Catholicism teaches that when a catholic Christian confesses sins to a priest they are forgiven
Can sins be forgiven by confession to men? The bible teaches us that only by confessing our sins can we achieve forgiveness from God. How so we know this? Again the bible tells us these things. In 2 Samuel 12:13, David confesses his sins to Nathan and was given assurance form Nathan that his sins were forgiven. The New Testament affirms – John 20:22-23; Acts 19:18; Matthew 18:12; 2 Corinthians 2:10; 5:18-20
The transgressor stands in front of a representative of Christ, whom God has given the authority to be his stand-in. Once an individual goes to confession and actually states the sin aloud with true contrition, it is guaranteed that a relief and cleansing will immediately follow, as well as a strong sense of forgiveness – there is no doubt that you are forgiven – you know! Confession gives the penitent a fresh start to perhaps work with a strong passion to never commit the sin. Not only does confession cleans the soul, it is pleasing to God and he fills the soul with Grace.
"As the inheritors of the power and authority of the Apostles, the priest of the Catholic Church exercises the ministry of reconciliation, forgiving penitent sinners in the name of Jesus Christ." (The Faith of Millions, pp. 71-72).
1. The bible does not teach that there are to be priest in the New Testament, but that all believers are Priests – 1 Peter 2:5-9
1 Peter 2:4-9 As you come to him, the living Stone — rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame." 7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone," 8 and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message — which is also what they were destined for. 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (NIV)
1. The bible does not teach that there are to be priest in the New Testament, but that all believers are Priests – 1 Peter 2:5-9 2. In the Old Covenant, the faithful had to approach God through the priests. The priests were mediators between the people and God. The priests offered sacrifices to God on behalf of the people. That is no longer necessary. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we can now approach God’s throne with boldness - Hebrews 4:16
Heb 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Heb 9:11-12 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man- made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.
3. The temple veil tearing in two at Jesus’ death was symbolic of the dividing wall between God and humanity being destroyed. We can approach God directly, ourselves, without the use of a human mediator. Why? Because Jesus Christ is our great High Priest - Hebrews 4:14-15 4. There is only one Mediator between God and Man – 1 Timothy 2:5
1 Tim 2:5-6For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
5. When it comes to the bible, believers are told to confess there sins to God… not men or saints – 1 John 1:9 - 1 John If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.(NIV)
James 5:16 - Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. NIV
It does say to Confess our sins It does say to confess our sins to “each other” It does say to pray for each other to be healed It does not say to confess our sins to a priest, but to “each other” It does not link the confession of sin to healing It does not choose a specific minister to confess to, but the universal body
(Speaking to his disciples) And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." (NIV)
1. No where does this passage mentioned confession of sin 2. John 20:23 nowhere promises, or even hints, that the authority to forgive sins would be passed on to the successors of the apostles. Jesus’ promise was specifically directed to the apostles. 3. The New Testament nowhere states that the apostles would even have successors to their apostolic authority.
apostles and ministers of Christ remit and retain sin, and both as having authority 1.By sound doctrine. They are commissioned to tell the world that salvation is to be had upon gospel terms, and no other, and they shall find God will say Amen to it; so shall their doom be. 2.By a strict discipline, applying the general rule of the gospel to particular persons. (Acts 5:9-10)
As the Holy Spirit guided them in their preaching and writing, they delivered God's plan for forgiving and retaining sins (Luke 24:45-49; Acts 2:38). This alone was their "power to forgive sins" and how it was exercised. "Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God only?" (Luke 5:21). "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." (Isa. 43:25).
i. All Christians are Priests in the kingdom of God ii. We Only have one high priest, that is Christ He tore down the veil between man and God All can come to the Holy place of God by the blood of Jesus Christ is the Only mediator between God the Father and Man iii. We are to confess our sins to God for forgiveness iv. We are to confess our sins to each other for strength and encouragement