12.1.8.8 Effects of the forgiveness of sins

The absolution proclaimed in authority and in the name of Jesus, when grasped in faith, erases sin (1 John 2: 12) and cancels out the debt that exists toward God (Matthew 6: 12). However, the material, moral, and legal consequences and responsibilities arising from sinful conduct remain unaffected by the forgiveness of sins.

Believers whose sins have been forgiven are also given peace out of Jesus Christ with the words: "The peace of the Risen One abide with you!" When this peace enters, all fear of the consequences of sin with respect to God will retreat.

SUMMARY

The foundation for the forgiveness of sins is the perfect, eternally valid sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (12.1.8)

The forgiveness of sins is not a sacrament, but rather the prerequisite for the worthy receiving of the sacraments. (12.1.8)

It is the triune God who washes away sins. Human beings are not capable of this. (12.1.8.1)

The sacrificial service of the Old Testament was unable to erase sins, but it had a postponing effect until the sacrificial death of Christ. Ever since the sacrifice of Christ, forgiveness of sins–in the sense of the complete erasing of sin and redemption from death–has become possible. (12.1.8.2; 12.1.8.3)

The prerequisite for receiving forgiveness of sins is belief in Jesus Christ as the Redeemer. Recognition and confession of one's sins, as well as repentance, remorse, and the willingness to reconcile are also required. (12.1.8.4)

The recognition of one's own sinfulness is the prerequisite for repentance. This includes remorse and the endeavour to improve and change one's attitude. If their remorse and willingness to repent are genuine, believers may hope in God's grace. (12.1.8.5)

The sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not forgiven. (12.1.8.6)

The forgiveness of sins must be proclaimed. This occurs through the absolution in the name of Jesus Christ and has its effects on all those who grasp it in faith. The authority to proclaim the absolution lies in the ministry of reconciliation, namely the Apostle ministry. (12.1.8.7)

The sins of those who grasp the absolution in faith are erased, and their guilt before God is annulled. The peace of Jesus Christ is assured them. (12.1.8.8)

See also