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Confession and Absolution

This is part of an ongoing series on the Cornerstone Confirmation Curriculum we are developing at First Trinity Lutheran Church. (Main Confirmation Page)

Confession and Absolution 580

Key Theme: We have lived below God’s standard and deserve only death. But Jesus paid the price that we might receive forgiveness instead of punishment.

The Effects of Sin

Read Genesis 3:16-19

  • Underline: pain, pain, cursed, pain, thorns, thistles, “for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
  • Margin: Sin’s Fruits

Read Ezekiel 37:11

  • Underline: Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.
  • Margin: Sin separates us from God

Sin is an everyday reality for us. Literally, sin means “missing the mark.” God has demanded perfection, and we have fallen short. Because God is perfect and holy, He cannot tolerate sin, and therefore cannot tolerate the presence of sinners such as us. The effects of sin are felt physically though pain, suffering, and even death. But there is also a spiritual consequence from sin. It is a separation from God, as if we were “cut off” from Him. Because of our sin, we are unable to have a relationship with God.

The Promise of a Savior

Read Genesis 3:14-15

  • Underline: he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
  • Margin: Jesus!

Read Ezekiel 37:12-14

  • Underline: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people.
  • Margin: Jesus brings new life

Read Romans 5:8

  • Underline: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Margin: God acted for us.

God was not content with the status of our relationship. He knew that we could not restore the relationship, because we were sinful through and through. But He knew that He could do it. And so God spoke not only judgment to His people, but also hope. He told them of the savior that would come to act on their behalf. He told them that He Himself would be the one to rescue His people. While we were powerless to do it, God acted for us.

The Forgiveness of Sins

Read 1 John 1:8-9

  • Underline: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  • Margin: God forgives

Read Psalm 103:12-13

  • Underline: as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
  • Margin: Our sin is gone.

Read Isaiah 1:18

  • Underline: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
  • Margin: God cleanses us.

God decided to make matters into His own hands and restore our relationship with Him. But because God still cannot abide sin, something had to be done. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, lived a perfect and blameless life, but suffered the death that we deserved as sinners. We have lived (and continue to live) as sinners, but receive the life and relationship with God that Jesus deserved. God forgives our sin not because we deserve it, but because Jesus paid the price so we might have the forgiveness.

Class Documents

Confirmation Mega-Post

I’ve been delinquent getting some Confirmation Audio online.  Here’s the last several in case you were eagerly awaiting them!  🙂

Confession and Absolution:

Apostle’s Creed 1:

Apostle’s Creed 2:

Jesus Video for Apostle’s Creed 2:

Apostle’s Creed 3:

Jesus Video for Apostle’s Creed 3:

The videos come from Vintage 21.  We use them as a starting point for talking about Jesus under the guise of “This is what Jesus isn’t like.” 

The Confession of Praise

I started Lutheran Confessions 1 today. I’m not extremely excited about it since my schedule is so crazy, but I love having Dr. Winger as a professor. He’s great for my style of learning and he’s great at keeping my attention. There are few people I could sit and listen to talk for 3 hours, but he’s one of them.

Today we talked about the three confessions of the Christian church: Confession of sins, faith and praise. The first two are fairly well understood by most Christians. We confess our sins to God and are forgiven. We confess our faith in the words of the Apostles’, Nicene and occasionally the Athanasian Creeds. But the confession of praise? The term “confession” is not used with “praise” in modern Christianity often.

Basically, it’s the church’s act of praising God. Dr. Winger made the point that our modern concept of praise has given us a slight misunderstanding of this word.  Modern “contemporary” Christian music is sometimes guilty of only praising the attributes of God. God is good, great, awesome, mighty, etc. The biblical concept of praise is more than that however. The Greek term for “confession” is used when God tells of us His deeds and we speak them back to Him. Most of the “praise God” stories in the Bible are retellings of His previous work. The Psalms are full of this type of praise as psalmists declare how God has rescued them from the depths of the grave.

In the last several years, I’ve noticed Christian worship moving away from the “God is great” style towards a deeper, more Biblical one. Music is a tremendous gift to the church, and the resurgence of scriptural lyrics confessing praise to God brings the Scriptures to life in new ways. I’m thankful for those artists who were led down that route for their music.

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