Have you ever been asked to do something and accepted the job? You set your mind on the goal and applied yourself, working diligently until the job was done. It was such a relief to complete, and you were totally happy with the results. Happy, that is until the one who assigned you the task-says nothing. How do you feel? For me, the letdown hurts! I don’t need a lot of pats on the back, but a simple acknowledgement… that will work or thanks makes all the difference in the world.
Lets go to the other end of the spectrum. Someone has hurt you bad, but doesn’t acknowledge that he did anything wrong. How do you feel?
One of my associates consistently put me down and did much to mock and malign me both one on one and in groups. Before he came to know the LORD, it didn’t faze me, I just kept praying, hoping that he would find JESUS. I figured, that once he came to JESUS, he would act differently. Well that day came. One day when he was under great stress, he humbly came to JESUS. Praise the LORD! He started listening to the Bible on tapes going to work and began going to church. But very little changed. I struggled with that, really struggled. If only he would admit he had done wrong, it would clear the air between us. Just those simple words, I was wrong would do so much. During that time the LORD showed me I was acting like the older brother of the Prodigal (see Luke 15:11-32) and while HE had always been with me, my associate had been on his own. Years later, praise the LORD, my associate finally saw- little by little- what he had done was wrong… before it was just something everybody did.
Is it hard for you to say you are wrong, like it was for him?
Did you know there was a word that covers both end of the spectrum? That word is confess. Let’s look at it in respect to our relationship with GOD and others (since if you do it to the least, you have done it unto GOD -Matthew 25:40).
The word translated confess, in both the Old and New Testaments has two meanings. It can range from a joyful public declaration of a personal relationship with GOD, to the current, accepted meaning of admission of guilt. Actually, the Greek word for confess is Homologeo. It has the root idea to speak the same thing, acknowledge-not with head knowledge but as pledging of oneself to CHRIST. It is to agree with, or declare publicly, to consent, openly confess, admit, praise, thank but it does not mean to feel sorry, or to promise never to do something again.
The first instance we find the word confess used in the New Testament is before JESUS’s atoning work on the cross, in connection with John the Baptist. John was the forerunner to get things ready for the CHRIST (Messiah); John preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And when people were baptized by him, they confessed their sins (Matthew 3:6, Mark 1:5). This was before, the gift of eternal life that comes through JESUS CHRIST our LORD (John 3:16).
The second time we see the word confess, it has an entirely different meaning. JESUS said: Whoever confesses ME before men him also will I confess before MY FATHER which is in heaven (Matthew 10:32, Luke 12:8). Here, and in similar passages, the word confess declares an allegiance to JESUS and constitutes identification with JESUS.
Whosoever shall confess that JESUS is the Son of GOD, GOD dwells in him, and he in GOD (I John 4:15).
That if you shall confess with your mouth the LORD JESUS, and shall believe in your heart that GOD has raised HIM from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 ). The Revised Version says “JESUS as LORD” or our Master-the ONE who calls the shots and is in control. Again we see public identification with and an open show of commitment to JESUS as LORD.
But there can be a price to pay… if anyone confessed that JESUS was the Christ (Messiah) he was to be put out of the synagogue (John 9:22).
JESUS promises to honor believers…I will confess his name before MY FATHER (Revelation 3:5).
Those who do not confess that JESUS CHRIST is come in the flesh are deceivers and antichrists (2 John 1:7).
The Sadducees say there is no resurrection, neither angel nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both (Acts 23:8). In this case, confess is a declaration of belief in.
But for most of us in 2015 in the USA, the word confession has a different connotation. When we hear the word confess, we think of confessing sin. And that, unquestionably, is one of its meanings. In the legal system to confess means that one agrees with a charge brought against him; it is to acknowledge guilt before the court. To confess our sins, is to admit to GOD that our actions were indeed sin. We agree with HIM in HIS evaluation that our actions are wrong. John wrote the book of I John to saved people. He wrote it to refute the lies that Christians, were being fed by false teachers- concerning sin. Those teachers said sin didn’t hurt our relationship with GOD. The apostle John clearly states that his purpose in writing I John was so that the Christians would have unhindered fellowship with GOD our Heavenly FATHER, with JESUS CHRIST HIS SON, and with fellow believers (I John 1:3). Through the inspiration of the Holy SPIRIT (2 Timothy 3:16,17) John tells us the way to maintain unhindered fellowship with GOD the FATHER and our LORD JESUS CHRIST is to confess our sins (I John I:9). Some go as far as to call I John 1:9, the Christian’s bar of soap. When we confess our sins openly to GOD, we are inviting HIM to help us overcome them.
When the preposition ek precedes homologeo it always means a full, frank, open confession. That was done with the deciples of John the Baptist when he baptized them. It was also what happened when the fear of the LORD fell on many who dealt in witchcraft, they confessed their deeds and burned their books (Acts 19:13-18).
Ek is used also in:
1-James 5:16 confess (full, frank, open confession) your faults one to another that you might be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.– the insertion the word “righteous”, indicates that we are not to just blab everything to everyone, but to confess to godly people who will pray for us and hold us accountable.
2-For it is written, As I live, says the LORD, every knee shall bow to ME, and every tongue shall confess (give praise NASB) to GOD (Romans 14:11). Here and in the next few verses, the word confess means to praise with the undercurrent of acknowledgement. Being the preposition ek joins with the Greek word confess, we are to praise and acknowledge GOD the FATHER and JESUS with forcefulness and joy.
3-That the Gentiles might glorify GOD for HIS mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess (praise NIV) THEE among the Gentiles and will sing (praises NIV) to HIM (Romans 15:9).
4-and that every tongue should confess (thank, praise) that JESUS CHRIST(the Messiah) is LORD (Sovereign over all) to the glory of GOD the FATHER (Philippians 2:11).
Interesting sideline of confession of belief in JESUS: And, I (JESUS) say to you, everyone who confesses ME before men, the Son of man (JESUS) will confess him, before the angels of GOD (Luke 12:8NASB). Now why should it matter to the angels?
1-The devil, the accuser of the brethren, is an angel.
2- HIS (GOD’s) intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of GOD should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms (angels) (Ephesians 3:10 NIV). Our confession of JESUS, somehow is part of how GOD is revealing HIS manifold wisdom to both the good and bad angels. HE is proving something to them, through us. Isn’t that amazing.
Have we confessed JESUS is LORD and believed in our hearts that GOD raised HIM from the dead? If so we are saved.
Do we glorify GOD by verbally confessing, praising, thanking GOD before people and the watching angels for all that GOD has done for us (we have nothing that we have not received -I Corinthians 4:7)? It is written that when we do, GOD is so excited, that HE has angels write down what we are saying (Malachi 3:16).
Do we confess, agree with GOD when we realize we have done wrong in action or thought? Until we do, our backs face GOD. When we sin, we turn away from GOD’s way to do our own thing. That breaks GOD’s heart for HE wants the best for us and knows how to achieve that. HE so wants a relationship with open fellowship that HE sent JESUS to make it possible. Since GOD gave us the gift of free will, only when we turn back and admit we were wrong, can GOD help us to do right.
Confess… there is a lot in that little word, isn’t there?
Looking unto JESUS, the Author and Perfecter of my faith,