Man has a spirit even as he has a body. As the body gets ill, the spirit too gets sick. The reason for the sickness of the spirit is sin. There is no natural cure for this. When we pray after repenting and forsaking all sin, we get forgiveness. The Bible says that the sinner has no peace. "But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss up mire and mud. There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked", Isaiah 57: 20-21. Jesus is the God who forgives sin. He bore sin and sickness on his body and offered himself on the Cross. Thus were we relieved of sickness and curse. Jesus defeated satan and death on the cross. The repentant sinner receives free forgiveness from sin by the invaluable crucifixion of Jesus. Only Jesus has authority to forgive sin, because he is God - Mark 2: 5,7,10.
HOW TO RECEIVE FORGIVENESS
Everyone will receive forgiveness of sins if seven rules are followed. Those who follow these seven rules will receive total redemption from sin by the merit of crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1. Resolve not to sin anymore
One has enjoyed pleasures of sin so far. Resolve to give up pleasures and profits of sin. Evil intention comes from human heart - Mark 7: 21; Sirach 37: 16-17. So, take the right decision in your innermost heart. It will bring the right external actions.
2. Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior
Believe that Jesus has atoned for your sin. Jesus is the atoner and atonement for your sin - 1 Tim 2: 6. Cleanse yourself of sin by the blood of Jesus - 1 John 1: 7. "Jesus has taken upon himself, the punishment for sin, that was to be upon you", Rom 8: 1. Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. In truth, this means to live only according to the teachings and messages in the Bible.
3. Forgive your enemies
There are people who have worked or spoken against you. Forgive them. Your sins will be forgiven - Matt 6:14-15. Always pray that the Holy Spirit may come upon your enemies and that they may be more blessed than you. Love them from your heart, and then your forgiveness will be complete.
4. Lead a holy life today and in future
The best atonement for a sinful past is a holy present and future - John 8: 11. Try to lead a holy life today and in future as a penance for all your past sins. God demands only that much as a penance of our sins and to forgive all our past iniquities. A holy future is the penance of an unholy past.
"My brothers and sisters, if any one among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner's soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins - James 5: 19-20. One should use one's wealth, influence, power and time to bring back those who have moved away from Jesus or true faith. Helping the poor orphans, sick, aged and prisoners are included among the works of evangelization. Interceding for others is the best way of evangelization. Fasting and alms giving cleanse one of all sins - Tobit 12: 8-9. Tithing of time, talents and treasure is also considered as a means of evangelization.
If you have damaged somebody's property, fame and good name, you have to restitute it as early as possible. Then you will get forgiveness of sin and salvation. For example read Luke 19:1-10.
7. Confession Why confess?
Confession is a sacrament. Sacrament means that which sanctifies one's life. So confession helps a person to grow in holiness.
Confession bestows humility. Pride is the source of all sin.
Confession reconciles one with God and man.
Confession is the Sacrament of Reconciliation - Luke 15: 11-23.
Confession can be instrumental in physical healing.
Confession is the re-enactment of the Word of God - "Your sins are forgiven" - Mark 2:5. The priest is the representative of Jesus. Jesus has given him the authority to forgive sins - John 20: 23. One is filled with the Holy Spirit when he listens to the Word of God - Acts 10: 44-48.
Confession is a means to receive personal advice.
Confession is the final stage of forgiveness of sin for all Catholics. That is a sealing prayer.
Finally, it is the rule of the Catholic Church that all Catholics should make at least one confession in an year.
"I have swept away all your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you" - Is 44:22.
Decide not to sin any more. Do not sin anymore. Pray earnestly that your sins may be forgiven by the merits of the crucifixion of Jesus. Dedicate your life to glorify God.
"The blood of Jesus, His son, cleanses us from all sin" - 1 John 1: 7. Our spirit is healed when we get forgiveness of sin. Reconciliation between man and God is made possible through the sacrament of reconciliation. Grace is received. The best atonement for a sinful past is to dedicate the future to a holy life.An explanation of confession is found in the letter to St James and in The Gospel according to Matthew.
St James' epistle 5:16 says, "Therefore confess your sins to one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective."
St Matthew 3:6 says, "and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins."