Confession to a priest

Jason

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How come this practise came in and do you think just confessing to a priest will free you from SIN. I don't believe it, like to get your inputs.
 

Particular

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I am not Roman Catholic, but there is precedence for confession to others.

Brothers,if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
~ Galatians 6:1-3
 

Josiah

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I think Scripture says to confess our sins to one another....

In any case, I can't think of a Scripture that says, "Thou canst NOT confess thy sins unto a Christian."

I think there's something quite biblical and very helpful about confession..... it's related to accountability (some Christians talk about "accountability partners") but more than that.
 

Lämmchen

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How come this practise came in and do you think just confessing to a priest will free you from SIN. I don't believe it, like to get your inputs.
The forgiveness given isn't forgiveness from the priest. It's the forgiveness Jesus won for you at the cross and by Jesus' authority the priest can hear your confession and give you that Gospel message, the good news that you are forgiven your sins.
 

tango

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How come this practise came in and do you think just confessing to a priest will free you from SIN. I don't believe it, like to get your inputs.
There is Scriptural support for confessing sins to people, as others have already described. It's obviously important to keep it appropriate - the idea is for a bit of support rather than to do something that just creates more problems. I read of a case of a church where a young man decided the open mic time was appropriate for confessing the inappropriate feelings he was having towards a married woman in the church - apparently that created lots of awkwardness all around because she had no idea he felt that way about her so it created friction there, her husband wasn't thrilled to hear it announced like that and reacted badly.

Sometimes it's very easy to think you're the only one struggling with a particular kind of sin because, you know, everyone else at church seems to have it all together. If you find someone you trust to talk to, even if only to ask them to pray for you in your struggle, you may find that they also struggle with something. It's a pretty good battle plan on the devil's part - if he can convince us that we're the only one with struggles and people would reject us if only they knew what we were doing he can keep us divided.

So on that basis I don't see anything wrong with confessing to a priest. It's just that there's no need for it to be a priest - it could be a friend at church. The forgiveness that is offered is nothing to do with the priest. If we confess our sins God will forgive us - we ultimately confess to God and God is the one who forgives. The priest doesn't need to stand in the middle.
 

Jason

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So it is like confessing our sin to Police (Priest) and it is upto the Judge (God) to make the Judgment? I haven't seen the practice here, i hope we confession our Sin to Jesus instead with any human being
 

Lämmchen

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So it is like confessing our sin to Police (Priest) and it is upto the Judge (God) to make the Judgment? I haven't seen the practice here, i hope we confession our Sin to Jesus instead with any human being
No, it's not like that.

Believers are already labeled Not Guilty because of the cross. When we sin and then we confess our sins, we are given the forgiveness of sins (by a priest from Jesus' authority) that has been earned at the cross. Jesus doesn't die again for us to be forgiven.
 

tango

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So it is like confessing our sin to Police (Priest) and it is upto the Judge (God) to make the Judgment? I haven't seen the practice here, i hope we confession our Sin to Jesus instead with any human being
Not really - what you're describing implies that we confess what we did and then receive a punishment. Scripture tells us clearly that if we confess our sin God will forgive us. Jesus already took the punishment so we don't have to. It's not really like confessing to a police-like figure in the hope of getting a more lenient punishment, it's about admitting we did wrong so we can be forgiven.

To be forgiven we have to confess to God. When we confess we are forgiven, which means we don't have to face any spiritual punishment. We may still have to face a secular punishment, depending on just what we did. To take an example, if we are guilty of theft God will forgive us but the secular courts may still punish us. We can't really claim to be truly sorry for our theft unless we are willing to make amends, and those amends may include a secular punishment, secular restitution (e.g. returning what we stole) or similar.

The idea of confessing our sins to each other isn't so that some other person can forgive us. An individual has the right to forgive sins committed against them but has no right to forgive sins committed against someone else. The idea of confessing to someone else is so that we can support each other. If you confess your sin to me perhaps I can help hold you accountable, or pray for you, or whatever else. Perhaps you meet with a couple of other guys you trust on a regular basis and hold each other accountable, discussing how you've resisted temptations, how you might have struggled with it, maybe tripped and fallen again or whatever else. But that's a very different proposition from going into a tiny little cubicle to talk to a priest to talk about what you've done wrong.
 

Josiah

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I know of no Scripture that says we are forbidden to confess our sins before any other than God.
 

Lucian Hodoboc

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Scripture tells us clearly that if we confess our sin God will forgive us.
Can He choose not to forgive if He wanted to, or is He bound by the new covenant to forgive every time a sinner confesses their sin?
 

Lämmchen

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Can He choose not to forgive if He wanted to, or is He bound by the new covenant to forgive every time a sinner confesses their sin?
Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Christ died once and for all for the forgiveness of our sins and will never die again.

When we commit a sin, the Holy Spirit convicts us so that we feel sorrow. We want to stop that sin because of the conviction. But also in repentance we turn to God in order to receive forgiveness for that sin. It's not a new forgiveness but the forgiveness that was earned at the cross by Jesus.

God is loving and merciful and wants us to receive forgiveness. He's not stingy!
 

psalms 91

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Yes, forgiveness is Gods grace and mercy through Christs atonement it also says that without repentance there is no forgiveness
 

tango

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Can He choose not to forgive if He wanted to, or is He bound by the new covenant to forgive every time a sinner confesses their sin?
Take a look through 1 John chapter 1. It says "if we confess our sin... God WILL forgive our sin". Not that he may forgive, or that he'll think about forgiving and get back to us, he will forgive. Just like Jesus told us we were to forgive each other.

Scripture doesn't describe a God who promises to forgive us but who then turns around and says "oh, it's you again, you don't get any more chances". Various references to forgiveness in Scripture liken it to sins being taken far away, being thrown into the sea, being removed as if lifting the ink from a parchment. The recurring theme is that it's as if they aren't there any more. God promises that "their sins and iniquities I will remember no more". That's like forgetting but more permanent - if you forget something you can always be reminded of it later, but God promises to "remember no more".

When we struggle with something it's easy to think that God is tired of us, that we really have no business asking forgiveness again because it's the 14th time we've done that this week and it's only Tuesday morning. The reality is that when we confess and God forgives, at a spiritual level it's as if we never did it at all. So when we confess for the 148th time this week it's as if the previous 147 times never happened. I stress the spiritual aspect because forgiveness from God doesn't remove any secular responsibility for whatever we did. At a secular level you might appear before a judge and have an extra 147 charges filed against you, but at a spiritual level when you appear before God to confess it's like you're a first-time offender and Jesus Christ already paid the price for your sins, so you get your record cleaned up and leave the court a free man with a clean record.
 
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