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Confession and the Gospel

That if you shall confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.  (Romans 10:9)

This is a great verse.  It contains the whole core of the gospel, and a promise that, if you think about it, is stunningly simple.  But there's a question that comes up sometimes when looking at it:

"So if I just say 'Jesus is Lord' out loud and believe in his resurrection, I'm good?"

That, in fact, is pretty nearly how it reads in some English translations.  It was while reading this verse in one of those translations that I noticed something.

"Bonnie, I have a confession to make."

"What's that?"

"Well, um, while I was trying to park, I, um, smashed the right front fender of your truck really bad..."

She hops up from lunch break and runs out to the parking lot to investigate the damage - only to discover there is no damage.  Then she remembers that I walked to work that day.

Did I say that I smashed her truck?  Yes.

Did I confess that I smashed her truck?

No.

Because confession is owning up to what's true.  Just saying something doesn't change the truth.

I had to check this out.  What does our English word "confess" really mean, and what's the original Greek word that got translated to it?

The word in Greek is "homologeo," which means "same words."  We got our word "confess" from Latin, where it means "speak together."

Same words?  Speak together - with what, or whom?  With the facts.  With the truth.

With God the Father, who already said Jesus is Lord - over everything and everyone.  (Philippians 2:9-11)

But if we won't let Jesus be Lord in our lives now, if we aren't willing for him to be in charge and interfere with everything, then saying he is doesn't mean a thing.  It's not speaking together with the truth to call him my Lord when he's not.

It's not a confession.

<- It's a New Year - and I'm Back

1   Sarah Holman on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 09:16:23 PM

I was told by a few people I needed to read this and it took me this long to get around to it. You should write more, you are very insightful.

2   Storm Byers on Wednesday, December 23, 2015 at 05:35:34 PM

2 Years, and 8 Months

3   Scott Larkin on Monday, December 28, 2015 at 09:54:00 PM

I know, Storm.  A little ridiculous, right?  I do feel sad that I haven't been able to keep this blog updated, but I will post again when the time is right.

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