Once we completely believe and have faith that Jesus is Lord and Christ, and we have repented (turned from) our sinful ways, the next step that the Bible shows us in the salvation plan is the Confession. What is meant by this?
Confession means, “to own, acknowledge, or to avow.” So, to confess something is to acknowledge it, but this is not just a simple verbal agreement. This is owning Jesus. Some may scoff at the idea of Jesus being our “personal Savior”, but that is precisely what He is. I am not converted by joining any particular group, but individually by my King. This confession is a step in that direction.
Many feel safe and confident in their supposed Christianity, while never confessing that Jesus is Lord. In the “dedications” of many denominations, allegiance to the Church is constantly impressed, but very little is emphasized on allegiance to Jesus Christ. Others need to know where our service lies.
In John 19:38, we find that Joseph of Arimathea, who until that point was only a secret disciple of Jesus, comes into the forefront in order to ask for Jesus’ body after His death. This was a big risk, since the ruling Jewish authorities had said that anyone who confessed Jesus would be put out of the synagogue (John 9:22). What if such a thing were so for us? In fact, there are many today that experience that same thing. In many countries across the world, preaching and teaching the Gospel is illegal, and can lead to imprisonment, and even death. We must be willing to endure any risk, threat, or consequence of following Jesus, and not hold back when the Truth must be declared (Acts 4:19-20; 1 Peter 4:13).
We must feel the desire to be confessed (or acknowledged) by Jesus, as well. In Matthew 10:32-33, we find that if we do not confess Him, He will not confess us at judgment. Being a Christian is not a secret thing, and should never be hidden (Matthew 5:14-16).
Confession of Jesus Christ means that we treasure Him over Man. John 12:42-43 shows us that many of the Jewish rulers in Jesus’ time had faith in Him, but because of the fear of being put out of the synagogues, they did not openly acknowledge their faith. It is not simply a manner of faith alone that saves us; if we do not confess and acknowledge that faith to others, it means we love men more than God, and we will not be saved.
Paul the Apostle wrote plainly in Romans 10:9-10 that confession of Jesus Christ leads to salvation. The importance of this confession is absolute! However, like repentance, salvation is not bestowed at confession. The Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8:26-39 made the good confession, that “Jesus Christ is the Son of God” – yet, he still needed to be baptized. This is what we will consider next time. -Steven McCrary