Upon the truth of the proposition that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, salvation of the world rests. It underlies the whole scheme of man’s redemption. For if He be not the Son of God, He was an imposter, the Bible is a fable, and no man was, is, or ever will be under obligation to believe in or obey Him. On the contrary, if this is true, His claims are, and every man who professes to believe it puts himself under obligations to accept the terms He imposes. How vital, then, is our study of the confession. We need to know what it is, when it is to be made, and the benefits to the one who makes it.
The cause of Christ has always demanded open confession of His divinity. The disciples of the Master must take his stand before men. There are no secret Christians. The confession is made before men. We are to hold fast to His name. Jesus made this fair offer to men in Matthew 10:32, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father which is in heaven.” Here he tells us plainly the importance of confessing Him before men. But how did they confess Him? When the parents of the blind man were questioned, they feared the people, for “the Jews had agreed already that if any man did confess that he was the Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue” (John 9:22). Then to confess Him was to confess that He was the Christ, and to deny Him was to deny that He was the Christ. Of course, some were making this confession, and others denying it, or the Jews would not have made such an agreement concerning those who did make it.
One of the great tests made in the days of persecution was to hold fast to His name. Jesus writes to the church in Philadelphia in Revelation 3:8, “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and has kept my Word, and hast not denied My name.”
Paul writes to Timothy that he has witnessed the “good confession before many witnesses,” in 1 Timothy 6:12. Thus we learn there is a confession not founded by human creeds, but by inspiration of God. In Acts 8, the eunuch, ready to obey the gospel, asked Philip in verse 36, “What doth hinder me to be baptized?” Philip’s answer was, “If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Therefore the good confession was made by the eunuch.
The careful student will notice in the following verses, these great truths about the confession:
I. Confession is necessary to salvation.
II. Confession is with the mouth.
III. Confession comes before, and is a prerequisite to baptism and salvation.