From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
Perhaps some one may also cite James. “Confess your faults one to another” (James 5:16). But the reference there is not to a confession that is to be made to the priests. The reference is to general confession, concerning the reconciliation of believers with each other. For it commands that the confession be mutual.
Pulling It Together: We have been born again to the image of Christ. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is causing us to grow up into new people who share the mind of Christ. This maturing ought to cause us to labor with one another for the gospel—not strive against each other. So, we must often, because this old nature continues to assail us in the flesh, confess our sins against each other, to each other. Furthermore, we must forgive one another. Scripture calls for a reciprocal admission of wrongs, as needed, as well as for mutual forgiveness. Why? Otherwise, we get bogged down in bad feelings; we focus on ourselves. Confession and forgiveness are necessary so that we can move on together with the business of the Church: the proclamation of the truth of that gospel which produces faith.
Prayer: Grant me the grace to forgive, Lord—and to say that I am sorry. Amen.
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Reading and Discussion of Luther's Catechisms is a more challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, each presented in a question and discussion format.