by Roland W. Keith
Most of us have known people in life who talk a good game, as they say. But when it comes to standing up for what they believe in when faced with adversity they crumble. One of life’s hardest lessons is to learn that a person we have been there for time and again in turn abandons us in a difficult time. Thereafter it is hard for us to put our trust in that person, knowing they might forsake us again when push comes to shove.
It is no different in the spiritual realm. Christ gave up everything, including His Own life, for us (Mark 10:45). In return He expects us, as His followers, to be willing to do the same for Him and one another (Luke 9:24; John 15:13). We must be willing to stand up for Jesus and our fellow disciples. Just as Jesus made the good confession concerning Himself before Caiaphas and the council, then Pontius Pilate, knowing the consequences (Matthew 26:63-64; John 18:33-37), we must be willing to confess Christ before our fellow man.. As Paul told Timothy: “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which 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 in His testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Timothy 6:12-14).
No confession or statement of allegiance that we will ever make compares to the one we make when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Paul told the Romans, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10; I John 4:15).
Ultimately all of humanity will confess the name of Jesus (Philippians 2:9-11), but for many it will come only after their opportunity for salvation has already passed them by. But if we are willing to make that confession during our earthly lifetime, in faith, we will reap the benefits of God’s many promises made to those who obey His commands. It was Jesus Himself who proclaimed, “So everyone who acknowledges Me before men, I also will acknowledge before My Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies Me before men, I also will deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).
We often hear that faith alone saves. However, that is a greatly oversimplified view. Faith without action or obedience on our part is not enough. For instance, if we believe in God, but put the world or our desires ahead of Him we cannot expect His acceptance since He deserves and demands preeminence (Matthew 10:37-38; II Thessalonians 1:11-12; Hebrews 10:29). In his gospel account John noted: “Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God” (John 12:42-43).
Many of the Jewish leaders believed that Jesus was the Son of God, but not only did they deny it, they murdered Him to protect their positions in society. Others make the confession but over time return to their old ways thus denying Christ in their actions, so ultimately, they are no different than the Jewish leaders. Are they then saved? In addition, Belief and confession lead to salvation (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 10:32-33), but that is not all that is to be done for the one who would come to Christ (Acts 8:37; 2:38). However, for now, we will restrict our study to the topic of today’s lesson.
Confession. Are there any prerequisites to make our confession effective? According to the word before we can confess in the Lord we must hear of Him (Romans 10:14; Luke 11:28; John 5:25). We must believe that He is the Son of God (John 8:28; 9:35; Acts 16:31). Moreover, we must also repent of our sins (Luke 13:3; Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Acts 2:38; 3:19).
We must believe that Jesus is deity. That He came to earth on our behalf, was crucified and rose from the dead, overcoming death on our behalf. In the Gospel of John we find this exchange between Jesus and Martha: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on Me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth on Me shall never die. Believest thou this?
She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I have believed that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, even He that cometh into the world (John 11:25-27; see also 20:28).
What Martha understood and confessed is what we also must know to be true and be willing to confess before the world (Acts 8:37; Matthew 10:32-33). It is the same as Peter believed and confessed (Matthew 16:13-18), as well as all the early Christians.
Once we have made that confession we must be willing to fight to keep hold of it and the promises made to all who remain faithful. As Paul wrote Timothy: “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 (I Timothy 6:12).
For those who confess Christ there is eternal life in heaven. In the book of Revelation, we read: “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). Do you want to be added to the book of life, and one day hear Jesus confess your name before the Heavenly Father? If so, I have one question: have you confessed Him before your fellow man? And do you continue to confess him in all your words and actions?
Hi! I'm Roland. I began writing after retiring from the Navy in 2015. I believe that we each should strive to learn from one another, by sharing our thoughts and ideas. As a writer my goal is to help other seekers of truth to find and grow in Christ.