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Monday, September 27, 2010

Do you "confess" or "witness"?

Confession seems to hold a variety of roles in the New Testament Scriptures. It is used as a prerequisite to baptism. Then, it is spoken of as an
ongoing declaration of our faithfulness to Christ, that is demonstrated by our
words and actions. Then, it appears to be linked with our admission of sins and
transgressions to God. Finally, it is set forth as an action of Christ on our
I.  What is Confessing?
        A. Confessing is in our WORDS
    I first want you to understand that this book, chapter, paragraph and verses were written and intended for believers(SAVED) not the unbeliever (LOST, WORLD)!  The beginning of the book (Rom 1:7) says it was written to the “saints in Rome”!  Nowhere in scripture are those outside of Christ called saints!  Paul later refers to the people intended to receive the letter as “Brethren.”  (Rom 10:1)Where is a sinner in the Bible called brethren?   
      The Greek word used here for confess is (hom-ol-og-eh-o) which means publicly acknowledge anyone!  Confession starts with a public acknowledgement of Christ.  This doesn’t mean a confession is all you need, but is one of a number of things!  Dean Mills says, “When we read in scripture what we need to obtain something that is the minimum we must do to obtain whatever we are reading about!  There is a possibility of more things being required, but this is just the minimum!” 
        B. Confessing is in our ACTIONS
Our confession is not only what we say, but what we do as well!  Many people talk like Christ but act like Satan!  (Mt 7:21-23) makes very clear that just calling Jesus Lord will not get us into his kingdom, rather we will hear “I never knew you!”  It is possible to believe and not confess!  We see this today as well!  We don't confess Christ as we are afraid of social discomfort.  (Jn 12:42)
There is before us the challenge of living day after day for Christ. The author of Hebrews writes these words: (Heb 4:14)  Later in the same epistle we read in (Heb 10:23)  God is faithful to us!  We must hang on to that confession and live a lifestyle that coincides with that confession!  CONSIDER THIS: (1Jn 4:15)
God cannot work in an empty tank! (YOUR BODY)  Abide in him and study his Word!
     Also, (Mt 10:32,33) tells us Jesus will repay the favor!  If we confess him, he will confess us and vice versa! 
We deny Christ with our S.A.W.!
Silence- Our failure to confess Jesus (I don’t want to offend anybody.  If        
            someone asks tell them the truth but SMILE!  THERE’S NO NICE WAY 
Actions- The way we act (not ornery but vicious)
Words-   The things we say (cussing and such)

II. What is witnessing?
There is a distinct difference between witnessing and confessing.  Many people believe telling someone Jesus is Lord is witnessing.  WRONG!  We will now contrast the two!
          A.  Witnessing is CONFIRMING
You need to understand you can confess Christ without witnessing for Christ!!!
CONFESS- to acknowledge or declare
WITNESS- : to be able to testify to its having taken place; one who has personal knowledge of something; something serving as evidence or proof
Witnessing to someone about Christ is deeper than just saying he exists!  It’s proving he exists!  (Acts 1:8)
You see, the Apostles had to receive the power of the Holy Spirit before they could become witnesses!  They had to receive that knowledge with which they could convict men with the scriptures and confirm that Jesus was not in the tomb but he has risen!
If we are to witness today we too must confirm that Jesus is who he said he is! (The Son of God)  We must confirm Jesus did what he said he was going to do! (Raise on the third day) Then we will be witnessing and not just confessing!  Then we will be winning souls and growing the Lord’s Church!  We must witness to others!

        B.  Witnessing includes CONFESSING
They work together that is why they are so hard to distinguish apart!  We must be confessing with our WORDS and our ACTIONS while we are CONFIRMING with the Word of God that Jesus Christ has shed his blood for us!  That we too can overcome death and spend eternity with God through Jesus!  We can’t just say it we must confirm it with the Word of God!  That is witnessing and confessing at its best!  That is employing The Great Commission!  That is winning souls.  CONFESSING CHRIST IS PROCLAMAITION!  WITNESSING FOR CHRIST IS CONFIRMATION!

Acts 1:8 is very significant!  The coming of the Holy Spirit!  WHO SAW THE RESURRECTION?  NOBODY!  They saw an empty tomb, but no one saw him rise inside the tomb!   EVEN THE APOSTLES HAD TO BELIEVE!  The Great Commission says some still doubted! (Mt 28:16-20)  The Apostles were a select group of men that ate, drank, and spoke with Jesus for 40 days after his resurrection!  (Acts 10:39-41) Paul didn’t witness this happen either!  That’s why in (Acts 13:30,31) he says “he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.”  

They didn’t see the resurrection just like you and I!  However, they did know the difference between confessing and witnessing!  They had a goal of witnessing to everyone they saw!  Look at the result of their witnessing “the Lord added to the church day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47) 


Have a red letter day,