Read text. This morning I want to consider something that many take for granted that everyone understands. That is "Confessing Christ". What does it really mean, how do we do it, and why should we do it? These are questions that I want to address this morning.
I. What does it mean to "Confess Christ"?
1. To make an acknowledgment or to agree to;
2. To declare faith in or adherence to;
3. To profess...
B. So to confess Christ is to acknowledge Him and declare my profession of faith in Him.
C. It involves a two-fold action.
1. Belief in my heart and confession with my mouth.
2. A confession with the mouth that does not have its basis in a believing heart is a mockery and an insult to God.
3. A belief in the heart always manifests itself in two ways:
a. By an absolute trust in the object of its faith.
1) A man can believe all he wants about Jesus Christ and still go to hell!
2) It is believing on Him in your heart that saves you.
3) It is that kind of belief that leads you to place your life in His hands.
b. By the individual's life.
1) The person who believes in his heart and confesses with his mouth the Lord Jesus Christ will also live his life for Christ
2) There are those who make a profession, but there is no evidence in their lives of a commitment to Christ.
3) These will hear our Lord say, "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?" cf Lu. 6:46
4. A man can believe in his head, but you will never know it until he confesses with his mouth.
5. But when a man believes in his heart his life will speak louder than any words can sound.
D. What must we believe?
1. Here we find the key to the Christian faith.
2. It isn't a matter of believing in God or some higher power.
3. It is believing in the literal, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead by the power of God!
4. According to Romans 1:3-4, Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.
II. How Does Christ Expect Us to Confess Him?
A. We confess Christ by our lives.
1. Mt. 10:32, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven."
2. God expects us to stand up for Jesus Christ if we believe in Him.
3. It would be far better for the cause of Christ if you didn't make a confession unless you are willing to back it up with a decent life.
B. We confess Christ by our baptism.
1. Baptism is not essential to the salvation of our souls, but it is essential to our confession of Christ!
2. One would question the sincerity of a person's profession of faith if they refuse to obey Christ's command to be baptized!
3. If God tells a person to do a thing, and they refuse to do it there would be good reason to question whether that person was truly born again or not.
4. No, baptism doesn't save you, but if you are saved you will be obedient to Christ's command and confess Him through baptism!
C. We confess Christ by joining His local church.
1. By the way, that is the only church there is!
2. There is no such thing as the "Universal Church".
3. The local church is here to serve a need in this world...to equip the people of God to do the work of God!
4. You will never find a perfect church, but that is no excuse for disobedience to the Lord.
5. The local church is the only institution that Christ founded and left on this earth and if you want to confess Christ you will join the church and get busy!
III. Why Does God Demand Us To Confess Christ?
A. He demands it for our own sake.
1. When we make a public confession of Christ it will strengthen our faith and give us some spiritual nerve.
2. Some have said, "Why can't I just believe on Christ secretly?"
3. God doesn't need any "secret agents" in His service!
a. He needs believers who will proclaim Christ here and around the world!
b. That others might hear and be saved!
c. Note: v14-15
4. Jesus Christ hung on the cross publicly in open shame for you and for me...that is why we need to confess Him before men openly!
B. He demands it for the sake of others.
1. When Charles Finney was preaching a revival in Rochester, N.Y. back in the thirties one night the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals walked down the aisle to accept Christ.
2. That was all it took for every lawyer in the city to come and accept Christ as well.
3. Influence! What a power we have over others.
4. You may not have an influence like the Chief Justice, but I guarantee that someone is watching you and your example is important to them!
5. It may be a co-worker, a neighbor, a son or daughter, or maybe a grandchild...but someone is watching your life to see if this matter of Christianity is real or not!
C. He demands it for the sake of Christ.
1. When the justice of God demanded that I die, and there was no hope for me, Jesus stepped in and took my place.
2. When I had nothing to look forward to but the pains of an eternal hell, Jesus stepped in and prepared a place for me in heaven.
3. I ought to confess Christ simply because of what He has done for me!
4. Jesus tells us that if we will stand for Him on earth, He will stand for us in heaven.
Conclusion: Confessing Christ is important. It is not an option for us to consider, but a command for us to obey! This morning if you have never accepted Christ as Savior I encourage you to make Him your choice today. If you have trusted in Him as Savior then confess Him today with your life, follow in obedience to His command and be baptized, join this local congregation of believers and begin to stand up for Him. Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that God hath raised Him from the dead.