Many are confused with the teaching regarding CONFESSION. Some assume by this word that God is calling for a catalogue or list of all the evil and wicked things that we have done to be named before we can be saved. This is not what the Bible teaches. There is a time when we will need to be specific with regards to what we have done when we sin, but those are times when we are seeking forgiveness from a fellow Christian. As far as all the things we have done in sin against God, He already knows what those are and wants us, not necessarily to list them, but rather to admit to those sins and turn from them.
The CONFESSION with which we shall deal in this lesson is that profession with the mouth that admits or acknowledges our belief in and acceptance of the facts concerning Jesus: who He is, what He is, and that He alone (having that authority from the Father) can save.
THE MEANING OF CONFESSION
The term CONFESSION as found in the Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament, originally meant to "hold out the hands toward, to revere with extended hands or to bemoan by wringing of the hands." It is applied to the CONFESSION of good or evil tidings, praise or thanksgiving. In Greek, the language of the New Testament, CONFESSION means to give "ascent or acknowledgment to; to give thanks, promise; to agree fully, to profess as in one's calling or profession," specifically with regard to being a Christian in walking within the Christian life.
Let us now look at a few verses which speak of this use of the term CONFESSION and its place in our salvation:
"Everyone therefore who shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32).
"And I say unto you, Every one who shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God" (Luke 12:8).
"These things said his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man should confess him to be Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue" (John 9:22).
"Nevertheless even of the rulers many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, lest they should be put out of the synagogue" (John 12:42).
"Because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9).
"And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:11).
"Fight the good fight of the faith, lay hold on the life eternal, whereunto thou wast called, and didst confess the good CONFESSION in the sight of many witnesses" (1 Timothy 6:12).
"Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him, and he in God" (1 John 4:15).
"He that overcometh shall thus be arrayed in white garments; and I will in no wise blot his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels" (Revelation 3:5).
Please notice there are four applications of this CONFESSION. This CONFESSION is to be an actual professing of facts with the mouth so that others may hear. It is seen in at least two of the verses above. There were some who were afraid to speak their faith in Jesus as God's chosen One. With such fear, God is not pleased. Jesus said that if we are afraid to acknowledge Him, God will deny us salvation. Again, this CONFESSION is to be the fact that Jesus is God's Christ (anointed or chosen One) and that He is Lord (master with authority over all). Finally, our profession of faith is that, not only is Jesus God's chosen One, but that He is the actual Son of God, thus Himself God (deity). But one of the grandest truths expressed is what Jesus promised: if we confess Him, He will in turn confess us! What a glorious thought: God Incarnate (that is, God who became flesh—Jesus) will speak to the Father and say, "This is your child!"
COST OF CONFESSION
While it may seem easy to some to merely mouth the words that they believe Jesus to be the Son of God, yet to some, this would be a very difficult thing to do. While He was on the earth, Jesus knew of some who were not willing to state verbally their belief in Him. Consider these verses:
"These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue" (John 9:22).
"Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue" (John 12:42).
For the Jew, to be put out of the synagogue was very serious indeed. Today, when some confess Jesus as Lord and Son of God, they, too, may be excluded from family, friends or religious organizations. But it will be well worth it as Jesus has promised to confess us to the Father and before the angels in Heaven. This means that no matter what men may think of us here, God thinks us to be very special children, and that we will be able to live with God forever in Heaven. This is how much He cares for us! But we must care enough for Him and His Son Jesus to be bold enough to say so!
EXAMPLE OF CONFESSION
As with all things we must teach, there must be an example which shows us what and how to obey God's word. This is one of the primary reasons the Bible was given to us—to teach and authorize by example. This is what Paul had in mind when he wrote such passages as: "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were WRITTEN FOR OUR LEARNING, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4); and "Now these things were our EXAMPLES" (1Corinthians 10:6) . . . "Now all these things happened unto them for EXAMPLES: and they are WRITTEN FOR OUR ADMONITION, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1 Corinthians 10:11).
The confession of our faith is to be a continual process. It is always showing forth our faith in Jesus as God's Son by how we live in obedience to Him. It must begin with that first time we say with our mouths, "Jesus is Lord, the Son of God" (Romans 10:9). This takes place when a person has heard the Gospel, the good news that Jesus has died for our sins, and that He was raised and now reigns in Heaven. Upon believing this, he will do as did the man of Ethiopia as recorded in the book of Acts (Acts 8:35-38),
"Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. (36) And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? (37) And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. AND HE ANSWERED AND SAID, I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (38) And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him."
Good reader friend, it is our hope and prayer that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and will confess that belief with your mouth and be baptized, that you too can be saved. God bless you as you continue to study his word!
Questions for Lesson Eight
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