As we give
thanks for our constitutional freedoms in this nation to follow our
consciences and obey the Word of God, we also often pray concerning the
difficulties of brethren living in places where such freedoms are not
available. Sometimes, the consequences of being a faithful Christian can be
“...whoever confesses Me before men.."
By Jon W. Quinn
She looked down the barrel of a shotgun and answered the question, “Do you
believe in Jesus?” She affirmed that she did. It was the last thing she ever
said. But this didn't happen across the sea. It happened in Colorado.
The Islamic radicals told the two news reporters that they must renounce their
Christian faiths or die. They did. They are both alive today.
What would you have chosen to do in the above situations? I know what I would
like to think I would have done. I am pretty certain about it. I would confess
Christ, I believe. But honestly, I do not really know unless presented with
the opportunity. None of us do. I may feel as strongly as Peter once did that
I would never deny the Lord, but if Peter could be mistaken about it, then why
couldn't I also be?
But it does not take such overt and over the top challenges to challenge our
commitment. It does not take a repressive communist regime or a radical
Islamic government to challenge our faith and our willingness to live it
regardless of the cost. We are challenged every single day. Just what do we
believe about Jesus and just how strongly do we believe it? Even if a
terrorist doesn't challenge me to deny Christ today, some of life's other,
more mundane and common circumstances, may well do so. They're the ones that
sneak up on us.
Things About Jesus I Have Come to Believe
"confession" (hom-o-lo-gi'-a) is a
compound Greek word most often translated into "confess" in the New Testament.
This compound word is made up of two smaller words: (homos = same; and lego =
speak). “Homologia” means to "speak the same thing" or "to give assent" or "to
Confessing Jesus as the Son of God means to acknowledge that as a true fact.
It is a "good" (honest, fair, worthy, virtuous) confession and the truth of
which is our basis for obeying His commandments as we await His coming. “Fight
the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were
called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I
charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ
Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate…” (1 Timothy
6:13-14). Jesus affirmed His purpose and role before Pilate (John 18:36-38).
He would not deny before Pilate who He was. Though unrighteous men may deny
Him freely, and though the fearful may deny Him under duress, He, because of
His virtue, could not "deny Himself" (2 Timothy 2:13).
Jesus told Pilate that His words were truth. Not many believe that - not
really. Though some may say His words contain truth, many are willing to
dismiss some of what He taught when convenient to do so. Others reject Him
completely - this is the reason the world is often so crazy and rotten!
But someday I will be in the majority; but not because I plan on changing. It
will be those that deny Him now who will change as they, on bended knee,
acknowledge the Lordship of Christ; something that they should have always
done. “...so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those
who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will
confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
(Philippians 2:10-11). Far better to confess Christ on this side of eternity
and judgment rather than at the judgment.
Deep Personal Conviction
To accept the Bible as true on a mere intellectual basis is certainly not
enough. There needs to be passion and zeal in both our belief and our
confession. To take in all the facts about Jesus' identity and role without it
affecting the way we live is not to live for Him with all our hearts, souls
and minds (Titus 1:15-16) If Jesus means so little to us, it will show by our
lack of involvement in following Him - we will not want to give up too much
for one who, though we affirm that he is God's Son, we do not much live like
it or sound like it (John 12:42-43).
A good quality confession is open, constant, and unashamed. It means
"taking sides" - His side! (Acts 5:27-31;
33; Ephesians 5:8-11). This conviction is deep seated, righteous and runs
deep. It expresses itself daily with thanksgiving and love for the One who
died for us and rose again in ways obvious to others (Romans 10:9-10;
Faith Finds Expression
While we make the good confession on our way to be baptized into Christ, like
"repentance", it is not a "one time
event" as is the baptism itself. Rather, it is an unswerving loyalty to the
King in the face of opposition of whatever sort; whether through temptation to
sin or of trial by unwelcome and unhappy events in our lives or by persecution
on whatever level (Luke 21:12-14; Matthew 10:24-26; 33).
What does the Lord have in store for those who confess him in word and deed?
One day, the last Day, standing before God, quite overwhelmed far beyond our
present ability to even imagine, having fallen before the Almighty Creator in
the presence of innumerable magnificent angels, we will hear Jesus make a
quite different confession. Following our lives of confessing Christ, He will
"Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess
him before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32) and "He who overcomes
will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the
book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His
angels.” (Revelation 3:5) This is what it is
all about. What is your life coming to? Let it be this! Confess Jesus today
and everyday. Glory awaits!
From The Bradley Banner 8/30/2009
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway