Just about everything any Catholic needs to know about the great sacrament that’s still often referred to as “Confession”

Are all of our sins—past, present, and future—forgiven once and for all when we become Christians? Not according to the Bible or the early Church Fathers. Scripture nowhere states that our future sins are forgiven; instead, it teaches us to pray, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matt. 6:12).

The means by which God forgives sins after baptism is confession: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Minor or venial sins can be confessed directly to God, but for grave or mortal sins, which crush the spiritual life out of the soul, God has instituted a different means for obtaining forgiveness—the sacrament known popularly as confession, penance, or reconciliation.

This sacrament is rooted in the mission God gave to Christ in his capacity as the Son of man on earth to go and forgive sins (cf. Matt. 9:6). Thus, the crowds who witnessed this new power “glorified God, who had given such authority to men” (Matt. 9:8; note the plural “men”). After his resurrection, Jesus passed on his mission to forgive sins to his ministers, telling them, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you. . . . Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:21–23).

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Submitted by Doria2

6 Comments

  1. When Jesus died at the cross, were you alive then? were your sins past? or future?

    “I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been FORGIVEN on account of his name”
    – 1 John 2:12

    “God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us ALL our sins,”
    – Colossians 2:13

    “For Christ also died for sins once for ALL”
    – 1 Peter 3:18

    • Dear Savedbygrace,

      You obviously failed to appreciate the particular context in which the referenced article was framed … probably because your particular faith tradition lacks sufficient foundation in divinely revealed truth.

      God forgives each and every one of our sins at baptism, the once in an eternity, personal event which serves as the “door” to the church, where anyone can have all their sins forgiven, become a living temple of the Holy Spirit, an adopted child of God, co-heir with Jesus Christ, a citizen of heaven, and a member of the church … according to the enduring and essential faith of the Mystical Body of Christ … and the grace of God.

      St. Paul was very clear when he explained: Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25)

      Those who commit grave sin after they have reached the age of reason and after baptism ought to present themselves for confession/reconciliation as and whenever necessary, according to the power and authority given to the Catholic Church alone, by Jesus Christ, its divine and holy founder.

      Truly, the very first thing the risen Christ did after he rose again from the dead was to give his apostles the awesome power to forgive sins in his name. It was the most militant, “in your face” assault against the forces of Satan, sin and death that the world had ever experienced.

      Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained.
      (John 20:21-23)

      And the battle still rages today…

      You see, the Church was there with Christ, from the beginning … and as a faithful, baptized member of the Catholic Church … so was I.

      I profess and believe precisely what the apostles professed and believed, from the earliest days, according to the power of the Holy Spirit, who remains the divine advocate of the Catholic Church, to this day.

      The only people who seem to have a problem with that are those who chose to adopt one of the many late-day faith traditions, which emerged some 1500 years after the actual foundational events, and which attempted to construct their novel faith tradition(s) without due regard for the entirety of divinely revealed Christian truth.

      To be truly Catholic is to experience in this life, the closest personal relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit … and to more fully appreciate all that God has waiting in store for us, in the next.

      If I’m wrong, and by regularly confessing my sins, obtain nothing more than God’s routine and continuing graces, I have lost nothing … and come Judgment Day, should not expect to be disappointed.

      But if you’re wrong, and by failing to regularly confess your sins, according to the authoritative precepts of the only Church that Jesus Christ ever personally founded … then precisely where does that leave you, come Judgment Day?

      Jesus Christ made possible the forgiveness of sins for every generation … past .. present … and future … but the process wasn’t automatic, and it always required faith, contrition, repentance, and satisfaction.

      Jesus willingly supplied only that which we could not provide for ourselves. Then he left it up to us to make the free-will choice to faithfully cooperate with his grace, strive to discern the whole truth, and then, act accordingly.

      Jesus gave us only one church to expedite and enhance that most essential process … the church known from the beginning as one, holy, apostolic … and Catholic … so he obviously considered that to be enough for anyone.

      Cheers!

      Doug

      • i was hoping for my question to be answered…
        but thanks anyway

      • Hi doug,

        ——————————————————————————
        – God forgives each and every one of our sins at baptism, ….
        ——————————————————————————

        all our sins has been forgiven at the cross. baptism does not forgive sins.
        the blood of Jesus forgives all our sin. paid for by Jesus, for us.
        that is the good news, that all our sins has been forgiven.
        all the sinners in this world needs to know that their sins has been forgiven
        let us tell them to come to Jesus and receive that all time one time forgiveness of sins

        ——————————————————————————
        – St. Paul was very clear when he explained: Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through
        – faith in his blood, to declare his – righteousness for the remission of sins that are past,
        – through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25)
        – Those who commit grave sin after they have reached the age of reason and after baptism ought to
        – present themselves for – confession/reconciliation as and whenever necessary, according to the power
        ——————————————————————————

        Is the Remission in Romans 3:25 same as what Jesus said – Remission of sins in Matthew 26:28?

        ROMANS 3:25 (KJV)
        25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,
        to declare his righteousness for the [Paresis] Remission Passing Over of sins that are past,
        through the forbearance of God;

        MATTHEW 26:28 (KJV)
        28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the [Aphesis] Remission
        Forgiveness of sins.

        – Passing Over in greek Paresis – “suspension” or “passing over”
        – Forgiveness in greek Aphesis – “Remission” has to do with the cleansing of sin by the blood of Jesus
        – Forgive in greek Aphiemi – pardon of sin for sinner through confession (agreeing with God)
        after repentance (change of mind)

        Please note that Forgive and Forgiveness are the not same

        Paul was not talking about the remission or forgiveness of sins. He was rather talking
        about the “Passing Over” of sins in the past. This verse clearly does not say anything
        about “only your past sins are forgiven” rather it tells us “why sins were not dealt
        in the past (before Jesus death)”

        Please note that there was forgiveness prior to the death of Jesus at the cross.
        But that forgiveness apart from the cross does not take away sins (remission).
        It does not make you right with God (righteous)

        For the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sins (remission of sins, forgiveness).
        Thus, God pass over the sins until after Jesus shed blood at the cross.
        The remission of sins is in the shed blood of Jesus (Matthew 26:28).
        Only the blood of Jesus can take away sins.

        ——————————————————————————
        – If I’m wrong, and by regularly confessing my sins, obtain nothing more than God’s routine and continuing graces,
        I have lost nothing – … and come Judgment Day, should not expect to be disappointed.
        ——————————————————————————

        it shows that one is not secure of his salvation and thus resort to work based routine called confession.

        ——————————————————————————
        – But if you’re wrong, and by failing to regularly confess your sins, according to the authoritative
        – precepts of the only Church that – Jesus Christ ever personally founded …
        – then precisely where does that leave you, come Judgment Day?
        ——————————————————————————

        how can one be wrong when the scripture says “we have forgiveness of sins?”

        heres more verse in addition to previous comments

        Ephesians 1:7

        “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,
        in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”

        In Accordance to the riches of God’s grace.
        Not in accordance the the knowledge of our sins and confession.

        Judgement day are for those who do not believe in Jesus death and ressurection
        Judgement day are for those who refuse to believe they have forgiveness of sins

        what is there to fear in judgement day , when all your sins has been Judged by God?
        will God judge the same sin twice? will God punish you, when Jesus has been punished already?

        ——————————————————————————
        – Jesus Christ made possible the forgiveness of sins for every generation … past ..
        – present … and future … but the process wasn’t – automatic,
        – and it always required faith, contrition, repentance, and satisfaction.
        ——————————————————————————

        Faith i know. Salvation is by Grace through Faith. that i know

        – contrition, im not sure where to find it in the scripture. is this required? is there a verse?
        – repentance, means metanoia. To change ones mind. mind and not emotion
        The works of the law, our obedience will not save us.. that is where we need change of mind
        repentance is not wailing, crying out loud, punishing oneself… but simply. change of mind
        does not say emotion.. but mind.. change of mind

        – satisfaction, i am not sure if this is required. could it be that satisfcation is the end result of salvation?

        ——————————————————————————
        – Jesus willingly supplied only that which we could not provide for ourselves.
        ——————————————————————————

        well, not the word “only”. actually we cannot provide “anything” for ourselves . no hope.
        we cannot save ourselves. we cannot justify ourselves before God.

        Jesus became
        our high Priest
        our Sacrifice
        Our Curse
        Our …..

        no hope in us, but Jesus is our hope.

        ——————————————————————————
        – Then he left it up to us to make the free-will choice to faithfully cooperate with his grace,
        – strive to discern the whole truth, and then, act accordingly.
        ——————————————————————————
        It is not by striving that we know the truth. striving is works.

        rather it is by the Spirit of God that we have a revelation of truth.

        “Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
        “Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man,
        but by my Father in heaven.”
        – Matthew 16:16

        the only work we do is reading the bible.
        forgetting the traditions, and seeing Jesus in the scripture.

        if by the act of reading the bible, we think we are justified before God by that act.
        then we are back to works..

        i have to omit any comments regarding religion. so i skip comments with the word catholic.

        thnx

      • Dear “Saved”,

        Catholics had everything satisfactorily figured out more than a thousand years before the first protestant ever thumped a Bible.

        You can interpret scripture any way you like, and we can trade Bible verses ’til Kingdom come, but I’m sure we’re both way too busy for that.

        What was true in the beginning is still true today … and little or nothing of your particular interpretation was ever part of the authentic doctrine of the only church that Jesus Christ ever personally founded, authorized, empowered, and eternally guaranteed, for the purpose of our salvation.

        I stand on my original response and I respectfully suggest you go back and study it more carefully.

        Cheers!

        Doug

      • thank you for your kind response


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