Believe and Confess
April 11, 2021
He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15).
Without taking any more time to consider the answer to His first question, Jesus put this question to His disciples. This was really the point of the questioning in the first place. It was important for Jesus to hear the disciples declare His Messiahship as it was important for them to declare it.
In His question to the disciples Jesus did not include the Messianic title ‘Son of Man’ because He knew they understood He was more than a mere man. They had come to believe in Jesus after their call to discipleship. Their faith had developed over time and experience with Jesus. But belief without confession of faith does not lead to salvation. It would be most important for them to declare Him Lord and Savior face to face.
Simply believing in the crucified death of Jesus on the cross is not enough to save a person. One must also believe in His resurrection from the dead. There is no salvation in His death apart from His resurrection. The resurrection proves that His sacrifice on the cross was acceptable to the Father to atone for the sins of the world.
It was not enough for the disciples to follow the call of Christ to discipleship. Nor was it enough for them simply to believe in Him. Scripture tells us that we must also confess Him to be the Christ of God as well. 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). There is no place in the Kingdom for closet Christianity.
The death and resurrection of Jesus are twin necessities that affirm His saving efficacy. Believing in and confessing Jesus Christ are twin necessities that affirm the reality of salvation in the person. 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 (Romans 10:9-10).
But beware. All 12 men had been with Jesus from the beginning. They had heard Him teach. They had seen Him work miracles. They had heard the Gospel and saw the power of God in and through Him. All but one - Judas Iscariot - would believe and confess Jesus to be the Christ. Someone asked me many years ago, “Why do I have to believe in Jesus and confess Him before others?” I responded, “If you are a Christian, why wouldn’t you want to?”
“Lord Jesus, make ne a bold believer and confessor of faith in You as my Christ and Savior. May I not be ashamed to declare to all I meet that my faith has found a resting place not in device or creed, it is enough that You have died and that You died for me. To Your praise and glory, Amen.”