Kyle, I’m scratching my head a bit as I try to discern where you are/were trying to go with this.
Damon J. Gray

Damon, I certainly can.

That quote would be the words the Pastor speaks. They are from the Small Catechism written by Martin Luther. The Catechism has six chief parts, one of them is Confession/Absolution. In there Luther includes a short form of private confession. Those are the words he puts in for the confessor (the one receiving the confession and announcing the forgiveness of sins) to say to the one confessing.

Scripture calls us both to confess the sins we have committed against our neighbor to them (Matt 5:23–24) and to confess those things that trouble us in our hearts (James 5:16), typically to a Pastor. Perhaps our neighbor has forgiven us but we are still troubled by our actions against them or we have sinned against God in idolatry, using his name in appropriately, or disregarding his Word. In those cases especially God desire to comfort those who have acknowledged that sin and are troubled in conscience.

With that, Christ gave authority to his people and the church to forgive sins (Matt 18:18; John 20:23). In the case of confession/absolution, whether privately in a pastor’s office or corporately in worship, the Pastor is tasked with proclaiming the good news of the Gospel in announcing that sin is forgiven. It is not by the pastor’s power or authority, but by Christ’s power and command that sins are forgiven. As God worked tangibly through Jesus to earn that forgiveness for us, so also God uses the pastor to tangibly announce it, as Jesus says in Luke 10:16 “The one who hears you hears me.”

A great example of this annunciation of forgiveness is found in 2 Sam 12. David. This is after David has had Uriah killed after sleeping with Bathsheba. Nathan has confronted him with his sins and David confesses to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replies “And the Lord has taken away your sin”

When sins are forgiven in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, it is assurance to us that God is the one doing the forgiving.

I hope that was helpful. Thank you for asking and let me know if you have any more questions.

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