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The Bible discusses different forms of confession. Jesus taught that when we offend a person, we are to go directly to that person and seek forgiveness: "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." Matthew 5:23-24, KJV Yet, at the same time, the New Testament also tells us that when the elder of a church sins, he should be rebuked before all, in order that others might learn from the poor example: "Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear." 1 Timothy 5:19-20, KJV If we happen to be the person who has been offended by the sinner, then we are also told that it is our responsibility to demonstrate forgiveness and mercy as well: "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 6:14-15, KJV

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