Summary: What does it mean to confess Christ? Is it a onetime event? It certainly wasn’t in Peter’s life. Peter’s confession involved proclamation, preparation, examination and restoration. The fact is that confessing Christ is a life-long commitment. Are you
We talk about confessing Christ all the time. Well, what does that mean? Romans 10:9-10 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” So, confession has to do with salvation. If you confess certain things with your mouth, you will be saved, right? Kind of like magic words, right? Wrong. Confession is more about the content of belief than uttering the right words. Confession is just as much a heart action as it is a mouth action. That doesn’t eliminate the need for a public confession of words and actions. But it does give those things substance. And the true substance of confession isn’t a one-time action. It’s a continual reality. That’s what it means to confess the Lord Jesus. Jesus Christ is Lord of my life. That means He is King. He’s not just here to pull us out of trouble. He’s not just here to make us feel better about ourselves. He’s not just here to give us a get out of hell free card. He’s here to rule and reign over every aspect of our lives as our Lord and Master and King. And that doesn’t just happen as a onetime event. That kind of confession is a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute confession that we can’t do it. Christ has to do it through us. We will serve our Lord and Master as He continually quickens and empowers us to do it. In that respect, we can’t ever say we’ve got it all down pat. We can’t ever say that we’ve got it all figured out. Because as long as we live in this fallen flesh, we will have to continually struggle to confess Jesus as our Lord. Because my flesh wants to be Lord. I don’t really want to submit. So, because of that, I must continually confess Jesus as Lord. I can’t do it. He must do it through me. Just like He had to do it through Peter. Turn with me to Matthew 16. We know that Peter has been saved for a while. He believed Jesus back in John 2. As we looked at last week, we know that Jesus has called Peter to fish for men. The fact is, by the time we get to the passage we’re getting ready to read, Jesus has called Peter several times. But now, Jesus asks him a question. And when Jesus asked him the question, Peter made a bold proclamation. True confession begins with proclamation.
The first step of true confession is proclamation. The area was buzzing. All that people could talk about were the miracles that Jesus was doing. Huge crowds had been seeing His signs and wonders. He had miraculously fed huge groups of people two different times. The first time, there were 5000 men there. That meant that the crowd was well over 15-20,000 people with all the women and children. The most recent time, there were 4000 men there. With all the women and children, there were at least 12-16,000 people. Do you think that would make people talk? And of course, all the talk was about the miracles. It wasn’t about Jesus’ teaching. So, there were some huge misconceptions about who Jesus is. Jesus asked His disciples about it. But He didn’t ask them as some sort of opinion poll. He asked them to confront them with their own beliefs. And He asked them to illicit a response from Peter. He asked them, “I know the people are talking—who do they say I am?” The disciples threw out some of the more spectacular claims. John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, one of the other prophets. They didn’t take the bait the first time, so Jesus asked them directly. He said, “Who do you say that I am?” Do you suppose that there was a pause? I know how it is when you’re teaching a class. As soon as you ask a question, everybody quits looking at you. If somebody thinks you’re going to call on them for something, they look everywhere but in your eyes. I imagine that’s what happened here. When Jesus asked the question, I imagine that they all looked at anything but Jesus’ eyes. Except Peter. Peter looked Jesus right in the eye and made a bold proclamation. He said, “You are the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” You know what? Peter was right. And Jesus told him so. Jesus said, “you are blessed. You couldn’t have figured that out on your own. God Himself had to reveal that to you.” So Peter got an attaboy for his profession. We are all called to profess Christ for who He is. That’s why Romans 10:9-10 talks about confessing with our mouth. Publically professing Christ is not an option. It’s not a nice add-on. It’s a requirement. Publically professing Christ in the waters of baptism isn’t an option either. That is part of what it means to profess Christ. But we can’t do those things in our own strength. Just like Peter couldn’t make his proclamation in his own strength. When you truly proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord with your mouth and in baptism, that proclamation has been given to you by God. God reveals Christ to you in salvation and you are responsible to proclaim Him publicly. But that’s not where it ends. True confession doesn’t end with a proclamation. Almost immediately, true confession moves from proclamation to preparation. Turn with me to Luke 22.