There are many verses in the bible that talk about authority given to Jesus and His Church. At the same time there are those who will accept the authority of Jesus, while negating verses having to do with the authority of the Church. The point is this, in the Bible, Jesus did have authority, and He did pass this authority on to His Church.
Jesus had authority: Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me (Mt 28:18). All power had been given to Jesus and then He passed it on.
Jesus gives His authority not to a Bible, but to His Church: As the father has sent me, so I send you (Jn 20:21). "Whoever listens to you listens to me, whoever rejects you rejects me, whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me" (Luke 10:16, Matthew 10:40). If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 18:17-18). Notice that Jesus shared this authority; it was not JESUS ALONE who had authority. He gave this authority to the leaders of His Church. For some, it is very difficult to accept the authority, Jesus has given to the Church.
Jesus gives Peter the Keyes and the power to bind and loosen: I will give you the keys to the kingdom of Heaven. WHATEVER you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and WHATEVER you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven” (Mt 16:19). I remember listening to someone in a debate dismiss Mathew 16:19 because of the word whatever. He said “Peter cannot bind all things because he cannot bind that which is evil.” I found this to be an interesting and convenient way of muting the words of Jesus for the sake of his man-made tradition. His point is a mute point because when Jesus used the word whatever, He was not asking the Peter to bind evil.
Jesus claimed the authority to forgive sins. Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man [Jesus] has authority on earth to forgive sins" he then said to the paralytic, "Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go” (Mt 9:5-6). If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, "We have not sinned," we make him a liar, and his word is not in us (1 Jn 1: 9-10). The detractors of the Catholic Church will accept this verse and others which claim that Jesus can forgive sins. And then they will reject verses that give the Apostles the authority to forgive sins even though this authority was given by Jesus.
Jesus gave the Apostles authority, specifically to forgive and retain sins.And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained" (Jn 20:23). Jesus had the authority to forgive sins and He gave the Apostles the authority to forgive and retains sins. The detractors of orthodox Christianity will accept the fact that Jesus can forgive sins, but will try to find reasons to explain away the authority of the Church, to forgive and retain sins. And this is true even though Jesus gave this authority to the Church. Some will say that Jesus really didn’t mean what He said, when He gave the Church, authority to forgive and retain sins. He meant something else. Of course the something else was not in the Bible, but coming from their tradition. Others say that Jesus really did give the Apostles the power to forgive sins, but they cannot do that now. They believe that the church had no authority after the death of the last Apostles, therefore the power to forgive and retain sins ended with the Apostles. Interesting, but is this idea found in the Bible? Actually it is not in the Bible, but again coming from their tradition and this response came from people who claimed to believe the Bible alone.
For others it is clear; the bible says, God alone can forgive sins. Of course they only quote part of the verse, and leave out the verse before it which is the context. Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, "Why does this man [Jesus] speak that way? He [Jesus] is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins" (Mk 2:6-7)? First of all this verse was not spoken by Jesus or the Apostles. It was spoken by the scribes. Secondly these scribes were not the friends of Jesus; they in fact accused Jesus of blasphemy. And, Jesus did give the Apostles the power to forgive and retain sin.
The people who believe that only God, apart from man, can forgive sins are followers of the scribes, who accused Jesus of blasphemy. Those who believe that Jesus can forgive sins, with man, are followers of Jesus. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained (Jn 20:23).
Another person said, the apostles who were given the authority by Christ to do miracles and write scripture. Nothing is here about apostolic authority being passed down. To make his point, he quotes from 6 different places in the Bible including Acts 18:19, where there is no record of apostolic succession being passed on.
Apostolic succession was passed on in the Bible. And the way you convince people that it is not in the Bible is to quote 6 different places in the Bible where apostolic succession was not passed on, and then leave out the verses in the Bible where it was passed on. He quoted Acts 18:19, but he didn’t quote Acts 1:15-26, the choice of Judas’s successor.
So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place." Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven apostles (Acts 1:23-26). There were 12 Apostles originally (Peter and the eleven). Judas hung himself. They then appointed Mathias. He was the 13th person to be appointed an Apostle. Apostolic succession is in the Bible and was passed on.
The real issue is not actually Confession. The real issue is authority. The moment that people admit that the Church had real authority to forgive and retain sins; it is no longer the BIBLE ALONE. It is now the Bible plus the authority of the Church. One of the pillars of the Protestant Reformation BIBLE ALONE (Sola Scriptura) crumbles under its own weight. Also another pillar, JESUS ALONE crumbles as well. It was not Jesus alone because He also gave the Apostles the power to forgive and retain sins.