Lesson 10 : Confession
Confession Before Baptism
A person must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God before he can become a Christian. This confession is necessary to salvation.
That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9,10).
If a person will not confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, then he cannot become a Christian. In the book of Acts, we have an example of a man confessing Christ before being baptized.
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.
Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?"
Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:35-37).
After the eunuch made the confession, Philip baptized him. No one can become a Christian if he is not willing to confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Confession After Baptism
A person must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God before becoming a Christian. He must also confess Jesus Christ to others after he becomes a Christian. It is the duty of every Christian to tell others about the salvation that Jesus Christ offers to man. Jesus said that if we tell others about Him He will tell God about us. But if we don’t tell others, He will deny us to God.
Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven (Matthew 10:32,33).
This confessing of Jesus Christ is to be done throughout the life of a Christian. Jesus Christ died so that all men might have the forgiveness of sins. The forgiveness of sins, however, depends upon men accepting and obeying Christ. But can men accept and obey Christ if they don’t know about Him? No! Christians then must tell others about Christ so that they may accept and obey Him. Then they will receive the forgiveness of their sins. Nothing should prevent Christians from telling others about Christ. Christ has commanded Christians to confess Him, and so Christians "...ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
We have learned that we are to confess Christ to others by word of mouth. We are also to confess Him in another way. We are to confess Christ by the way we live. Christ lived a perfect life. We are to follow His example.
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps (1 Peter 2:21).
People are watching Christians all the time. If a Christian does wrong, others know it. They then speak evil of Christianity. But if Christians follow Christ, they will do that which is right. People will then see that Christianity is good. If a Christian tells others about Christ, but does not live right, then he speaks in vain. People will not listen to a Christian who tells them what to do but doesn’t do it himself. A Christian must tell others about Christ and at the same time do what Christ tells him to do.
Confessing Our Sins
There are two ways we are to confess our sins. First, we are to confess our sins to one another. James says, "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16).
It is not easy for a person to say that he has sinned. Yet the Bible commands that we do it. Why are we to confess our sins to one another? It is so that we can pray about those sins. Christians should be interested in helping one another. If one Christian has sinned, all other Christians should want to help him overcome that sin. They can do that by praying for him.
The second way we are to confess our sins is to God.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
If we confess our sins to God, He will forgive our sins. What a great promise!
A person must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God before he can become a Christian. After he becomes a Christian, he must confess Christ to others in two ways: (1) by word of mouth, and (2) by the kind of life that he lives. After a person becomes a Christian, he will still commit sins. Christians are then to confess their sins to one another and to pray for one another so that they can overcome those sins. A Christian is also to confess to God his sins. God will then forgive him of his sins.