have posted the warrant for approaching confession in the Church in the presence of a priest, so I won’t repeat that.

In the early Church, confessing “to one another” didn’t mean confessing to your best buddy, it meant confessing in the presence of the entire congregation; the priest was always there. Our practice of privately confessing to a priest simply narrows the definition of “one another” to its single essential component: the person with the authority of the Church to pronounce absolution. And aren’t we GLAD about that!

The Church quickly learned that the practice of open confession was keeping people away from the throne of grace out of shame and fear. So the discipline changed to allow private confession. Whew!

Moreover, there is the practical matter that priests are trained for this very sensitive personal ministry as the rest of us “one anothers” are not.


#12

Are you going down the same slippery slope to the pit that Luther went down to invent the demonic notion of auto-forgivness of sins while in the act of committing them? If you are then you are embracing the extremely evil and absurd false idea of Once Saved Always Saved (OSAS). We have annihilated this false doctrine at least a dozen times here at CAF since its the most easily defeated doctrine ever to come out of the scrupulous minds of Luther and his followers. There are literally hundreds of scripture verses that refute this false doctrine of man.

Sigh, some here would seem inclined to make the act of sin into a public testament of their faith in Jesus’ power to forgive. :rolleyes:

“Put not the Lord your God to the Test (of Mercy)”.

“God will not be mocked”

It’s absurd to imagine that salvation is automatic and sins are pre-forgiven. Why have free choice at all?

Sorry, your nihilistic vision of the world devoid of any authority and self accountability sounds fun in theory but is non-biblical. The hippies and flower children tried it and all the world got out that was an epidemic of syphilis and bastard children and a lost generation of souls too stoned out of their minds to care.

James


#13

Thank you James for your opinion. But I must take the Apostolic word for it:Acts 13:38 "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you,“Why? Because He has”…canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."This was the ancient way of publicly proclaiming that a debt was paid in full. It’s not at all a “slippery slope” and hardly nihilism; it’s the gospel (good news). It’s part of faith in Christ. Believing that His sacrificial death actually accomplished something. Not to just make Mel Gibson a wealthy man.


#14

But you can’t explain the contradictions with hundreds of other scriptures that contradict this absurdity can you?

I thought we had you converted last time we talked about this. I can’t spend another 2-3 weeks trying to convince you of your error. You simply don’t believe ALL of scripture. You can’t pick and choose what you want to hear. It all MUST agree. Explain the hundreds of contradictions.

Read Here if you want the truth - if not God have Mercy on You.
Once Saved, Always Saved?

SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS OF SINS

Top Ten Scriptures that Make Protestants Cringe in Befuddlement

James


#15

There are no contradictions to the gospel (good news) message of the forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ. Only misinterpretations of those Scriptures. Error begets error.

I thought we had you converted last time we talked about this.

Converted to what?

I can’t spend another 2-3 weeks trying to convince you of your error. You simply don’t believe ALL of scripture.

I do believe ALL of Scripture, beginning with the message:Acts 10:43 “Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

You can’t pick and choose what you want to hear. It all MUST agree. Explain the hundreds of contradictions.

Those apparent “contradictions” all go away when you begin with the simple proclamation of forgiveness of sins through belief in Christ. It’s true, though, if you don’t begin there then it seems the whole Bible is one great big contradiction. It’s like building on a foundation, if the foundation isn’t right then you struggle all the way up as you build upon it, and you never really get it right. A correct foundation is extremely important for the rest of the building to fall in place. That’s the way it is when reading and interpreting the Scriptures also.


#16

I’m not sure I understand your position.

Are you saying that sacramental confession somehow stands AGAINST faith in Christ?

I believe in Christ. I believe that He bestows mercy through the normative way He has provided for handling post-baptismal sin: Confession. There is no contradiction at all. Confession is the practical application of the broader teaching on faith and forgiveness.


#17

You are correct that error begets error and you are erroniously and shamefully trying to create a tower of babel out of God’s Word that “bends the faith your way”. Don’t think for a moment you can plan to commit a sin under the preconceived notion that you are automatically forgiven before the deed is even finished without even confessing those sins. God is not mocked.

God is beyond time and space. Therefor salvation is simultaneously a past, present, and future phenomena.

Example of past tense:
Ephesians 2:8–9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith.”

Example of present tense:
Philippians 2:12, Paul exhorted us to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

Example of future tense:
Romans 13:11 “our salvation is nearer than when we first believed” (also see 1 Cor. 3:15; 5:5).

To be saved you must be saved in the past, in the “now” and in the future or you are simply “not saved”.

But God never forces His grace and Love on anyone. It is offered to all but a person may choose to reject at any time that grace. God does not bully us onto His eternity through forced Love.

Christ tells the apostles at the Last Supper to remain in his love. He adds that if we keep his commandments we will remain in his love. But he who does not remain in his love is* “cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned” (John 15:6). *

Do you not believe Jesus at His Word?

Judas elected to remove himself from Jesus’ Love.

Jesus told his disciples to remain in his love because just as we enter freely into a relationship with Christ, we are free to leave him. There are many examples of this in scripture.
[list]
]Romans 11:22, Paul says, "Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you,* provided you continue in his kindness**; otherwise you too will be cut off."
*] In Galatians 5:4, Paul says, “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.” This verse implies that they were united with Christ and in grace before they fell.
*]In 1 Corinthians 9:27, Paul again warns the Christians against being overconfident: “I pummel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” This is not the language of “once saved always saved.”
[/list]

Note, The New Covenant is not a system of “works righteousness” whereby a person can please God and earn heaven by doing a number of good deeds. But that is not to say that salvation gives a license to sin as means to proclaim one’s faith either!

After baptism, if we choose sin (deliberately or by carlessness), and do not repent and confess each and every of our sims each and every time then we renounce Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:1–2, Paul says, “Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold it fast—unless you believed in vain.” So, you could believe, but fail to hold fast to the gospel, and not be saved (cf. 2 Pet. 2:20).

This is why Paul spoke in the book of Romans about the “obedience of faith” (Rom. 1:5, 16:26). It is not enough that one call Jesus Lord, for, as he said, “*Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21; cf. Matt. 10:33, 18:35). *If we are disobedient, God will “take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city” (Rev 22:19).

No apostle EVER taught Once Saved Always Saved. The first person to espouse the idea of “once saved, always saved” was John Calvin in the mid-sixteenth century. Even Martin Luther didn’t subscribe to the theory in the way it was then and now. Prior to Calvin, the unanimous consent of the early Christians was that a person is capable of losing his salvation by committing mortal sin, as John spoke about in 1 John 5:16–17.

Be advised those that preach a different gospel than what the apostles taught fall under the same apostolic curse that Paul uttered. First of all please note that you do not have the apostolic authority to even preach God’s Word and second **you **preach a completely different gospel than what the Apostles taught. In fact you are preaching what the heretic John Calvin taught. Note the word “received” in the following scripture verse. No apostle nor any apostolic succession ordained Bishop ever gave you this teaching. So who did you receive this fasle teaching from?

Galatians 1:9
As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

James


#18

An excerpt from an article I wrote found Here

Justification and Sanctification go hand in hand. Sanctifying grace implies a real transformation of the soul. Paul speaks of us as “a new creation” (2 Cor 5:17), “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). We’re still subject to the temptations of sin, as we all know, that tendency to sin Paul talks about in Romans 7:18-23 “What I want to do I don’t, but those things I don’t want to do - I do” (paraphrased). After we sin, if we act on the prompting of Actual Grace, receive Justification and confess our sins as John tells us to do (1Jn 1:9), God forgives and cleanses us (Sanctifying Grace), removing the guilt so we can progress unhindered towards that perfect union with Him.

Why this is so important to understand is because this is what our everlasting life hangs on. Sanctification, as we said before, makes us a new creation in Christ. Sinning puts us back in our original condition as Scripture states: “The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). We still have a choice to make everyday, to follow God and life, or to follow sin and death. These verses make it quite plain:

Rom 6:11 - In the same way, you too must continually consider yourselves dead as far as sin is concerned, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Rom 6:12 - Therefore, do not let sin rule your mortal bodies so that you obey their desires.

Rom 6:13 - Stop offering the parts of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness. Instead, offer yourselves to God as people who have been brought from death to life and the parts of your body as instruments of righteousness to God.

Rom 6:14 - For sin will not have mastery over you, because you are not under law but under grace.

**Rom 6:15 - What, then, does this mean? Should we go on sinning because we are not under law but under grace? Of course not!

Rom 6:16 - Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey-either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?**
**
Remember that Paul here is speaking to the Roman Christian population, as well as us today. If Justification and Sanctification were a one-time forever-done action - there would be no need of the warning in those passages.** But, this is an ongoing effort that Paul even had to wrestle with. Hebrews 12:1 encourages us to run with patience, shedding off the sin that entangles us. Then: 1Co 9:24 - “You know that in a race all the runners run but only one wins the prize, don’t you? You must run in such a way that you may be victorious.” and then: 2Ti 2:5 “Moreover, no one who is an athlete wins a prize unless he competes according to the rules.” Now link these verses with Romans: Rom 6:22 - But now that you have been freed from sin and have become God’s slaves, the benefit you reap is sanctification, and the result is eternal life.

There is a reason that our salvation is linked with the image of running a race. **It is a life-long effort that we must constantly wrestle with in order to win. **If it were as simple as accepting Christ and going to church, the New Testament would be a lot shorter. The fact that it is not, should lead us to ask why. The answer is in the last verse above. The benefit you reap from abstaining from sin - or after returning to the throne through Actual Grace and so receiving Sanctifying Grace - is eternal life. Sanctifying Grace must be present within us to obtain eternal life. The whole of the Scriptures contains examples for us to follow, advice on how to live a God-Fearing life, as well as warnings on what will happen if we don’t.

There are always two senses, or levels of understanding to Scripture: the literal, and the spiritual. The spiritual can be broken down into the allegorical, such as the Parables; the moral, instructions for Godly living; and the Prophetic, end times events. All of these last are based upon the literal sense first, don’t twist things into meaning what you want them to mean. Heed Peter’s warning:
**
2Pe 3:15 - Think of our Lord’s patience as salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him.

2Pe 3:16 - He speaks about this subject in all his letters. Some things in them are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort to their own destruction, as they do the rest of the Scriptures**.

Paul’s letters were hard to understand then, because people did not have the whole of the scriptures to draw from. Romans is the most complete book concerning the whole of Scripture, but it cannot exist in a vacuum. Search the Scriptures for yourself and read them according to what is stated quite plainly. That is always where you have to start in order to have a real understanding of our Lord’s instructions for our daily living, and our eternal life. Remember the roles of Justifying grace, and Sanctifying Grace: Actual grace allows us to come, justified through Christ, in faith to the throne of Grace to be forgiven; Sanctifying Grace comes next cleansing us and giving us strength to run the race set before us with patience, that we may win the prize of eternal union with our creator.


#19

Sacramental confession certainly goes against what Paul says concerning belief in Christ and the forgiveness of sins.

I believe in Christ.

And yet you run to men to seek forgiveness:Acts 13:38-41 "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. Therefore take heed, so that the thing spoken of in the Prophets may not come upon {you:} “Behold, you scoffers, and marvel, and perish; for I am accomplishing a work in your days, a work which you will never believe, though someone should describe it to you.”

I believe that He bestows mercy through the normative way He has provided for handling post-baptismal sin: Confession. There is no contradiction at all. Confession is the practical application of the broader teaching on faith and forgiveness.

I would think that the “practical application” would be to believe that your sins ARE forgiven, just as the Apostle proclaims.


#20

[quote=CentralFLJames]You are correct that error begets error and you are erroniously and shamefully trying to create a tower of babel out of God’s Word that “bends the faith your way”. Don’t think for a moment you can plan to commit a sin under the preconceived notion that you are automatically forgiven before the deed is even finished without even confessing those sins. God is not mocked.
[/quote]

I don’t make plans to sin. But if and when I do, I know they’re forgiven. That’s the power God has through the cross.

After baptism, if we choose sin (deliberately or by carlessness), and do not repent and confess each and every of our sims each and every time then we renounce Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:1–2, Paul says, “Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold it fast—unless you believed in vain.” So, you could believe, but fail to hold fast to the gospel, and not be saved (cf. 2 Pet. 2:20).

That’s true, but the passage states nothing about confessing sins in order to be saved. Paul’s talking about a genuine faith, and through such a faith Paul teaches elsewhere that the believer has forgiveness of sins.

As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

Paul said that in reference to a “gospel” of works rather than the true gospel of belief. All false gospels have as their message a salvation based on works. The true gospel, however, proclaims that the work has been DONE (“it is finished”) by Another and requires that you believe it. Paul’s gospel required that they believe in Christ “in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:14).

So I must conclude that the confessing of sins one to another has no salvific value. As I said in my previous post, there’s no Biblical evidence that men sought out the Apostles to confess sins for the sake of Divine forgiveness. Nor is there any Biblical evidence that they taught such a thing. Their message to the world was the proclamation of sins forgiven through faith in Christ Jesus. For this reason is was called a “gospel” (good news, good tidings).


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