Friday, February 1, 2013

Feb 2013 Confession and Absolution

Confession and Absolution We will soon be entering the season of Lent. Lent is a time for us to ponder our sins, the sins which separate us from God. Lent is a time for us to confess our sins before God, and receive the forgiveness which heals our broken relationship. The confession of sins is a crucial part of faith. Confessing your sins is simply agreeing with God that you are sinful and need a savior. But confessing our sins is hard. It is hard because we must come to grips with the facts that: we are unworthy before God. we do not deserve His love. we do not deserve to go to Heaven. These are scary thoughts. Yet, it is unconfessed sins which bind us with guilt. It is the unconfessed sin which we go to great lengths to hide. It is the unconfessed sin which festers like a cancer. However, we are able to confess our sins because a miracle has been worked within us. The Holy Spirit has come to open our eyes, that we will be able to see ourselves as God sees us - sinful and in need of a savior, yet simultaneously, as His beloved and forgiven children. Only because of that promise of forgiveness, will we have the courage to confess our sins. Only by confession can we be freed from the bondage to sin. Kinds of Confession of Sins Private Confession. That is confession to a pastor where he exercises the office of keys and pronounces absolution, the forgiveness of sins. Confession to God alone. This type of confession is practiced throughout one's life. Confession before another Christian. Christians can confess their sins to one another. It is the responsibility and privilege of the other Christian to grant forgiveness in Christ’s name. Martin Luther encouraged Christians to confess their sins so that they will hear the Lord's absolving Word from the lips of another human being. God has given us a great gift in the Confession and Absolution of sin. For this reason it is an integral part of our worship service. Because of Jesus, God has forgiven your sins and cleansed you from all unrighteousness. God bless you. Pastor