Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Bible and Early Church on Confession


Gods Word [The Bible]

When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. (Mark 2:5-11)

And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evilAnd it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. (Joel 2:11-13, 32)

Ignatius [Prayer/ Unlimited Atonement]

Having obtained good proof that thy mind is fixed in God as upon an immoveable rock, I loudly glorify [His name] that I have been thought worthy [to behold] thy blameless face, which may I ever enjoy in God! I entreat thee, by the grace with which thou art clothed, to press forward in thy course, and to exhort all that they may be saved. Maintain thy position with all care, both in the flesh and spirit (The Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp, Chapter 1)

Clement of Rome [Confession]

Chapter LII.-Such a Confession is Pleasing to God.
The Lord, brethren, stands in need of nothing; and He desires nothing of any one, except that confession be made to Him. For, says the elect David, "I will confess unto the Lord ; and that will please Him more than a young bullock that hath horns and hoofs. Let the poor see it, and be glad." And again he saith, "Offer unto God the sacrifice of praise, and pay thy vows unto the Most High. And call upon Me in the day of thy trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me." For "the sacrifice of God is a broken spirit." (The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, Chapter 52).

John Chrysostom [Confession]

We do not request you to go to confess your sins to any of your fellow-men, but only to God!" (Crhysostom, Homily on 50th Psalm)

"We do not ask you to go and confess your iniquities to a sinful man for pardon - but only to God." (Ibid.)

"You need no witness of your confession. Secretly acknowledge your sins and let God alone hear you." (Chrysostom, De Paenitentia, Volume IV, Col. 901)

"Therefore, I beseech you, always confess your sins to God! I, in no way, ask you to confess them to me. To God alone should you expose the wounds of your soul, and from him alone expect the cure. Go to Him, then, and you shall not be cast off, but healed. For, before you utter a single word, God knows your prayer." (Chrysostom, De Incomprehensibili, Volume I, Homily V)


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