Confessing Christ as Lord

A Scottish proverb says, “Open confession is good for the soul.” /1 Confession is an indispensable aspect of Christianity. Scripture says, “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” (Romans 10:9, NKJV).
Confession means “to declare openly and voluntarily, to declare fully, the yielding or change of one’s convictions.” /2 It is also to “consent to something felt to be valid, and in such a way that is followed by definite resolve of action, by ready attachment to a cause.” /3 Moses Lard said, “to confess a thing with the mouth is to acknowledge in words that it is true.” /4
To confess something is to pronounce what is true within our hearts. Marriage ceremonies contain a public pronouncement of love and commitment to a future spouse. Military, medical, and legal fields require an oath of allegiance to the hallowed codes of their profession.
In these settings we stand before men and profess our allegiance and commitment to be faithful to the higher cause. With this public pronouncement, we feel a greater sense of urgency to uphold our promise.
The confession of Christ tells the world of our love and faith for him. It is an “act or action by which I bear witness to the agreement.” /5 It is to join “one’s voice harmoniously to the voices of others, in common affirmation of beliefs.” /6 The confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior springs from the unshakeable confidence of an active faith and unites us with the body of believers who have also professed the sweetest name.
The confession of Christ before men affirms that we are resolved to serve and worship him throughout our days. When we confess something, it should emanate from a firm belief. Fans confess their love for their sports teams or heroes. Lovers profess their love to all who will listen. People eagerly express their patriotism. God understands our need to profess allegiance to a higher cause.
Paul, in Romans 10:9-10, ties belief and confession together. This is a natural progression. Confession springs from the faith in our heart. Lenski says, “True faith is never silent; it always confesses.” /7 It has to, because the good news is too powerful to keep in. Jeremiah said it was a “burning fire (s)hut up in my bones” that he could not hold it back (Jeremiah 20:9).
When the love of God swells our hearts, confession will pour forth. If the word of God is in our hearts, it is supposed to be in our mouths. To know the truth and not share it is to violate God’s plan (Matthew 5:13-16).
Paul is speaking of the confession prior to baptism in Romans 10:9-10. But confession occurs throughout our Christian walks. We continue to confess Christ daily because of our love, devotion, and commitment.
We confess Christ with our lives, decisions, language, manner of living, clothing, etc. In everything that we do, we confess to others that the Christian life is the best. When we choose the immoral over the moral, we confess to others that the immoral is the better way. We must, therefore, be careful how we conduct ourselves because people are taking notes.
Matthew writes, “Therefore, whoever confesses Me before men, him I will confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32,33).
2/ Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 446
3/ The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 5:200
4/ Romans, 330
5/ TDNT, 5:201
6/ The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 1:759
7/ Romans, 176

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