Confessing Christ is essential
for the alien sinner to become a Christian
by Dick Ward
Parson's QuickVerse of the King James Version suggests to us that the word "confess" and its cognates appear twenty-seven (27) times in twenty-four (24) verses of the New Testament. Within these references we notice many different things being confessed. We see Jews confessing their sins at John's baptism and we see erring Christians being instructed to gain forgiveness through repentance, confessions of sin and prayer (Mt. 3:6; I John 1:9). We learn of the Pharisees confessing what the Sadducees would not - the belief in the resurrection, angels and spirits (Acts 23:8). Faithful Christians strive to overcome so we might have white rainment, our names in the book of life and have Christ confess our names before the Father (Rev. 3:5). Of the twenty-seven entries in the twenty-four verses, more than half of the confessions mentioned are in reference to Jesus being the Christ, the son of God.
Confessions While Jesus Was On The Earth
While Jesus was upon the earth, over and over again His true identity surfaced through accurate confessions. The Father in heaven twice confessed Jesus as, " my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased " (Mt. 3:17; 17:5). John the Baptist spoke of Jesus as "the Lamb of God" and " the Son of God" (John 1:29,34). Peter said to Jesus, ">>>Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Mt. 16:16). We notice that even the devils cried out, " Thou art the Christ the Son of God" (Lk. 4:41). While on the earth, Jesus taught His Jewish disciples the importance of confessing Him: "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess 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 (Mt. 10:32,33).
Confession And The Alien Sinner
After Jesus' ascension to the right hand of His Father, members of His church went forth preaching the gospel plan of salvation (Acts 8:4). In Romans 10:9,10, Paul specifies two essentials in God's plan of salvation . First, to believe in the heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, and secondly, to confess the Lord Jesus. It is the belief in the hart of man that is "unto righteousness", that is, in order to be righteous or that which results in justification. In the same way, it is the confession that is "unto salvation", that is, in order to be saved or resulting in salvation. While these two are not the only essential elements in God's plan of forgiveness of the alien's sins, there can be no denial on their existance and essentiality.
Luke, in his writing, affords us an approved example of the confession that is "unto salvation". Luke, in chapter eight of the book of Acts quotes the eunuch's confession. Notice how the eunuch's belief had to be expressed or confessed before Philip would immerse his student. The sequence of events leading up to the eunuch's baptism began with Philip explaining Isaiah 53 and beginning at that text preaching Jesus unto the treasurer. In hearing Jesus preached, the eunuch understood his personal and immediate need to be baptized, and asked the evangelist if anything was preventing Philip from baptizing him right then and there at the water they had found. Looking at Philip's comment and the eunuch's reaction, we have the following, "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:37). Philip, after hearing the man confess his faith in Christ, was willing to assist the sinner in completing his obedience: "And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him." (Acts 8:38 KJV). Need we ask the question, would Philip have baptized the eunuch without that confession?
This good confession is made after one believes in Christ and before the believer is baptized into Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:87). Surely, all can see the essentiality of the alien's confessing Christ in order to become a Christian.
[Editor's Note: Thanks to Dick Ward for the article! He can be reached at 18 Eldorado East, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35405, (205) 556-2407]
Email the Editor at email@example.com
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