Summary: One of the most basic confessions in the life of a Christian is the confession about Jesus. 3 confessions in the NT teach us what it means in our lives to confess Jesus.
INTRODUCTION...Innocent Prisoner, Today in the Word, December 4, 1992
There is the old story of a king who was once touring a prison. The prisoners fell on their knees before him to proclaim their innocence—except for one man, who remained silent. Inmate after inmate fell down and proclaimed their innocence except for one man. The king called to him, “Why are you here?” “Armed robbery, Your Majesty,” was the reply. “And are you guilty?” “Yes indeed, Your Majesty, I deserve my punishment.” The king then summoned the jailer and ordered him, “Release this guilty wretch at once. I will not have him kept in this prison where he will corrupt all the fine innocent people who occupy it.”
They say that confession is good for the soul. One of the most basic confessions in the life of a Christian is the confession one makes about Jesus. For the Christian, the confession is the door through which one walks to get into the room where God is. There is of course much more to it than that, but the confession we make as a Christian is the beginning. The Apostle Paul is definitely thinking about his in Romans 10:9 when he writes, “That if you confess with your mouth, ’Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Paul goes on to state that obedience to God will follow for the one who trusts in God.
I want us to think about confession today and what we mean when we say: ’I believe that Jesus is the Son of God.’ To do that, I would like to take a look at the confessions of three of Jesus’ disciples. Each of them confess something about Jesus that must be part of our meaning when we ’confess Jesus.’
I. PETER’S CONFESSING IN MATTHEW 16:13-16
READ MATTHEW 16:13-16
The confession of Peter that we just read is perhaps the most famous confession in Scripture. It is the one that we lead a new believer to confess when they come to faith for the first time. This confession of Peter did not happen in a vacuum. Jesus had been dealing with increasing opposition from the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Who were those people? Basically, they were the religious leaders and teachers of the day. They were pressuring Jesus with questions to try and trap Him and we demanding that He give them signs to declare who He really was. They were out to get Him. It was in the midst of this pressure that Jesus gets together with His disciples and asks them a few personal questions. Jesus first asks who the crowds of people think He is. He wants to know the gossip and the scuttle butt about who the people were thinking He might be. The disciples inform Him of the several possibilities that were floating around about His identity. Then He asks the question to end all questions, “Who do you say that I am?” (verse 15).
It is Simon Peter who answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (verse 16). Peter confesses two things that were extremely important then and are equally important today for us. Peter first confesses that Jesus is the ’Christ.’