CONFESSION How Christians should be taught to confess What is Confession? Confession has two parts. First, that we confess our sins, and second, that we receive absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself, not doubting, but firmly believing that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven. What sins should we confess? Before God we should plead guilty of all sins, even those we are not aware of, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer; but before the pastor we should confess only those sins which we know and feel in our hearts. Which are these? Consider your place in life according to the Ten Commandments: Are you a father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife, or worker? Have you been disobedient, unfaithful, or lazy? Have you been hot-tempered, rude, or quarrelsome? Have you hurt someone by your words or deeds? Have you stolen, been negligent, wasted anything, or done any harm? A Short Form of Confession [Luther intended the following form to serve only as an example of private confession for Christians of his time. For a contemporary form of individual confession, see Lutheran Worship, pp. 310–11; see Lutheran Service Book, pp. 292–93.] The penitent says: Dear confessor, I ask you please to hear my confession and to pronounce forgiveness in order to fulfill God’s will. I, a poor sinner, plead guilty before God of all sins. In particular I confess before you that as a servant, maid, etc., I, sad to say, serve my master unfaithfully, for in this and that I have not done what I was told to do. I have made him angry and caused him to curse. I have been negligent and allowed damage to be done. I have also been offensive in words and deeds. I have quarreled with my peers. I have grumbled about the lady of the house and cursed her. I am sorry for all of this and I ask for grace. I want to do better. A master or lady of the house may say: In particular I confess before you that I have not faithfully guided my children, servants, and wife to the glory of God. I have cursed. I have set a bad example by indecent words and deeds. I have hurt my neighbor and spoken evil of him. I have overcharged, sold inferior merchandise, and given less than was paid for. [Let the penitent confess whatever else he has done against God’s commandments and his own position.] If, however, someone does not find himself burdened with these or greater sins, he should not trouble himself or search for or invent other sins, and thereby make confession a torture. Instead, he should mention one or two that he knows: In particular I confess that I have cursed; I have used improper words; I have neglected this or that, etc. Let that be enough. But if you know of none at all (which hardly seems possible), then mention none in particular, but receive the forgiveness upon the general confession which you make to God before the confessor. Then the confessor shall say: God be merciful to you and strengthen your faith. Amen. Furthermore: Do you believe that my forgiveness is God’s forgiveness? Yes, dear confessor. Then let him say: Let it be done for you as you believe. And I, by the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, forgive you your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Go in peace. A confessor will know additional passages with which to comfort and to strengthen the faith of those who have great burdens of conscience or are sorrowful and distressed. This is intended only as a general form of confession. What is the Office of the Keys?* The Office of the Keys is that special authority which Christ has given to His church on earth to forgive the sins of repentant sinners, but to withhold forgiveness from the unrepentant as long as they do not repent. Where is this written?* This is what St. John the Evangelist writes in chapter twenty: The Lord Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:22–23) What do you believe according to these words?* I believe that when the called ministers of Christ deal with us by His divine command, in particular when they exclude openly unrepentant sinners from the Christian congregation and absolve those who repent of their sins and want to do better, this is just as valid and certain, even in heaven, as if Christ our dear Lord dealt with us Himself. *This question may not have been composed by Luther himself but reflects his teaching and was included in editions of the catechism during his lifetime.

认罪 应如此教导基督徒去认罪。

甚么是认罪? 认罪可分两部分。 第一部是我们承认自己的罪。 第二部是我们接受解罪,也就是从牧师,正如从上帝自己一样,领受赦免;总不要疑惑,而坚信藉此我们的罪在天上的上帝面前确是得蒙赦免的。

我们应该承认哪些罪? 在上帝面前,我们应该承认一切的罪,甚至那些我们不觉察的罪,正如我们在主祷文中所作的。但在牧师面前,我们只须承认那些自己知道,并且心中感受到的罪。

这些罪是指甚么呢? 你要按着十条诫考虑自己在生活中的位分如何,或为父亲、母亲、儿女、丈夫、妻子,或为员工。你曾否不顺从、不忠信、或懒惰?你曾否暴躁、粗鲁、或吵闹?你曾否以言语或行动伤害他人?你曾否盗窃、疏忽,浪费、或造成损害?


【路德意欲用下述的简式,作为他那时代的人私认罪礼的模范。至于个人认罪礼的现代模式,可参看LUTHERAN WORSHIP,第310-311页。】

悔罪者说: 亲爱的听告解者:我请你听我认罪,宣告赦免,来实现上帝的旨意。


身为家主或女主人的可以这样说: 特别是,我在你面前承认,我没有尽心去教导我的儿子、仆人、和妻子,使上帝得荣耀。我曾咒骂。我曾在言行不端上立下坏榜样。我曾损害我的邻舍,并说他坏话。我曾高抬市价、卖劣货。我所出售东西的质量,低于价目所值。




然后,听告解者要说: 「愿上帝怜悯你,加强你的信心。阿们。」

接着说: 「你信我的赦免就是上帝的赦免么?」


听告解者就说: 「照着你所信的给你成全。我凭着我们主耶稣基督的命令,赦免你的罪,奉父、子、圣灵的名。阿们。平平安安地去吧。」



钥匙职是甚么?* 钥匙职是基督赐给衪世上教会的特权,去赦免懊恼者的罪;但对于不懊悔者,在他未懊恼之前,不给予赦免。

这道记于何处呢?* 福音书的作者圣约翰在第二十章这样写着:主耶稣向衪的门徒吹一口气,说:「你们受圣灵!你们赦免谁的罪,谁的罪就赦免了;你们留下谁的罪,谁的罪就留下了。」(约20:22-23)

根据这些话,你相信什么?* 我相信当基督所召的仆人,凭着主神圣的命令对待我们的时候,特别是在他们将公然不悔的罪人革出基督堂会,及对懊悔并立意改善的人施行解罪的时候,就正如我们亲爱的主基督亲自处理一样,是有效和肯定的,甚至在天堂也是如此。