Confession Is Good For The Soul Series
Contributed by Jeff Strite on Mar 22, 2002 (message contributor)
Summary: Confession is more than just what we say... it is what those words really mean to us. What is it God wants us to confess?
OPEN: A woman went to court and told the judge she wanted a divorce. "Do you have any grounds!" the judge asked. "Just two acres," she said.
"That’s not it, lady. I mean do you have a grudge!" "No, we park the car in front of the house."
By now the judge was frustrated: "Does your husband beat you up!" She replied. "No, I get up before he does."
"Then why do you want a divorce?" the judge asked. "Because," she confessed, "we just don’t seem to be able to communicate. "
APPLY: Obviously, this woman and the judge and the woman weren’t communicating. Why weren’t they communicating? Because they weren’t saying the same things. He asked one question, she responded as if he’d asked an entirely different one. They were not saying the same thing.
In Romans 10:9-10 we’re introduced to a Greek word that means "to say the same thing." It’s the Greek word "homologeo" (“homo" = same; "logeo" = say). This is the word that is translated "confession," and Paul tells us that confession is part of what we do to be saved.
I. What is it that we need to confess?
(have the audience respond)… Yes. We need to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. God wants us to say is the same thing that:
* Peter said in Matthew 16:16 “You are the Christ the Son of the Living God
* Martha said in John 11 when Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
"Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ the Son of God, who was to come into the world."
* SO, God wants us to “say the same thing.”
II. Now, this is not as simplistic as it seems.
ILLUS: My brother Jack has a unique and interesting gift. He can mimic anything you say - within a split second of when you’ve said it. Seriously. It’s like being in an echo chamber. He can be quite irritating when he decided to do it. He is so good, in fact, that when he was in College, and part of its Glee Club, the director of the Glee Club would call him out on stage to demonstrate his art.
BUT, even though Jack could say the same thing as anyone he met, that didn’t mean that he necessarily believed or agreed with what was said. He merely echoed what he heard.
That can be a problem within the Kingdom. There are many people who belong to a church, who have said the good confession, have repeated with the preacher: “I believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God." BUT somehow what they have said with their lips never quite makes it to their hearts.
And there are people who have made this good confession, believed, repented, were baptized and are highly zealous workers in the church. But when people meet them on the street, they’d never know they were Christians. Or if they did know they were church goers, called them what they were - hypocrites.
ILLUS: I knew a man once who professed to believe in Jesus, but he used his Bible and his church membership to manipulate his family, his friends, and about anyone else he could.
SO, there has got to be something more to confession than just "saying the same words."
III. What are we supposed to confess again? (Reread Romans 10:9)
We are to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. But what does that mean? Well, let’s break it down.
What does “LORD” mean? In the days of Jesus, it meant that someone was your "Master" or your "Owner." Many times it meant you were a slave. Tell me, did slaves own anything? No?
Consider, when you say "Jesus Christ is Lord," you are saying that He owns you. (Take out wallet) That means everything in this wallet belongs to Jesus. (display the pictures in the wallet) That means that my wife, my children, and any other part of my family that I call "mine" now belongs to Him. My vehicles belong to Jesus. My house, my bank account. Everything I own, or think of as mine is now in His hands. If He wants what I have in my wallet, it’s His. If (God forbid) my wife or children should die - they are His, not mine.
This is probably what Paul had in mind when he said "I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day."
To confess Jesus as your Lord means He owns everything.
AND it means one more thing. It means I’m going to make Jesus the controller of my life. I’m going to let Jesus RUN my life. I’m going to let His priorities overshadow my priorities. That’s not always easy.