From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
But in reference to the enumeration of sins in confession, we have said above that we do not consider this necessary by divine right. Some object, saying that a judge ought to investigate a case before pronouncing sentence. Their objection does not pertain in any way to this subject, because the ministry of absolution is about favor or grace, not legal process or law. Ministers in the Church have the command to remit sins; they do not have the command to investigate secret sins. Indeed, they absolve of sins which we do not remember. Therefore, absolution—the voice of the gospel forgiving sins and consoling consciences—does not require official examination.
Pulling It Together
God is the Judge from whom no secrets are hidden. Yet he is Judge of a different kind of court than we may have experienced. In his court, he has called ministers of the gospel to an office of grace. For those who desire an acquittal of their sins, through faith in Jesus Christ, grace is the judgment. It need go no further than their confession and their faith that God forgives: Lord, I am a sinner; have mercy on me for Jesus’ sake. The minister is only charged with declaring the entire forgiveness of all their sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This is the very voice of Christ forgiving all sins—thoughts, words, and deeds, known and unknown, remembered and forgotten—through faith in the same Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Prayer: I trust in your faithfulness, O Lord. Amen.
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Mary, Martha & Many Faithful Women is a five-session VBS book designed especially for small churches, house churches, and mission congregations with a limited budget or in situations where the ages and number of students may vary from session to session. This resource includes worksheets and handouts that may be reproduced, Resources and ideas are provided for gathering time, music, activities, games, and refreshments — allowing just a few adult leaders to host a week of Vacation Bible School.