BELIEVE AND CONFESS
August 13, 2017
There is a lot of confusion around the two words Belief and Confession. The word belief is sometimes equated with blind faith. The word confession is often synonymous with guilt. Paul uses these two words in a different way and I will do my best to elaborate on Paul’s teaching.
According to Paul in his letter to the Romans
….if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
Let’s first look at the word Believe or Belief
As mentioned at the opening belief is often equated with blind faith. Blind faith is more often than not equated as simple, trite, immature and weak. To Paul belief is not blind it is a trusting to be true. There are many examples where we need to trust something to be true in order understand something. One example is learning language. We need to trust that a person who teaches English or any other language is giving us the proper tools to the learn the language.
Paul talks of the ‘Good News” found in scriptures to be trustworthy and true. It is up to us to decide if we can trust it to be true. What we know is that there were eyewitnesses to the miracles of Jesus and to Jesus death and resurrection. These are not written as opinion but as fact. Paul continues his teaching by emphatically stating:
The scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame."
The ‘him’ in this statement is Jesus the Christ. Not any other person, philosophy or religion. To word it more clearly ‘Those who believe in Jesus will not be put to shame’.
Unfortunately the word confession is often associated with guilt. People confess to committing crimes. In fact we unfortunately also use the word to confess our sins. Paul would define the word confess as meaning: Publicly Admit. To believe in Jesus as Lord and saviour is not something that is a crime (although in many countries it is a crime). Belief in Jesus does come with an expectation. We are to declare to others that only Jesus can save them from sin.
Let’s take the humble example of the Monarch butterfly. It is a glorious looking butterfly but it has a very unique way of living. The Monarch butterfly cannot exist without Milkweed. If there is no milkweed there is no Monarch butterfly. Every year Monarchs migrate north to breed and lay eggs for future generations. A monarch female literally lays the hope of the future of the species on the singular plant called milkweed. Out of all the other options it is only milkweed that sustains the species into future generations. Within its very DNA the monarch understands and continues to trust that milkweed will feed it and allow it to continue into future generations. Isn’t that what it is like for Christians? The monarch does not care what others think about its choice. It openly declares its preference to milkweed? Isn’t that what Christians should do?
After all Paul concludes:
but how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:14-15
So to sum up let us confidently believe and confess our belief in Jesus knowing that he will sustain us and give us life in this age and the age to come.
Let us pray