We believe that faithful, baptized Christians to need to keep receiving Christ’s forgiveness because they sin daily and struggle with the effects of sin. God announces the forgiveness of sins through confession & absolution, in the worship service and in private settings (John 20:23).
Confession in the churches is not abolished among us. … The people are very carefully taught about faith in the Absolution. … Our people are taught that they should highly prize the Absolution as being God’s voice and pronounced by God’s command. The Power of the Keys is set forth in its beauty. They are reminded what great consolation it brings to anxious consciences and that God requires faith to believe such Absolution as a voice sounding from heaven. They are taught that such faith in Christ truly obtains and receives the forgiveness of sins. … (Augsburg Confession: Article 25)
What is confession? Confession consists of two parts: one, that we confess our sins; the other, that we receive absolution, or forgiveness, from the pastor or confessor as from God Himself, and in no way doubt, but firmly believe that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in heaven. (Small Catechism: Confession)