How Christians should be taught to confess.
What is Confession?
Confession embraces two parts: the one is, that we confess our sins; the other, that we receive absolution, or forgiveness, from the confessor, as from God Himself, and in no wise doubt, but firmly believe, that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in heaven.
These are simple yet powerful words. We confess our sins and we receive forgiveness. Daily we need plead for mercy. Daily we need to have the assurance that our sins have been forgiven. We need to be penitent sinners – sinners who feel sorry for their sins and who believe in their Lord Jesus as the only Savior. David reminds us in Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heat, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” When we are heart sorry for our sins ,we will readily want to confess our sin and turn away from them. Having confessed our sins, we will rejoice in hearing those wonderful word, “your sins are forgiven!” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”. (Acts 16:31) Contrition and faith are the two ingredients necessary for a true confession.
O almighty God, merciful Father, I, a poor, miserable sinner, confess unto Thee all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever offended Thee and justly deserved Thy temporal and eternal punishment. But I am heartily sorry for them and sincerely repent of them, and I pray Thee of Thy boundless mercy and for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death of Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, the be gracious and merciful to me, a poor sinful being.
The General Confession, The Lutheran Hymnal © 1941 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Artwork by Ed Rojas, © Higher Things