Sunday, June 10, 2007

Biblical Evidence for Formal Forgiveness of Sins and Absolution (Confession)

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The direct basis for these beliefs are found in three passages, taught by Jesus Himself:

Matthew 16:19 (RSV): I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 18:18: Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

John 20:21-23: Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

“Binding” and “loosing” were rabbinical terms that had to do with authority to punish or pardon. We see the Apostle Paul literally exercising these prerogatives with the Corinthians. He “binds” in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 (what Catholics would call “imposing a penance”) and “looses” in 2 Corinthians 2:6-11. Paul forgives another man for a transgression that wasn’t personally committed against him, and instructs the Corinthians to do the same (the sin wasn’t committed against all of them, either). So both he and the Corinthians as a whole were acting as “God’s representatives” in the matter of forgiving sins (emphases added):

1 Corinthians 5:1-5: It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

2 Corinthians 2:6-11: For such a one this punishment by the majority is enough; so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. Any one whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, to keep Satan from gaining the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

5 comments:

curiousknowhow said...

God bless! When a contemporary Jewish rabbi emphatically repeats his call to attention, e.g. Amen, Amen or Truly, truly, or a N.T. writer repeats his statement based on what was written in O.T., then we must accept the critical proclamation of his statement. In Mt 18:18 discourse to His Apostles the same referential phrase of the Davidic keys of the kingdom and having the sole household keeper's authority to shut and open doors (teachings or dogmas) were based on Isaiah 22:20-22 and even Revelation 3:7 recalling the same Davidic authority opening and shutting teachings must be kept in mind. Who has the Davidic Keys of the Kingdom has the sole authority anointed by God to resolve certain teachings or to cancel certain traditional teachings as secular. It is like the sole decisive power of the Supreme Court.

James Rinkevich said...

Dave maybe your next publication should be Biblical Evidence for Confession: (should I be giving you ideas?)
Here are are few more verses:
Leviticus 5:4-6, Leviticus 6:1-7,Leviticus 19:20-22, Numbers 5:5-9, Matthew 3:16, Mk 1:5, Matthew 9:2-8, Mark 2:5-11, John 20:21-23, James 5:14-17, 1 John 1:7-9, 2 Corinthians 2:10, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Dave Armstrong said...

I think I have a few of those in various places in my work.

maquino3 said...

Mr. Armstrong,
I have been on your website for a while now and appreciate your work. I am inbetween Protestant and Catholic right now, but leaning Catholic. My question/comment is that many Protestants dodge confession by stating that Jesus gave this power to bind and loose only to the apostles and that there is no biblical evidence for this authority being passed down to others after the apostles died...thoughs comments? True fale? Thank you for your time, God Bless.

maquino3 said...

Mr. Armstrong,
I have been on your website for a while now and appreciate your work. I am inbetween Protestant and Catholic right now, but leaning Catholic. My question/comment is that many Protestants dodge confession by stating that Jesus gave this power to bind and loose only to the apostles and that there is no biblical evidence for this authority being passed down to others after the apostles died...thoughs comments? True fale? Thank you for your time, God Bless.