Summary: What is the Good Confession? (Outline taken from: http://oakridgechurch.com/riggs/confess2.htm)
It is rare to have a public figure come clean the way baseball great Pete Rose did after getting caught gambling on sports. He stood before a judge in 1990 and said, “Your honor, I’d like to say I’m very sorry, very shameful to be here today in front of you. I have no excuses, because it’s all my fault.” The judge accepted his confession and sentenced him to 5 months in prison, another 3 in a halfway house, and 1,000 hours working with inner city youth in Cincinnati. Because of what he did he has constantly been denied acceptance into the Baseball Hall of Fame even though he has the most hits of any baseball player. Many say that he should be included especially because he came clean about what he did. Many players today took performance enhancing drugs and still never admit it- try to deny it. Everybody tries to deny their wrongs
Many confessions of people doing bad things. Let’s confess good things instead of bad.
There are different confessions in the Bible, but our verses have one specific confession in mind- the Good Confession.
Thesis: What is the good confession?
I. Something that Timothy has said in the past. (You made your good confession vs. 12)
We have no biblical reference to tell when, or what, Timothy said when he made the good confession, but it can be deduced from the passage before us that he did
Paul is commending and reminding Timothy of what he had said.
Vs. 12- Fight the good fight of the faith- It’s easy to get weary, easy to give up
Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called-
Making the good confession and fighting the good fight leads to eternal life and maybe even the eternal life of others. “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:16, NIV.
Often we need to be reminded of what we have confessed so we will live up to it. “Only let us live up to what we have already attained.” Philippians 3:16, NIV. Love it when people remind me of something I have said about my own confessions of faith.
II. Something said before witnesses (In the presence of many witnesses vs. 12)
We can say and do things that few or no one else knows about. Want something to be binding or to be recorded as accurate need witnesses.
The good confession is not something we are to do in secret.
The “many witnesses” probably refers to an assembly of Christians, and that is surely a good place to make the “good confession.”
But the confession can also be made with only a few. In the case of the Ethiopian eunuch there was Philip and the Ethiopian and maybe a servant. Very few indeed. Even so it was recorded for us so many witnesses now. Acts 8:37- The official answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
But it can also be made before hostile witnesses. “When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:54-56, NIV.
Speaking of hostile witnesses- not really hostile but a skeptical witness-
III. The Good Confession was something Pontius Pilate Heard (Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession vs. 13)
Jesus “testified” the good confession before Pilate. No Jesus did not plainly state- I am the Christ, the Son of the living God and I want you to accept me as Your Lord and Savior. Even so, all of the parts of that confession are stated by Jesus throughout his trials before his crucifixion.
Jesus said clearly and plainly that he was the Son of God. “But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”” Mark 14:61, 62, NIV.
Jesus had been brought before Pilate by the Jews because Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, the Christ. “The Jews insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”” John 19:7, NIV. R.C. Foster says that the best place to find the Good Confession is John 18
Earlier, “Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked.” John 18:33-38, NIV. Shame that Pilate left after this. With his disciples Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” John 14:6, NIV. Jesus questioned Pilate in much the same way he questioned his disciples. ““But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”” Matthew 16:15, NIV.