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Summary: God doesn’t just want us to confess our faults. He wants us to confess our faith. And based on the Scripture today, here is our confession.

Will You Confess Jesus?

Luke 22:31-34 & 54-62; Luke 23:44-46; Luke 24:1-12

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - May 31, 2009

*One time someone in a crowd shouted out to Billy Graham, “God is dead! God is dead!” With kindness, Billy Graham replied, “That’s strange, because I just talked to Him in prayer a few minutes ago.” (1)

*Billy Graham was not afraid to confess his faith in Christ.

*Today we usually think of confession in terms of admitting something we did wrong: confessing our sins to God or confessing to a crime. But from a Biblical point of view, “confess” simply means to “say the same thing.” So confessing our sins means to say the same thing about them that God says.

*And it turns out that God doesn’t just want us to confess negative things. He wants us to confess positive things. God doesn’t just want us to confess our faults. He wants us to confess our faith. For example, in Matt 10:27-33, Jesus said:

27. “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.

28. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

29. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.

30. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

31. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

32. Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.

33. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

*In Rom 10:9-11 Paul said that the righteousness of faith speaks in this way:

9. that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

10. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.

11. For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’’

*God wants us to confess our faith. And based on the Scripture today, here is our confession:

1. We believe that we will face spiritual tests. (Luke 22:31-34)

*In vs. 31 Jesus told Peter, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.”

*Satan is certainly still at work in the world today. Satan wanted to sift Peter, and Christian, you can be sure that he wants to sift us.

*In Bible days grain was sifted a couple of ways. One way was to toss the grain up, where the chaff and dust would be blown away, leaving the heavier grain in the basket or cloth.

*I remember my mom using a sifter when I was a kid. They either had a crank or a spring-loaded pull handle. We played with them like they were some kind of space death ray or something, -- but Mom’s sifter was really used to break up clumps of flour. Sifters separate things.

*I used to work for the State Highway Dept. in Georgia, and my main job was asphalt inspection. We had a chemical that would wash all of the tar out of the asphalt. Then we would shake the rocks through a stack of sifters with holes that got smaller and smaller all the way down. The top sifter had holes over an inch big. -- But by the time you got to the bottom, all you had was fine sand.

*Sifters separate things. And Satan wants to sift us. He wants to separate husbands from their wives. He wants to separate children from their parents.

-Satan wants to separate you from your family, from your Christian brothers and sisters, from church, from the Bible and from God’s purpose for your life.

-Satan wants to separate you from the good works and witness God wants in you.

-And worst of all, Satan wants to separate you from your faith in Jesus Christ.

2. We believe that we will face spiritual tests. -- And we believe that sometimes we will fail those tests.

*Peter was so sure of himself in vs. 33. There he told Jesus, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” Of course, Jesus knew better, and in vs. 34 He replied, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

*That night Peter did miserably fail the Lord three times. Listen again to vs. 54-62:

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