Confession. Simply put to confess is to acknowledge or agree to something. A confession carries with it the idea that my agreement is such that I will involve myself in any action that follows.
There are four confessions that we as followers of Christ make.
Four Confessions of Disciples
- We confess our sin to God. Ezra 9:6, ““O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens.” Nehemiah makes a similar confession in Neh 1:5-7, “Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses.” Notice that both confess the sin of their nation and their sin as well.
- We confess our sin to each other. James 5:16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” This is more than a response to the invitation or the altar call. It is an outgrowth of Christian relationships, where were are so connected that we can discuss our sins and pray for each other. This can happen over coffee or any time two or more can be together.
- We confess our faith in Jesus as Christ and Lord. “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, 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. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” Rom 10:8-11. Jesus says, “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. Matt 10:32-33. This is more that the moment we say we believe at church or at our conversion. This is anytime we have opportunity to proclaim His name and our faith.
- We confess by our walking daily with God. The Hebrew writer would call to hold fast. “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Heb 10:19-23.
Here are the implications for my life:
- If I verbally confess that Jesus is Christ and Lord, but live in open rebellion to His will, my action negate my words.
- If I verbally confess in the omnipotence (all powerful nature) of God, yet live in fear of the opinion and ridicule of the world, my actions negate my words.
- Confession without action is dead.