Private Confession & Absolution is available to you!
We each are under constant spiritual danger of either thinking our sins are not so bad and we need not be forgiven or thinking our sins are so bad we can’t be forgiven. Either way leads to spiritual reliance upon ourselves and leaves us susceptible to unbelief in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Thank God our gracious Lord has given us confession and absolution!
“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.” (Luther’s Small Catechism)
Therefore, Confession & Absolution is the authority of God exercised through His Church to forgive the sins of those who repent of their sins and to withhold forgiveness from those who do not repent of their sins. Based on Matthew 16:19 this authority has been called the Office of the Keys.
This authority is exercised in public – when God’s people gather for worship and confess their sins and the pastor forgives them in the stead and by the command and authority of Jesus Christ.
This authority is also exercised in private – when an individual meets one-on-one with the pastor and confesses their sins and the pastor forgives them in the same stead and by the same command and authority of Jesus Christ.
The pastor is sworn by his oath and held accountable by his church supervisor to keep confidential the sins confessed before him for the forgiveness of sins and is protected by state law from ever divulging them. He does not speak what he hears – to his wife, to close friends, to other pastors, in sermons or Bible classes, in a court of law, or in any other manner. The pastor takes what he hears in confession to his grave.
A particular blessing of private Confession & Absolution is the personal, one-on-one fashion of hearing the Word of forgiveness God speaks for your forgiveness and the Word of consolation God gives for your conscience fears.
The pastors of Grace Lutheran Church are available for Confession & Absolution upon request.