Although believers are reborn through the sacrament of baptism, and receive the Holy Ghost trough the sacrament of confirmation, yet this does not mean that they even the best saints are liable to sin. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, etc. in the Old Testament, Peter, John, etc. in the New Testament-all these committed sin, even when they were on the pinnacle of holiness. For this reason this sacrament of penance was instituted in order that through it the sinner can return to God after confessing his sins to the priest. According to the power given by Christ to His ministers to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in Him, the penitent receives, through the meditation of the priest, forgiveness of sins when he comes to him repenting and confessing them.
II. The Institution of the Sacrament
It was instituted by the threefold promise of the Lord
III. The Outward Sign
There are two audible sings in this sacrament:
3. Faith in the mercy and forgiveness of God. Every one that came to the Lord while on earth asking for mercy used to hear this cheerful message “thy sins be forgiven thee” because of his faith in Him, or at least, the faith of those who brought him to the Lord.
IV. The Invisible Grace
The invisible graces which are granted through this sacrament are.
V. The Kind of sin that can be forgiven
(1) The Bible teaches us that every sin can be forgiven however grave it may be, provided that the sinner should return to God in repentance. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool.” (Is 1: 18)
VI. Ecclesiastical Discipline
In some cases the priest finds it necessary to inflict some kind of discipline on the sinner when he commits a great sin, e.g. he can rebuke him, ask him to fast for some days, pass a
VII. Who has the Right to administer this Sacrament?
The right was primarily given to the Apostles as shown above. Afterwards it was transferred to their successors, the bishops; then to the priests who are in contact with the people.
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