The Role of Confession in My Salvation

In our study of the elements involved in the forgiveness of sins and the reconciliation of a person with God, we have learned that the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, is God’s power for salvation (Romans 1:16).  When a person hears it and believes it, that faith leads to a change of heart about sin (repentance).  In this lesson, we will find that Jesus expects each of us to articulate that faith and commitment - confession.

There were some folks in Jesus’ day who believed in Him but, because of peer pressure, were not willing to confess Him (John 12:42).  Jesus was perfectly clear on this issue:  “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.  But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).

We’re talking about ownership here.  Who can blame Jesus for expecting me to proclaim my faith in Him?  He gave up the joys of heaven as a member of the Godhead, lived through all the griefs and sorrows we endure and finally submitted to a shameful public execution for the transgressions of others.  You’d better believe He has the right to demand that I own my relationship with him to anyone who will listen.

We’re talking about acknowledging the facts of the gospel.  On one occasion, Jesus asked His disciples who people thought He was (Matthew 16:13).  After hearing some of the misconceptions that were floating around, He then asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (v. 16).  Peter hit the nail squarely on the head but, of course, after Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, His resurrection became the keystone of the gospel story.

We’re talking about submission to the lordship of Christ.  In our study of repentance, we noted that it is possible for a person to take steps to remove the burden of their sins without fully realizing the fact that their life is no longer theirs.  The description of confession in Romans chapter 10 emphasizes this critical change in relationship.  Verses 9 and 10 say, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”  Unless a person understands that his life is no longer his own and that Jesus is the Lord of his life, he will be plagued by a false sense of discipleship.  Openly confessing Jesus as Lord is designed to prevent that misunderstanding.

We’re talking about a requirement for salvation.  Romans 10:10 makes it clear that our salvation depends on our willingness to confess Him.  If I am ashamed of Jesus, He will refuse to acknowledge me; it’s that simple.  I must confess Him as Lord, then live in a way that demonstrates that my confession was sincere.