I enjoy a good courtroom television drama. Sometimes, while watching one of these lawyer shows, you see the police interrogate the prisoner. The goal for the law enforcement officers is to get a confession. If the accused will confess, conviction is easy.
That is why the police must read the accused their rights. That protects the person from saying something that could be used as a confession. So, when accused of crime, be careful what you confess.
Yet, there are times you need to do some confessing. You have done things in your life that call on you to own up, 'fess up, and be honest before God or other people. Confession is an integral part of your walk with God. It is not a one time statement, but a lifestyle of living. You might wonder what you have to confess. Listen, while God tells you what you need to say.
Confess With Faith: -- "That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation" (Rom. 10:9,10). Confession begins in your heart. It is a conviction that Jesus is the Christ, that God raised Him from the dead. When you make this good confession, you are made right with God (righteousness) and are saved by God.
You must understand that just saying the words is not confession. Confession only comes from conviction. You must believe that Jesus is more that a great teacher or philosopher. You must believe He was raised from the dead. Then, when your heart is convicted, you can use your mouth to confess your faith. You must believe in your heart, that is, you must be sincere in your faith that Jesus is Who He claims to be. Too many people claim to know Jesus and often use His name. But that is just making noise, if there is no faith in your heart to begin with.
Confess From Now On: -- Confession is not a one time thing you do as you become a Christian. Rather, confession becomes your lifestyle, something you do from now on. "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whosoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 10:32,33). Jesus says if we confess Him, He will confess us to the Father. But, if we deny Him, He will deny us.
Obviously, this is not a one time thing. Some have confessed Jesus with sincerity and followed Him for a while. But, at some point they give up and their confessing of Jesus ends. That sort of denial is just what Jesus is talking about. When you make the good confession that you believe, you must decide that you will continue to make it throughout your life. If at any point you decide to abandon your faith and deny Jesus, all the confession you have made will be lost.
Confess Your Sins: -- Confessing Jesus requires that you also confess your sins. This happens when you admit you, like everyone of us, are a sinner. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). To believe in Jesus is to also face your own guilt before God. You cannot honestly confess Jesus as Lord and Savior unless you honestly admit your sin.
This is more than just a general confession that you, like others, are a sinner. It is also the admission of specific sins. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 Jno. 1:9). John reminds us that we must be willing to own up to our failings. So, whatever your sin might be, you must be willing to confess it in order for God and others to offer you mercy.
Confess With Others: -- "By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up to glory" (1 Tim. 3:16). Paul mentions many things about Jesus in these verses. What is interesting is that the apostle describes these things as a common confession. That is, this is the sort of declaration of faith the early church practiced.
The reality is that when you confess you need to be among others. Some may not be believers and your personal confession may sway them in their belief. Others may be believers and they may need encouragement. By making your commitment to Jesus a vocal commitment you are going to influence others to come to faith or to come to a deeper faith. Never make the mistake of thinking your confession is just between you and God. You are to confess before others and for others.
In fact this is part of why we assemble as Christians to worship. When Paul talks of the Lord's supper, he describes it as a proclamation of our faith. "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes" (1 Cor. 11:26). Later, he describes one of the reasons for communal worship. "But if all prophecy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face among you" (1 Cor. 14:24,25). When unbelievers come into our assemblies, they may be converted by hearing our confession of faith. In our songs, our prayers, or teaching and even the Lord's supper we are confessing, together, our common faith in Jesus.
Confess Through Trials: -- "Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Tim. 6:12-14). Paul warns us that confessing Jesus can be costly. Jesus paid for His confession by being crucfied. Paul wants Timothy (and us) to stay faithful when trials come. That is, we are to continue to confess our faith and allegiance even if others oppose us.
Again, notice that this is a confession that goes on and on. There never comes a time we can back away and not offer our confession of faith. We are to declare our trust in Jesus, even if times are hard. We are to confess Him as Savior even if we are suffering. Circumstances should not alter our confession of faith.
Confess To Hold On: -- "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near" (Heb. 10:23-25). God wants us to hold on to our confession. That is, He does not want us to abandon our vocal commitment to Jesus. God will keep all the promises He made through His Son. Now, He wants us to persevere, even in trials, and keep on confessing Jesus.
Some skip worship assemblies. Others fail to bother with worship or gathering with other believers. It should not surprise us that these Christians are weak and getting weaker. Some have quit confessing Jesus. They quit when they gave up on the church. That is whay we must keep on assembling together, so we can keep on confessing together.
Confess Now, Or Later: -- "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:9-11). God has exalted His Son. You can choose to ignore Jesus or reject Him. But, eventually, every tongue, including yours, will confess that Jesus is Lord.
Simply put, you can confess Him now while He offers salvation. Or, you can wait until you face Him in judgement. You will confess Him then, although it will be too late. It seems obvious to me what you should choose. You will confess Who Jesus is. Why not do it now?
Confess Today: -- All you need to do is believe in your heart that Jesus is the Christ, raised from the dead by the power of God. Then, admit your sin and turn from it. This is called repentance. Finally, as you verbally confess Jesus, you can be baptized into His name.
Baptism is actually a great way to offer your confession of faith. Only those who have turned to Jesus are baptized. Only those who believe in their heart are immersed. And, even though you confess Jesus with your mouth, you also confess Him with your mouth, you also confess Him with your actions. "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:3,4). When you are baptized, you make the first, great confession of your faith. You are saying Jesus died for you and that you trust Him. Why not beleive Him, turn to Him and confess Him, today?
By David Thurman, in Gospel Minutes, Vol. 54, No. 27, July 8, 2005.
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