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We have covered the topic of repentance and salvation in the last few units. It is at the point of repentance that a person actually receives the promise of salvation. But if you remember from unit 3:2 there are 5 requirements to be saved.
Belief was the first, and that must come before repentance. But after repentance, we also find 3 other things needed. Confession, baptism, and enduring unto the end are the final 3 pieces to the puzzle.
You may have noticed that through the other units I have constantly said confession and baptism happen at the same time as repentance. Well, I am going to explain the requirement of confession right now, and you will know why it is a part of repentance.
In the next unit, we will talk about baptism a little bit. We will not go into great detail, though, because it is an entire subject unto itself, dealing with many other important issues. But, for now, let’s talk about the 3rd requirement, which is a confession.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
This isn’t really too difficult. Confession is when we admit to something. It may be something we have done, something we have said, or something we have witnessed but we are the ones who have the information. When we confess something we are admitting something that we know to be true.
Obviously, Romans 10:9 says we are to confess the Lord Jesus. But what exactly does that mean?! Does it mean we are to confess that Jesus is real? Does it mean we must confess that He is Lord? Does it mean that we are to confess that He is OUR Lord?
The answer is all of the above.
We are to confess that Jesus is real, God, our Lord, came in the flesh, died for us, and is risen from the dead:
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1 John 4:2-3
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
1 John 4:15
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
2 John 1:7-9
7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
Let me just mention something that is a little bit off subject here (though it is still related). I have found that any false doctrine taught and preached has one thing in common. If you dig deep enough you will find that the only way it can be proven true is if Jesus either did not come in the flesh or is not God.
It isn’t always easy to spot, though. This is because the Devil is a liar. He will not come right out and admit that the false doctrine is founded upon either one of these. He will tell you that you can believe the false doctrine and still believe that Jesus came in the flesh and is God.
This is why the testing of doctrine is needed. We need to dig into the doctrines we hear to see if they are of God or not. There are those who claim the “Holy Spirit” leads them into all truth, and therefore they do not need the Bible. These people often say that the “Holy Spirit” gave them some kind of personal revelation. But remember that even the Devil is transformed into an angel of light. That “Holy Spirit” may not be so holy after all. We must test the spirit.
So, if you dig into a doctrine and find that it rejects Jesus as 100% man, 100% God, and the author of the Bible (as it is the word of God) then that spirit is anything but holy. Whatever it teaches is only a half-truth at best.
Besides making our confession (admitting that we know and believe) that Jesus is real, God, our Lord, came in the flesh, died for us, and is risen from the dead there is one other thing we must confess.
Even as far back as Adam and Eve, God required a confession of sin. You should be familiar with the story by now. Adam and Eve sinned and they hid from God. But then God comes along and says, “Adam, where are you?”
God didn’t have to ask a question because He already knew. But you can’t help but answer a question when someone asks. You at least try to think of the answer. For example, what color is your hair? Couldn’t help but think of it, huh?
Well, the question made Adam think about where he was. He was trying to hide from the God who sees everything. You may have noticed that the Bible doesn’t say that God found them. It says they came to Him! He was giving them a chance to confess.
5 I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Now, since I am human I can tell you that my memory isn’t as perfect as I would like it to be. I am sure there are some things I am not aware of in which I may have sinned. The point isn’t so much about admitting to certain sins, though. It is about admitting to having sin altogether.
So you don’t need to worry about if you have “confessed everything on your list” because the Bible says if you break one law then you have broken them all. A simple “Lord God I have sinned. Please forgive me.” will do.
While the Bible does mention confessing our faults one to another it only does so to strengthen the believers. Doing so shows us that we are all subject to temptation and sin. It lets us know that no one is a perfect, super Christian. But, this type of confession is not the type that leads to salvation.
You can confess your sins to someone but still not confess them to the one you need to confess to. The one we need to confess all of these things to, including our sins, is Jesus Himself. For those who still get confused about the trinity, it doesn’t matter if you confess to Jesus or the Father, … they are the same God.
For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
So the confession of our guilt of sin, and the need for Jesus must be made before God. But we also must not deny Jesus before men. This is not because telling others you belong to Jesus is going to save you, though. It is only because you can not say you love Jesus while being ashamed to tell others that you do.
32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Now, there are many who may even fear for their lives to do this. I am not telling you to run up to someone known for beheading Christians and say, “HEY I’M A CHRISTIAN!” God gives us a brain for a reason. But there is a difference between fear and shame.
Fear is a God given gift to know not to do things that could kill you. Shame is when you don’t even want to admit things because you wish it were not true. But when someone comes to you and asks you if you follow Jesus then they brought the fight to you. Don’t be ashamed, and do not fear those who can kill the body. But make your confession as one who is willing to give all for your God.
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
The obvious way to confess is to speak. This is where prayer comes in. Speak to God in prayer. Confess to him with your lips, and if you can’t then do so with your inner voice. God hears even our thoughts (Genesis 24:45, 1 Samuel 1:12-17).
Confession itself is communication. There are many forms that communication can take. Speech, sign language, writing, and so on are all forms of communication. But there is also one other form, action.
I’m sure you have heard that actions speak louder than words. What good is it if you confess Jesus with your lips but deny Him with your actions? Our confession is only as good as it is true. In other words, let your life be a continual confession that Jesus is your Lord.
Now, remember I said that confession and repentance happen at the same time? The reason is because you can not repent without also making a confession to God that you have sinned and are now turning from sin and to Him as your God.
Repentance itself means you are admitting you need God, and that you are renouncing sin. That is why repentance and confession go hand in hand.
At the moment of repentance, you make your confession to God and begin your walk with Him. From that moment on your life is a continual confession that you know Him and follow Him.
So you see that we first believe, then we repent as we make our confession. The next requirement is baptism. This also goes hand in hand with repentance and confession, and it happens at the same time as well. We will explain that in our next unit.
June 30, 2016 at 1:49 pm | | 4 comments