Sacraments | Forgiveness
Because of Jesus, words can heal and forgive.
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Titus 3:4-7 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Think About This Because Jesus paid the price for our sins when He died on the cross, we can be forgiven! And there is power in our words, so that when we confess our sins to each other, and remind each other about what Jesus did, and who we are in Him, we are forgiven. Martin Luther says that if I honestly confess my sins to you, and you tell me that I am forgiven because of Jesus, then I can trust in that as much as if God himself told me that I am forgiven. That’s pretty cool!
Read James 5:16 together. God’s Word teaches us to confess our sins to one another. One night at bed time, sit at the foot of your kids bed and remind them that just like Jesus promises to love us no matter what we do, you’ll do the same for them. Ask them if they’d like to share anything that they’ve done wrong so you can remind them that they are loved and forgiven no matter what. Parents, sin does often require consequences (if they don’t come on their own). But don’t let this moment be for anything other than showing grace.
During a meal, make a plan for a time this week to make a paper sign together that says “Because of Jesus, words can heal and forgive.” and hang it somewhere visible in your home (refrigerator, bathroom mirror, etc.). While you’re making the sign, talk about opportunities you can look for to share Jesus’ healing and forgiveness with the people around you.
There are some pretty real struggles that we can get caught up in, and the words that are spoken to us play a pretty big part in these. Talk about the difference between these phrases. You aren’t good enough vs. you are forgiven You are alone vs. you are God’s child None really understands vs. you are loved and known
From the Small Catechism
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
What is confession? Confession consists of two parts. One is that we confess our sins. The other is that we receive the absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God himself and by no means doubt but firmly believe that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in heaven.
Which sins is a person to confess? Before God one is to acknowledge the guilt for all sins, even those of which we are not aware, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer. However, before the pastor we are to confess only those sins of which we are aware and which trouble us.
Which sins are these? Here reflect on your walk of life in light of the Ten Commandments: whether you are father, mother, son, daughter, master, mistress, servant; whether you have been disobedient, unfaithful, lazy, whether you have harmed anyone by word or deed; whether you have stolen, neglected, wasted, or injured anything.