The verb “confess” has different meanings: to acknowledge, to tell one’s fault to the Lord or to another, and to declare belief or faith in something. We are going to talk about this last meaning: to declare belief or faith in Jesus Christ.
In, , Paul affirms: “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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Summarizing the words of the apostle, we need to believe in Christ with our heart, and confess with our mouth this belief, in order to be saved.
Christ went a bit further: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (, ). Confessing here means to manifest, to reveal Christ’s character before the world.
When we recognize Christ as our personal Saviour and Lord, we commit ourselves to representing Him before the world. At the same time, Christ commits Himself to representing us before His Father in heaven.
“Jesus continues: As you confess Me before men, so I will confess you before God and the holy angels. You are to be My witnesses upon earth, channels through which My grace can flow for the healing of the world. So I will be your representative in heaven. The Father beholds not your faulty character, but He sees you as clothed in My perfection. I am the medium through which Heaven’s blessings shall come to you. And everyone who confesses Me by sharing My sacrifice for the lost shall be confessed as a sharer in the glory and joy of the redeemed.
“He who would confess Christ must have Christ abiding in him. He cannot communicate that which he has not received. The disciples might speak fluently on doctrines, they might repeat the words of Christ Himself; but unless they possessed Christlike meekness and love, they were not confessing Him. A spirit contrary to the spirit of Christ would deny Him, whatever the profession. Men may deny Christ by evilspeaking, by foolish talking, by words that are untruthful or unkind. They may deny Him by shunning life’s burdens, by the pursuit of sinful pleasure. They may deny Him by conforming to the world, by uncourteous behavior, by the love of their own opinions, by justifying self, by cherishing doubt, borrowing trouble, and dwelling in darkness. In all these ways they declare that Christ is not in them. And “whosoever shall deny Me before men,” He says, “him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.”1
How can we fulfill these conditions? By avoiding everything that is contrary to God’s will. Do we have power to do that? Before trying to do good and shunning evil, we need to submit ourselves to Christ, and then the Holy Spirit will guide us in right paths. We need to have Christ abiding in us and be under the control of the Holy Spirit and His sacred words. (See.)
Where should we confess Christ? 1. In our home. Our families are the first missionary field where we need to confess Christ. Those who are Christian in their home are Christian everywhere. 2. In the school where we study. 3. In our workplace; 4. In the streets and public places; 5. Wherever we go or stay.
“Are we confessing Christ in our daily life? Do we confess Him in our dress, adorning ourselves with plain and modest apparel? Is our adorning that of the meek and quiet spirit which is of so great price in the sight of God? Are we seeking to advance the cause of the Master? . . . There is no use in telling you that you must not wear this or that, for if the love of these vain things is in your heart, your laying off your adornments will only be like cutting the foliage off a tree. The inclinations of the natural heart would again assert themselves. You must have a conscience of your own. . . .
“He who imitates Christ will show forth His self-denial and self-sacrifice. . . . Just where the conscience of the Bible Christian warns him to forbear, to deny himself, to stop, just there the worldling steps over the line to indulge his selfish propensities. On one side of the line is the self-denying follower of Jesus Christ, on the other side of the line is the self-indulgent world-lover. . . . On this side of the line the Christian cannot go. It is no place for him.
“Our life must be hid with Christ in God, that when He shall appear, we also may appear with Him in glory.”2