Biblical ConfessionBiblical Confession of a Christian

SECTION 1 – Concerning the Bible

Trusting in the Bible as the verbally (every word) and plenary (completely) inspired Word of God as contained in the original manuscripts; that all portions of Scripture are equally inspired and contain no contradictions; that the Scriptures are to be the only rule of faith and practice for the believer in Jesus Christ; and that the Canon, the sixty-six books of the Bible, is complete. Nothing shall be added to it nor taken from it. The scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning. The King James Version of the Bible shall be the official and only translation used by the Church. II Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 1:1,2; II Peter 1:20-21; Revelation 22:18, 19.

SECTION 2 – Concerning God

Knowing that there is one and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit Whose name is Jehovah, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; that He is inexpressively glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love. Knowing that the Godhead eternally exists in three Persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections; and are worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience; they are equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. We know that Allah is not a name for God but that he is a demon or Satan Himself impersonating God but not the God of the Bible. Genesis 1:1; Exodus 15:11; Psalm 83:18; Matthew 28:19; Mark 12:29, 30; John 1:1; 10:30; 14:16, 17; I Timothy 3:16; Ephesians 2:18.

SECTION 3 – Concerning Jesus Christ

Trusting in the essential deity and virgin birth of our Lord Jesus Christ; that He was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, not having human father, and is true God and true man; that He is man’s only hope of salvation from sin, being the only mediator between God and man; that he died, and was buried, and rose again the third day for our sins according to the Scriptures; that His return for His Church, the Body of Christ, which He will take with Himself into heaven is imminent; and that He will come to this earth to set up His millennial reign. Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:18; John 1:1-4; 10:30; 14:6; I Timothy 2:5,6; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:4-6.

SECTION 4 – Concerning the Holy Spirit

Trusting in the Holy Spirit to be coequal with the Father and with the Son. He is a person. He came to this earth as the fulfillment of Christ’s promise. He convicts, regenerates, indwells, seals, fills, empowers, and guides the believer. John 16:7-13; 3:3-5; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 1:13,14; Ephesians 5:18.

SECTION 5 – Concerning Man

Knowing that God created man in His own image and that man sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is a conscious and eternal separation from God. We believe that all men are born with a sinful nature, evidenced by sinful acts; that man is totally depraved; and that if he is not born again, he is eternally lost. Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Luke 16:23; Revelation 21:8; Romans 3:10-23; 5:12; I Corinthians 15:21,22; Revelation 20:11-15.

SECTION 6 – Concerning Salvation

Knowing that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatory offices of the Son of God, Who, by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature; that being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, yet without sin, He honored the divine law by His personal obedience and by His death made full atonement for our sins; that, having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with the divine perfections, He is in every way qualified to be the suitable, and compassionate and all-sufficient Savior.

Trusting in the fact that a person is saved when he, in the simultaneous act of repentance and faith, accepts Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord in all that He is without exception. The believer is kept by the power of God and is eternally secure in Christ. The basis of our salvation is the precious blood of Christ according to I Peter 1:18-19, which states that we are redeemed, “. . . with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Knowing that the scope of Salvation included forgiveness of all our sins, past, present, and future; a perfect standing before God as in Jesus Christ; and the changing of our earthly body to be conformed like unto the body of our Lord at His return for His own.

Trusting the fact that the attitude either of reconciliation or enmity toward God is eternally fixed at death. We further believe that there is an appointed day for the judgment of the wicked when they will be cast into the lake of fire, there to remain in everlasting conscious punishment and torment. John 1:12; 5:24; 10:28,29; Romans 6:23; I John 3:2; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; II Peter 2:9; Revelation 20:12-15; 21:8.

SECTION 7 – Concerning Justification

Knowing that the great Gospel blessing, which Christ secures to such as believe in Him, is justification; that justification included the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life in Heaven; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood, by virtue of which faith His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; that justifications brings us into the state of most blessed peace and favor with God and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity. John 1:16; Acts 13:39; 4:4,5; 5:1,2; Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 5:1; Galatians 3:6; Philippians 3:9; Genesis 15:6; Galatians 3:24.

SECTION 8 –            Concerning the Freeness of Salvation

Knowing that the blessings of Salvation are made free to all by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by the cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel, which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation. Isaiah 55:1; Romans 16:25,26; John 5:40; 3:19; II Peter 3:9; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 1:12.

 

SECTION 9 – Concerning Grace in Regeneration

Knowing that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; that it is affected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; that it’s proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life. John 3:3; 3:8; II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 5:9; Galatians 5:16-23; I Peter 1:22-25.

SECTION 10 – Concerning Repentance and Faith

Knowing that repentance and faith are sacred duties and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God, whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness and of the way of Salvation by Christ; we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; and at the same time we heartily receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our prophet, Priest, and King, and rely on Him alone as the only and all sufficient Savior. Mark 1:5; Acts 11:18; Ephesians 2:8; Acts 2:37-38; Romans 10:9,10.

SECTION 11 – Concerning God’s Purpose of Grace

Knowing that election is the eternal purpose of God according to which He graciously regenerates, sanctified, and saves sinners; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, God’s purpose comprehends all the means in connection with the end; that grace is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy and unchangeable; that grace utterly excludes boasting and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, highest degree; that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the Gospel; that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence. II Timothy 1:8,9; II Thessalonians 2:13,14; Exodus 33:18,19; II Timothy 2:10; II Peter 1:10,11; Romans 8:28-30.

SECTION 12 – Concerning Sanctification

Knowing that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His Holiness; Knowing that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit – the Sealer and Comforter, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, Bible reading, and prayer. I Thessalonians 4:3; I John 2:29; Romans 8:5; Philippians 2:12,13; I Timothy 4:12,13; II Timothy 3:15-17; Romans 12:1,2.

SECTION 13 – Concerning Perseverance of Saints

Knowing that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their perseverance attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. John 3:21; I John 2:19; Romans 8:28; Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 1:13,14; I Peter 1:7; Jude 1:24; II Peter 2:20-22.

 

 

SECTION 14 – Concerning law and the Gospel

Knowing that the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government; that it is holy, just, and good; that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their ability and to restore them through the mediator, to unfeigned obedience to the Holy Law and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the visible church. Romans 3:21; 7:21; 8:7,8; 8:2,4.

SECTION 15 – Concerning the Church

Knowing that the local Church is composed of:

  1. A local group of believers who are autonomous and self-governing with no ecclesiastical organization in authority over them.
  2. Believers who are baptized by immersion;
  3. Believers who are organized; they have for their officers – pastors, deacons, and such other leaders as God has given special gifts to render as a ministry to the church;
  4. Believers who meet regularly for fellowship, worship, and Bible study.
  5. Believers who observe the ordinances of baptism and the Lord ’s Supper.
  6. Believers who carry out the great commission.

I Corinthians 12:13; Acts 2:42-47; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 16:19; Acts 2:41,47; I Corinthians 12:13-18; Hebrews 10:25; I Corinthians 11:23,24; Matthew 28:18-20.

SECTION 16 – Concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

Knowing that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life. We believe that the Lord ’s Supper, in which the members of the Church by the sacred use of the bread and wine (grape juice) are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ, is to be preceded always with solemn self-examination. Acts 8:26-39; John 3:22,23; Matthew 28:19; I Corinthians 11:23-28; Acts 2:41,42.

SECTION 17 – Concerning the Lord’s Day

Trusting the fact that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes by abstaining from all secular labor, except works of mercy and necessity; by the devout observance of all means of grace, both private and public; and by preparation for that rest which remains for all the people of God. Acts 20:7; Psalm 118:24; Isaiah 58:13,14; Hebrews 4:3-11; Matthew 28:1,2; John 20: 19,26; I Corinthians 16:2.

 

SECTION 18 – Concerning Civil Government

Knowing that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed, except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the kings of the earth. Romans 13:1-7; Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:19; Matthew 23:10.

SECTION 19 – Concerning the Righteousness and the Wicked

Knowing that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and sanctified by the
Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and that this distinction holds among men both in and after death. Malachi 3:18; I John 5:19; Luke 16: 25,26.

SECTION 20 – Concerning Satan and Fallen Angels

Knowing that Satan is a person. He is a created being who sinned and became the arch enemy of God and His creation. He is the chief adversary of God’s children. He seeks to keep man from the Lord; and when he cannot succeed in this, he seeks to weaken the testimony of Christians. He has at his command a great host of fallen angels and demons to carry out his purposes. He is not omnipotent and can be overcome by the power of God. His doom is sealed in the lake of fire forever and ever. Ezekiel 28: 12-19; Isaiah 14:12-15; Revelation 12:10; 20:10.

SECTION 21 – Concerning Last Things

Knowing that there will be a resurrection of all, first the just at the coming of Jesus Christ, and finally the unjust after the millennium. The saints are raised to be forever with the Lord, and the unsaved will be confined for eternity in the Lake of Fire. Trusting in the Blessed Hope, which is the personal bodily pre-tribulation, pre-millennial, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior for His Church (the Rapture) and His later return to the earth in power and glory with His saints to set up His Kingdom (the Millennium). John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9; 1:11; 24:14; I Corinthians 15:3-20; Philippians 3:20,21; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Hebrews 7:25; I John 2:1,2; Revelation 21:1-8.

SECTION 22 – Concerning the World to Come

Knowing that the end of this age is approaching (I Peter 4:7). Knowing that God will create a new heaven and a new earth; that we will dwell in heaven with Jesus forever, and will have access to the new heaven and earth; that we will never again see death or tears or crying, or pain or evil or sin; that all these will be passed away, that we will be united with loved ones and saints of all ages in heaven to live with our Savior forever and ever. John 8:51; 11:25, 26; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; II Corinthians 5:6-8; Revelation 21:1-27;22:1-5.

 

 

SECTION 23 – Concerning Separation

Knowing that God commands Christians to be separated people according to II Corinthians 6:17-18; 7:1. “Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; And I will receive you; And will be a father unto you and ye shall be my sons and daughters, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

Knowing that a true Christian will be separated from all forms of apostasy and religious inclusivism. He will reject ecumenical movements which join all churches into one body regardless of doctrine or practice and the charismatic renewal movement with its unscriptural emphasis on tongues and healing. True Christians will enjoy fellowship with churches of like faith and order, but will have no part in any council of churches that is ecumenical in nature and thrust.

Knowing that Christians are to be personally separated from all worldly practices that hinder spiritual growth and stability. Knowing that God’s people should not love the world or the things that are in the world (I John 2:15-16). Knowing that a Christian should live a holy life and maintain a testimony consistent with the New Testament.

SECTION 24 – Concerning Christian Practice

A true Christian believes that a Christian should live a holy life, and be separated from the world, and maintain a testimony consistent with the New Testament. We also believe that by the power of the Holy Spirit, we all should walk together in Christian love, strive for the advancement of this Church in knowledge, holiness and godliness; hold a conviction that Christianity is a way of life and therefore should be propagated through Bible centered and Christ-centered Christian schooling; promote the prosperity and spirituality of this Church; sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; contribute cheerfully; and regularly support the Church with our tithes and offerings so that the ministry is supported, expenses are met, the poor are helped, and the Gospel is spread through all nations.

A true Christian encourages all of our members to maintain family and private devotions, to rear the children with Christian schooling from kindergarten through twelfth grade and then encourage the attending of a Christian college; to seek the salvation of kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; and be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to be zealous in our effort to win souls to Christ; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; and to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drink as a beverage, and from the improper sale and use of narcotics. Knowing that this use of narcotics extends to the almost drug like craving for Rock & Roll and any form of CCM music that has so permeated homes and churches in our time. Knowing that only music which has the “melody” that is referred to in Ephesians 5:19 can be truly spiritual music and that all music based on either harmony or more particularly rhythm are classified as worldly and unholy music.

We further encourage each member to show brotherly love toward one another; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior, to secure it without delay.

Should the will of God direct any to move from his local area, each one should desire, as soon as possible to unite with some other church of like faith and practice and thereby continue living a testimony for Christ and living the principles of God’s Word. I Thessalonians 5:8-26; Galatians 6:1,2,10; Ephesians 5:1-10; 6:10-18; Philippians 4:8,9; Colossians 3:1-25.

SECTION 25 – Concerning Christian Education

A true Christian believes that the children of our families need an education that trains children not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly (Psalm 1:1). The families need to obey Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

Therefore A true Christian believes that it must provide a Christian School to train the young people and it must encourage all member families to enroll their children in a Christian School. Knowing that we must see that our children are protected according to Proverbs 19:17, “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.”

SECTION 26 – Concerning Human Sexuality

Knowing that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Knowing that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. Genesis 2:24; 19:5-13; 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4.

SECTION 27 – Concerning The Beginning of Human Life

Knowing that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions or pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable. Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; 49:1,5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44.

SECTION 28 – Concerning Lawsuits Between Believers

Knowing that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or A true Christian to resolve personal disputes. Trusting the Church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s Insurance Company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. I Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32.

SECTION 29 – Concerning Giving

Knowing that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. Trust that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the spread of the Gospel. Trust that a Christian relinquished all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made. Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; I Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; I Timothy 5:17-18; I John 3:17.

 

How to Know Jesus

MEETING JESUS

The whole purpose of life is summed up in the wonderful truth that anyone can know God personally in the person of Jesus Christ.  In order to know Him, one needs to be introduced to him and to see what it is that makes him so special.  Let me try to make a case for the intrinsic value of Jesus who is called the Christ.

“The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.”  (John 7:46)

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”  (Hebrews 1:1-9)

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.”  (Colossians 1:14-21)

“For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”  (Colossians 2:9)

“For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.”  (Hebrews 3:3)

“Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.”  (Hebrews 5:10)

“So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”  (Hebrews 5:5-6)

“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;”  (Hebrews 5:8)

What are these verses talking about?  They are talking about Jesus!  Well, you say, what is so special about Jesus?  I have a little list in one of my sermons that goes like this:

  1. To the artist Jesus is the One Altogether Lovely.
  2. To the architect Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone.
  3. To the astronomer Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness.
  4. To the baker Jesus is the Living Bread.
  5. To the banker Jesus is the Treasure of all Treasures.
  6. To the biologist Jesus is the Life.
  7. To the builder Jesus is the Sure Foundation.
  8. To the carpenter Jesus is the Door
  9. To the doctor Jesus is the Great Physician.
  10. To the educator Jesus is the Great Teacher.
  11. To the engineer Jesus is the New and Living Way.
  12. To the farmer Jesus is the Sower and the Lord of the Harvest.
  13. To the florist Jesus is the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley.
  14. To the geologist Jesus is the Rock of Ages.
  15. To the horticulturist Jesus is the True Vine.
  16. To the judge Jesus is the Righteous Judge, the Judge of All Men.
  17. To the juror Jesus is the Faithful and True Witness.
  18. To the jeweler Jesus is the Pearl of Great Price.
  19. To the lawyer Jesus is the Counselor, the Lawgiver.
  20. To the newspaperman Jesus is the Good Tidings of Great Joy.
  21. To the oculist Jesus is the Light of the Eyes.
  22. To the philanthropist Jesus is the Gift of God.
  23. To the preacher Jesus is the Word of God.
  24. To the sculptor Jesus is the Living Stone.
  25. To the servant Jesus is the Good Master.
  26. To the student Jesus is the Incarnate Truth.
  27. To the statesman Jesus is the Desire of All Nations.
  28. To the theologian Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our Faith.
  29. To the toiler Jesus is the Giver of Rest.
  30. To the sinner Jesus is the Lamb of God Who Takes Away The Sin of The World.
  31. To the saint Jesus is the Son of the Living God, the Savior, the Redeemer, and the Lord.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”  (Matthew 13:44)  There is something about knowing Jesus that does this to people.  It is like the treasure in the field to know Him.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”  (Matthew 13:45-46)  What is it worth to you to have the Lord of the Universe actually live in your heart?  It is definitely worth selling all in order to purchase the pearl.

The point that we are making here and will continue to make as we move further in this book is that there is intrinsic value in knowing Jesus.  There is enough intrinsic value to turn from a life of selfish living to serving Jesus as a life-time servant.  Regeneration is what happens to a man when his vision of life is changed by meeting Jesus face to face.  There is a  blind song writer that put the concept into words that paint a true picture.  Her name was Fanny Crosby.  Read this poem which is also a famous hymn:

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?

No light in the darkness you see?

There’s light for a look at the Savior,

And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

2. Through death into life everlasting

He passed, and we follow Him there;

Over us sin no more hath dominion

For more than conquerors we are!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

3. His Word shall not fail you-He promised;

Believe Him, and all will be well;

Then go to a world that is dying,

His perfect salvation to tell!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face;

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

What is it that is so special about Jesus?  It is His love!  Jesus has what is called  disinterested benevolence which is how we describe the love of God as well.  His love is like none other!  It is something that will change you forever:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 8:35-39)

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”  (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”  (Jude 1:21)

The love of God and of Jesus does something that none can explain but it certainly changes a life completely.

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:7-14)

Let’s read the testimony of Charles G. Finney, revivalist

At an early hour I started for the office.  But just before I arrived at the office, something seemed to confront me with questions like these:  indeed, it seemed as if the inquiry within myself, as an inward voice said to me, “What are you waiting for?  Did you not promise to give your heart to God?  And what are you trying to do?  Are you endeavoring to work out a righteousness of your own?”

Just at this point the whole question of Gospel salvation opened to my mind in a manner most marvelous to me at the time.  I think I then saw, as clearly as I ever have in my life, the reality and fullness of the atonement of Christ.  I saw that his work was a finished work; and that instead of having, or needing, any righteousness of my own to recommend me to God, I had to submit myself to the righteousness of God through Christ.  Gospel salvation seemed to me to be an offer of something to be accepted; and that it was full and complete; and that all that was necessary on my part, was to get my own consent to give up my sins, and accept Christ.  Salvation, it seemed to me, instead of being a thing to be wrought out, by my own works, was a thing to be found entirely in the Lord Jesus Christ, who presented himself before me as my God and my Savior.

Without being distinctly aware of it, I had stopped in the street right where the inward voice seemed to arrest me.  How long I remained in that position I cannot say.  But after this distinct revelation had stood for some little time before my mind, the question seemed to be put, “Will you accept it now, to-day?”  I replied, “Yes; I will accept it to-day, or I will die in the attempt.”

North of the village, and over the hill, lay a piece of woods, in which I was in the almost daily habit of walking, more or less, when it was pleasant weather.  It was now October, and the time was past for my frequent walks there.  Nevertheless, instead of going to the office, I returned and bent my course toward the woods, feeling that I must be alone and away from all human eyes and ears, so that I could pour out my prayer to God.

But still my pride must show itself.  As I went over the hill, it occurred to me that some one might see me and suppose that I was going away to pray.  Yet probably there was not a person on earth that would have suspected such a thing, had he seen me going.  But so great was my pride, and so much was I possessed with the fear of man, that I recollect that I skulked along under the fence, till I got so far out of sight that no one from the village could see me.  I then penetrated into the woods, I should think, a quarter of a mile, went over on the other side of the hill, and found a place where some large trees had fallen across each other, leaving an open place between.  There I saw I could make a kind of closet.  I crept into this placed and knelt down for prayer.  As I turned to go up into the woods, I recollect to have said, “I will give my heart to God, or I never will come down from there.”  I recollect repeating this as I went up-“I will give my heart to God before I ever come down again.”

But when I attempted to pray I found that my heart would not pray.  I had supposed that I could only be where I could speak aloud, without being overheard, I could pray freely.  But lo!  When I came to try, I was dumb; that is, I had nothing to say to God; or at least I could say but a few words, and those without heart.  In attempting to pray I would hear a rustling in the leaves, as I thought, and would stop and look up to see if somebody were not coming.  This I did several times.

Finally I found myself verging fast to despair.  I said to myself, “I cannot pray.  My heart is dead to God, and will not pray.”  I then reproached myself for having promised to give my heart to God before I left the woods. When I came to try, I found that I could not give my heart to God.  My inward soul hung back, and there was no going out of my heart to God.  I began to feel deeply that it was too late; that it must be that I was given up of God and was past hope.

The thought was pressing me of the rashness of my promise, that I would give my heart to God that day or die in the attempt.  It seemed to me as if that was binding upon my soul; and yet I was going to break my vow.  A great sinking and discouragement came over me, and I felt almost too weak to stand upon my knees.

Just at this moment I again thought I heard some one approach me, and I opened my eyes to see whether it were so.  But right there the revelation of my pride of heart, as the great difficulty that stood in the way, was distinctly shown to me.  An overwhelming sense of my wickedness in being ashamed to have a human being see me on my knees before God, took such powerful possession of me, that I cried at the top of my voice, and exclaimed that I would not leave that place it all the men on earth and all the devils in hell surrounded me.  “What!” I said, “such a degraded sinner as I am, on my knees confessing my sins to the great and holy God; and ashamed to have any human being, and a sinner like myself, find me on my knees endeavoring to make my peace with my offended God?”  The sin appeared awful, infinite.  It broke me down before the Lord.

Just at that point this passage of Scripture seemed to drop into my mind with a flood of light:  “Then shall ye go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.  Then shall ye seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”  I instantly seized hold of this with my heart.  I had intellectually believed the Bible before; but never had the truth been in my mind that faith was a voluntary trust instead of an intellectual state.  I was as conscious as I was of my existence, of trusting at that moment in God’s veracity.  Somehow I knew that that was a passage of Scripture, though I do not think I had ever read it.  I knew that it was God’s word, and God’s voice, as it were, that spoke to me.  I cried to Him, “Lord, I take thee with all my heart, and that I have come here to pray to thee; and thou has promised to hear me.”

That seemed to settle the question that I could then, that day, perform my vow.  The Spirit seemed to lay stress upon that idea in the text, “When you search for me with all your heart.”  The question of when, that is of the present time, seemed to fall heavily into my heart.  I told the Lord that I should take him at his word; that he could not lie; and that therefore I was sure that he heard my prayer, and that he would be found of me.

He then gave me many other promises, both from the Old and the New Testament, especially some most precious promises respecting our Lord Jesus Christ.  I never can, in words, make any human being understand how precious and true those promises appeared to me.  I took them one after the other as infallible truth, the assertions of God who could not lie.  They did not seem so much to fall into my intellect as into my heart, to be put within the grasp of the voluntary powers of my mind;  and I seized hold of them, appropriated them, and fastened upon them with the grasp of a drowning man.

I continued to pray, and to receive and appropriate promises for a long time, I know not how long.  I prayed till my mind became so full that, before I was aware of it, I was on my feet and tripping up the ascent toward the road.  The question of my being converted, had not so much as arisen to my thought; but as I went up, brushing through the leaves and bushes, I recollect saying with great emphasis, “If I am ever converted, I will preach the Gospel.”

I soon reached the road that led to the village, and began to reflect upon what had passed; and I found that my mind had become most wonderfully quiet and peaceful.  I said to myself, “What is this? I must have grieved the Holy Ghost entirely away.  I have lost all my conviction.  I have not a particle of concern about my soul; and it must be that the Spirit has left me.”  “Why!”  thought I, “I never was so far from being concerned about my own salvation in my life.”

Then I remembered what I had said to God while I was on my knees-that I had said I would take him at his word; and indeed I recollected a good many things that I had said, and concluded that it was no wonder that the Spirit had left me; that for such a sinner as I was to take hold of God’s word in that way, was presumption if not blasphemy.  I concluded that in my excitement I had grieved the Holy Spirit, and perhaps committed the unpardonable sin.

I walked quietly toward the village; and so perfectly quiet was my mind that it seemed as if all nature listened.  It was on the 10th of October, and a very pleasant day.  I had gone into the woods immediately after an early breakfast; and when I returned to the village I found it was dinner time.  Yet I had been wholly unconscious of the time that had passed; it appeared to me that I had been gone from the village but a short time.

But how was I to account for the quiet of my mind?  I tried to recall my convictions, to get back again the load of sin under which I had been laboring.  But all sense of sin, and all consciousness of present sin or guilt, had departed from me.  I said to myself, “What is this, that I cannot arouse any sense of guilt in my soul, as great a sinner as I am?”  I tried in vain to make myself anxious about my present state.  I was so quiet and peaceful that I tried to feel concerned about that, lest it should be a result of my having grieved the Spirit away.  But take any view of it I would, I could not be anxious at all about my soul, and about my spiritual state.  The repose of my mind was unspeakably great.  I never can describe it in words.  The thought of God was sweet to my mind, and the most profound spiritual tranquility had taken full possession of me.  This was a great mystery; but it did not distress or perplex me.

I went to my dinner, and found I had no appetite to eat.  I then went to the office, and found that Squire W-had gone to dinner.  I took down my bass-viol, and, as I was accustomed to do, began to plan and sing some pieces of sacred music.  But as soon as I began to sing those sacred words, I began to weep.  It seemed as if my heart was all liquid; and my feelings were in such a state that I could not hear my own voice in singing without causing my sensibility to overflow.  I wondered at this, and tried to suppress my tears, but could not.  After trying in vain to suppress my tears, I put up my instrument and stopped singing.

After dinner we were engaged in removing our books and furniture to another office.  We were very busy in this, and had but little conversation all the afternoon.  My mind, however, remained in that profoundly tranquil state.  There was a great sweetness and tenderness in my thoughts and feelings.  Everything appeared to be going right, and nothing seemed to ruffle or disturb me in the least.

Just before evening the thought took possession of my mind, that as soon as I was left alone in the new office, I would try to pray again-that I was not going to abandon the subject of religion and give it up, at any rate; and therefore, although I no longer had any concern about my soul, still I would continue to pray.

By evening we got books and furniture adjusted; and I made up, in an open fire-place, a good fire, hoping to spend the evening alone.  Just at dark Squire W–, seeing that everything was adjusted, bade me good-night and went to his home.  I had accompanied him to the door; and as I closed the door and turned around, my heart seemed to be liquid within me.  All my feelings seemed to rise and flow out; and the utterance of my heart was, “I want to pour my whole soul out to God.”  The rising of my soul was so great that I rushed into the room back of the front office, to pray.

There was no fire, and no light, in the room; nevertheless it appeared to me as if it were perfectly light.  As I went in and shut the door after me, it seemed as if I met the Lord Jesus Christ face to face.  It did not occur to me then, nor did it for some time afterward, that it was wholly a mental state.  On the contrary it seemed to me that I saw him as I would see any other man.  He said nothing, but looked at me in such a manner as to break me right down at his feet.  I have always since regarded this as a most remarkable state of mind; for it seemed to me a reality, that he stood before me, and I fell down at his feet and poured out my soul to him.  I wept aloud like a child, and made such confessions as I could with my choked utterance.  It seemed to me that I bathed his feet with my tears; and yet I had no distinct impression that I touched him, that I recollect.

I must have continued in this state for a good while; but my mind was too much absorbed with the interview to recollect anything that I said.  But I know, as soon as my mind became calm enough to break off from the interview, I returned to the front office, and found that the fire that I had made of large wood was nearly burned out.  But as I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire, I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost.  Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any recollection that I had ever heard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul.  I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me.  Indeed it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love; for I could not express it in any other way.  It seemed like the very breath of God.  I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me, like immense wings.

No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart.  I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart.  These waves came over me, and over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, “I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me.”  I said, “Lord, I cannot bear any more;”  yet I had no fear of death.

How long I continued in this state, with this baptism continuing to roll over me and go through me, I do not know.  But I know it was late in the evening when a member of my choir-for I was the leader of the choir-came into the office to see me.  He was a member of the church.  He found me in this state of loud weeping, and said to me, “Mr. Finney, what ails you?”  I could make him no answer for some time.  He then said, “Are you in pain?”  I gathered myself up as best I could, and replied, “No, but so happy that I cannot live.”

We could go on with the narrative, but shortly after the above mentioned meeting, a serious man from the church came in and began to laugh with a holy laughter and then a young man who had used Charles Finney as his reason to remain an unbeliever came in only to hear the testimony of Charles and his change of life.  He was immediately convicted and on His knees gave his own heart to God.  You can read it all in the book Charles G. Finney, An Autobiography. The life of Charles Finney was drastically changed from that day to the day of his death.  He became one of the greatest revivalists history has ever known and profoundly influenced the early years of our country in having many Senators, Congressmen, Lawyers, and Judges converted to Jesus Christ.  The reason is that regeneration, as we are discussing here, made a remarkable change.  Charles G. Finney was truly “born again.”

What is being born again as Finney describes?  I have studied the Bible on this subject and have found that much that is preached and taught seems to miss some of that the Bible teaches regarding the subject.  Before a person accepts Christ, or believes, repents of their sins, commits their life to God or any number of other things that are described in the Bible, they are unsaved, or lost.  They have a selfish end in view for their motive for living. Charles Finney said he had selfish pride that kept him from believing the promises of God.   At that time they own their own life, follow their own will, and are spiritually dead in sin.  The day a person accepts Christ, as seen in the testimony of Charles G. Finney, he does more than to mentally believe, as Mr. Finney describes in his testimony, that the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ are facts, but he exercises a heart faith and confidence which in effect passes ownership of his life over to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  The Bible says in John 3:16 that “…whosoever believeth in him…” and when we look at the Greek for that phrase, the word in is a Greek word eis which actually means into. The Greek prepositions are placed on a chart to show just how they affect the subject in a sentence.  The diagram for eis appears as presented below:

As one can see, there is movement from one side to the other.  No one that believes in Jesus Christ stays where they were prior to salvation and no one loves the same things.  The meaning of believing in Jesus actually is more accurately said believing into Jesus Christ.  It is being immersed in the love of God as Finney told in his conversion experience.  It is definitely life changing.  It is not mental acknowledgement but life changing waves of the love of God.  The after effect is a new outlook on all that you had once held dear in life.  Nothing looks the same and peace floods your soul.  You are definitely born again, born into a new world and dead to the old one once and for all.  The old man is crucified and the resurrection life of Jesus Christ comes to dwell in the new believer, he is now a new creation in Christ Jesus.

What I found in studying this further is an astounding fact.  The Dana and Mantey Greek Grammar of the New Testament had an interesting footnote in the definition of the word.  It said, essentially, that to believe into or to be baptized into the name of Jesus Christ was to renounce ones self, selfishness and self-gratification, and consider ones self a life-time servant of Jesus Christ.  Nothing is clearer by way of illustration than the testimony of Charles G. Finney in this respect.  The circle on the right, in the illustration above, represents all that Christ stands for.  When a person is regenerated, they pass from the left-hand to the right-hand circle.  They are placing themselves in the hands of God, Jesus Christ specifically, by faith.  When you view the chart you can picture in your mind all the things that we have been saying in this lesson, the attributes of selfishness on the left, and all the things that relate to disinterested benevolence (Love of God) are on the right.  The left circle is the world of the unsaved; all things are viewed from a self-centered viewpoint.  The right circle is a new world of knowing God through Jesus Christ.  As Charles Finney indicated, there are baptisms of love that no one can describe that come over a new Christian.  He can never be the same.  His position has changed.  He has moved from the left, sometimes without even realizing it, over to the right.  The left feels most uncomfortable now and the right seems most peaceful and tranquil.  On the left a person feels that his life is owned by himself; on the right the person feels that his life is owned now by God.  On the left the person has self as lord; on the right, Christ is now Lord with no problem.  Some seem to cringe at the term “Lordship Salvation” but that is precisely what happens whether there is conscious thought of it or not.  A new Christian is slain by the Love of God and He is Lord of the heart by that same love. He is Lord of love.  The truth is that regeneration is a drastic change, it is being born again.  The position has changed, as far as the perspective that one has concerning his place in the world and in his place in his relationship to God.  That is just a fact of regeneration that cannot be denied, it is a fact that cannot be otherwise if a person comes to know God.  Is it any wonder that the moral law has this, knowing God, as the number one goal of every human being and of every being in the universe?  There is nothing that can substitute for the thrill and yet the peace and contentment that comes from having a personal relationship with the God of love, the lover of our souls.  So as we have said above, there is a part that the sinner plays, as Charles Finney testifies in his book, and there is a part that God plays as well.  It has happened to all that have come to know God, their perspective is altered in such a way that they can never return to the old life.  Truly old things have passed away and all things have become new.   The following outline is how you, too can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and know the Love of God.  Read each word with a prayerful spirit:

 

“This is Life Eternal ….that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”  John 17:3

  • Is God the end & scope of your life? Who owns your heart?  If you died right now, do you know 100% sure that you will be with Jesus in Heaven?
  • Do all your friends and family know you as a life-time servant of Jesus Christ?
  • Is there any part of your life that you would say does not belong completely to God?
  • What would it profit you to gain the world and lost your soul or what would you give in exchange for your soul?
  • God’s Wonderful Plan of Salvation is right here in four simple but powerful truths.  Read them carefully and cry out  to God with your mouth and with all your heart!

If you could know that Jesus loves you,

If you could only understand

That Jesus thought of you when dying,

And paid the price that guilt demands.

I know your heart would then adore Him;

I know His voice you would obey.

He calls you now with tender pleading!

Obey His voice and follow Him today.”

(Continued below)

FIRST, You Are A Sinner!

  • Romans 3:10,11 says, “As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one.  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”
  • When the Bible talks about sin it means to miss the mark of the end and scope of life which is God. Could you say that the goal of your life is the glory of God?
  • Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
  • There is one thing that separates between man and God and that is sin.
  • Romans 7:19-20 says, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.”
  • We find that we are in bondage to sin, unable to break it’s power.  Anyone that is in bondage to sin does not glorify God.
  • Do you admit that you have sinned?  If so, move to the next point.

SECOND, The Price on Sin Is Death!

  • Romans 5:12 says, “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
  • The first people in the world were Adam and Eve.  Their sin was that they decided to make “self” their goal rather than God. Does that sound familiar?
  • Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
  • Serving Self makes us all the enemies of God.  The bondage of our flesh to lust and sin has made what we thought was pleasure into a mirage of doom, physical death and separation from God in hell.
  • Revelation 20:14 says, “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
  • Do you admit that you are headed for hell if you don’t break the bondage to sin?  If so, go on to the next point.

THIRD, Jesus Paid the Price for your sins!

  • Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
  • The greatest story ever told is of Jesus, come to earth, born in a lowly manger of the virgin Mary, living a life without sin, and then dying on a cross to pay the penalty for all mankind.
  • He did more than that, He took us with Him, thereby breaking our bondage to sin by His death and resurrection. Glory to God!  When you give up your life to Him, you get His resurrection power!
  • Do you believe enough that He died and rose again for you, that you would be willing to trust your life and future to the One that can raise the dead?  Go on to the next point!

If you could know the joy of pardon;

If you could know the peace it brings.

When Jesus speaks, “DIVINE FORGIVENESS,”

The saddest heart with rapture sings.

I know your heart would then adore Him;

I know His voice you would obey.

He calls you now with tender pleading;

Obey His voice and follow Him today.”

LAST, Ask Jesus To Come Into Your Heart! Give Him ALL YOUR LIFE!

Romans 10: 9,10 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. . . . .For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

  • It almost seems too simple, yet the Bible says we must be like little children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
  • Do you see what the verses say? To believe is to give up your life to Him because He gave His life for you.  He only wants the best for you.  Being His servant is to be free from the bondage of sin. You will have a new  yoke, a bondage of love to Jesus.
  • Wouldn’t you be willing to just tell Jesus that you will surrender your life to him today and let Him come into your heart to take control?
  • Great!  If Jesus would take you just like you are, would you take Him? You will do it won’t you?  He will make the changes but you must give him all!  Don’t hold back!  It’s all or nothing!
  • So, simply bow your head and say a prayer something like this, as you picture placing your life in God’s hands now and forever:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and deserve hell for my sins.  I believe that you died for me and rose from the dead the third day and am willing to surrender all my life to you right now.  Take away all my sins!  Take me to heaven when I die?  I now receive you as my Lord and Savior.  Thank-you for saving me!  In Jesus Name I pray, Amen!”

If you pray that prayer while viewing the pages on this site, please write to us and let us know about your new life in Jesus Christ and then follow all the lessons from Lesson #1 to Lesson #27 so that you can be the best Christian one can possibly be and invite all your friends and family as well as many others that cross your path to find the same Savior that you have found.

CONFESSION WITH THE MOUTH

Scripture Reading: Rom. 10:10; Prov. 29:25; Matt. 10:32-33

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  (Romans 10:10)

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.  (Proverbs 29:25)

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.  (Matthew 10:32-33)

 

I. THE IMPORTANCE OF CONFESSING WITH THE MOUTH

Once a person has believed in the Lord, he should not keep the matter a secret; he has to confess the Lord with his mouth. Confessing the Lord with our mouth is a very important matter.

A. Opening the Mouth as Soon as One Believes

As soon as one believes in the Lord, he should confess the Lord before men. Suppose a person gives birth to a child. What would we think if the child could not speak by the age of one or two, or even three? Would we say only that he is slow in speech development? Is it possible for such a person to begin saying, “one, two, three, four,” at the age of thirty and then learn to say “daddy” and “mommy” at fifty years of age? No. If a person is dumb in his infancy, he probably will be dumb for the rest of his life. If he cannot say “daddy” and “mommy” when he is young, he probably will not be able to say it for the rest of his life. Likewise, if a new believer does not confess the Lord immediately after he believes in the Lord, I am afraid he will be dumb for the rest of his life. If he cannot speak when he is young, he probably will not be able to speak when he grows up.

Some have been Christians for ten or even twenty years. Yet they remain dumb. This is because they did not open their mouth during the first and second week of their Christian life. They will continue to be dumb until they die. Confessing the Lord begins at the time a person believes. If you open your mouth the day you believe in the Lord, the way of confession will be opened to you. If a person is dumb in the first weeks, months, or year, he is likely to remain dumb for the rest of his life. Therefore, as soon as a person believes in the Lord, he should endeavor to speak to others about the Lord. Even if he finds it hard to speak and even if he dislikes speaking, he still must speak. He must speak to his relatives and friends. If he does not learn to speak openly, I am afraid he will be a dumb man before God for the rest of his life. We do not wish to see dumb believers. This is why we must learn to open our mouth from the very beginning. If a person fails to do this in the beginning, he will find it more difficult to do it later. Unless God grants special mercy or there is a revival, these ones will never open their mouth. It will take a great effort for them to open their mouth at a later date. Every new believer should seek the opportunity to confess the Lord before men. Such a confession is a great matter and reaps much profit.

B. Confession with the Mouth unto Salvation

Romans 10:10 says, ” For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” ” For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” This is something before God. “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” This speaks of salvation before man. Whether or not you have believed is something before God; no one can see it. If you have sincerely believed, you are justified before God. However, if you only believe in your heart, but do not speak with your mouth, others will not recognize you as a saved person; they will still consider you an unbeliever. They will not see any difference between you and them. This is why the Bible strongly stresses the need to confess with the mouth in addition to believing in the heart. We must speak with our mouth.

Every new believer must look for opportunities to confess the Lord. Among our classmates, colleagues, friends, relatives, and all those who come into contact with us, as soon as an opportunity arises, we should say to them, “I have believed in the Lord Jesus.” The sooner we open our mouth, the better it is. Once we open our mouth, others will immediately know that we have believed in the Lord Jesus. In this way, we will be delivered from the company of unbelievers.

We have seen some people who hesitated in their acceptance of the Lord, but once they stood up and proclaimed, “I believe in Jesus,” they became sure. The worst thing that can happen to a Christian is for him to keep his mouth shut. Once he speaks, he takes a firm step forward and becomes secure. Many believers hesitate initially, but as soon as they say, “I believe,” they become certain.

C. Confession Saving Much Trouble

There is great profit when one confesses with his mouth after he has believed in his heart. It saves him much trouble in the future.

Suppose you do not open your mouth and say, “I have decided to follow the Lord Jesus; I am His now.” Others will still consider you the same as they. When they sin or indulge in lustful things, they will consider you to be one of them. In your heart you realize that you are a Christian and that it is wrong for you to be among them. But you cannot reject them, because you want to please them. You may come up with an excuse to turn them down. But the next time they will still drag you along, and you will have to think of another excuse to refuse them. You may come up with excuses once or twice, but the pressure will always come back. So why not put the signboard out from the very first day and confess that you are a believer? You only need to confess once or twice, and others will give up trying to persuade you.

If you do not confess with your mouth, that is, if you are a Christian secretly, you will experience much more difficulty than those who are Christians openly. Your temptation will be many times greater than the temptation of those who openly confess the Lord. You will be bound by human affections and past relationships. You cannot excuse yourself from others every time by saying that you have a headache or that you are busy. You cannot use excuses every time. This is why you must declare from the first day, “I have believed in the Lord Jesus. I have accepted Him.” Once you put out this signboard, your colleagues, classmates, relatives, and family will know the kind of person you are. This will save you much trouble. Otherwise, you will have all kinds of frustrations. If a person confesses the Lord with his mouth, he will be saved from much trouble.

D. Not Confessing the Lord
Leading to Accusations in the Conscience

There is another serious problem for a person who does not confess the Lord with his mouth. Many of the Lord’s believers experienced this when the Lord was on the earth.

The Lord Jesus was rejected by the Jews. They vehemently opposed and rejected Him. In John 9 the Jews made a decision: Whoever confessed Jesus to be the Christ would be put out of the synagogue (v. 22). In chapter twelve the Bible says that many Jewish rulers believed in the Lord Jesus secretly, but they dared not confess Him because they were afraid of being put out of the synagogue (v. 42). Do you think that these people had peace in their hearts? Perhaps they felt uneasy about confessing the Lord, but they felt even more uneasy about not confessing the Lord. What kind of place was the synagogue? It was a place where people opposed the Lord Jesus. They plotted, conspired, and discussed plans to trap the Lord there. Such were the dark things that went on in the synagogue. What should a genuine believer do among such people? How much strength would he need to keep his mouth shut? Under such circumstances it would be difficult for anyone to confess the Lord with his mouth, but it would be even harder for him to not confess the Lord with his mouth.

The Jewish synagogue is a picture of the world’s opposition to the Lord. The world always criticizes the Lord Jesus. It always considers Jesus of Nazareth a problem. It has all kinds of things to say against our Lord. In a place like this, can you listen to the people and pretend to be like one of them? To pretend is painful; to pretend is also difficult. You have to muster enough strength to control and repress yourself before you can pretend. Under such circumstances, is it not true that something within you will want to cry out, “This man is the Son of God; I believe in Him”? Is there not something within you that wants to proclaim, “This man is my Savior, and I have already believed in Him,” or, “This man can deliver me from my sins. You may not believe in Him, but I do”? Is there not something within you that wants to make such a declaration?

Are you going to force yourself to be quiet just because you want man’s respect and position? It seems to me it would have been easier for the Jewish rulers in John 12 to simply be put out of the synagogue. They would have felt much better if they had confessed the Lord. If you are a false believer, it probably will make no difference whether or not you confess. But as a genuine believer, you will surely offend your conscience if you pretend and sympathize with the Lord’s opposers. When others oppose the Lord, you have no peace in your heart, yet you must force yourself to say, “What you are saying is interesting.” Is this not the most painful thing to do as a human being?

There is nothing more painful than not confessing the Lord. The greatest suffering is to refuse to confess the Lord before men. I would not want to trade places with those rulers. Their suffering was too great! If you are not a believer, there is nothing to say. But if you have believed, the easier and more joyful and happy thing to do is come out of the synagogue. You may feel that there are many obstacles, but past experience indicates that the obstacles will be greater and your heart will suffer more if you do not go this way.

Suppose you hear someone maliciously slander your parents, saying this and that about them. Suppose that you try to sit still and listen to them or, worse still, pretend to sympathize with them. If you do this, I would wonder what kind of a person you were. Our Lord has given His life to save us. If we do not say something for the very Lord whom we worship and serve, how much more timid are we? We must be bold to stand up and proclaim for the Lord, “I belong to Him!”

II. COMMON MISTAKES

A. Replacing Confession with Good Behavior

Some new believers are influenced by traditional teachings. They think that having good behavior is the most important thing for a Christian and that confession with the mouth is not that crucial. They think that a change in what one says is not important, but that a change in what one does is important. We must correct this wrong concept. We are not saying that it is not necessary to change our conduct. If one’s conduct is not changed, it is useless to confess with the mouth. But changing what one does without confessing with one’s mouth is equally futile. A change in conduct can never take the place of confession with the mouth. After one’s conduct is changed, his mouth still has to confess.

Every new believer must seize the earliest opportunity to tell others about his faith in the Lord Jesus. If you do not confess with your mouth, others will make many conjectures about you. They will try to explain your behavior with speculation. They will say all kinds of things about you, but they will not touch the Lord Jesus. Therefore, you must tell them the reason for the change in your conduct. No good conduct can take the place of verbal confession. It is necessary to have good conduct, but it is equally necessary to confess with the mouth. You must tell others, “Jesus is my Lord; I want to serve Him.” No matter how good your conduct is, these words must come out of your mouth.

We have heard people say that if they have good outward conduct, there is no need for them to say anything with their mouth. Please remember that no one will bother to criticize those who say this if they fail slightly in their personal conduct. But if a man stands up to proclaim that he is a Christian, others will immediately criticize and rebuke him when there is any slip in his conduct. Hence, those who say that good conduct is enough and that there is no need to confess with the mouth are in reality giving themselves an excuse to fail in their conduct. They are leaving a back door for themselves to escape from the judgment of others. Never believe that just a change in conduct is sufficient. Confession with the mouth is needed; in fact, it is absolutely indispensable.

B. Being Afraid of Failing to Persevere to the End

Some people think, “If I confess with my mouth and then fail to persevere in my Christian conviction, will this not become a joke to others? Suppose I can no longer make it as a Christian after three or five years, what should I do then? It is better for me not to say anything now. Let me wait for several years, until I find out whether or not I can make it.” We can tell such ones that if they do not confess because they are afraid of stumbling or failing, they will surely fail. They have already opened a back door and are trying to avoid the front door. They have already made preparations to back out of their own confession. They want to wait to have assurance before they confess. We are sure that such ones will fail. It is better to stand up and say, “I am for the Lord.” If you close the back door first, it will become much harder for you to back out or backslide later. Consequently, you will have a much better chance of going forward than of sliding backward. In fact, this is the only possible way for you to go forward.

If you want to wait until you have good behavior before you confess, your mouth will never open up. You will always be dumb. Even after you have good conduct, you will still be dumb. If you do not open your mouth at the beginning, it will be much harder to open your mouth later. If you open your mouth, the chance of having good conduct will be greater. If you want to wait until your behavior is good before you confess, you will lose both your chance of opening your mouth as well as your chance of having good behavior; both will be lost, and you will fail in both.

One assuring thought is that God is not only the God who redeems us but also the God who preserves us. What should we liken redemption to? Redemption is like buying something. What then is preservation? Preservation is like putting the purchased object in one’s own hand. How many people in this world buy things with the view of throwing them away? When we buy a watch, we want to use it for five or ten years; no one buys a watch with the view of throwing it away. God is saving people everywhere. He does not save them and then throw them away. He wants to preserve what He has saved. Since God has saved us, He will preserve us. Since God has redeemed us, He will preserve us until that day. God loves us so much that He was willing to forsake His Son to redeem us. If He had no intention of preserving us, He would not have paid such a great price. It is God’s purpose as well as His plan to preserve us. Do not be afraid to stand up and say, “I believe in the Lord.” You may say, “What happens if I fail in a few days?” Do not worry about this; God will be responsible for it. It is better for you to stand up and say, “I belong to God.” Commit yourself to God. God knows that you need support, comfort, and protection. We have the assurance to say that God preserves man’s salvation. This preservation makes redemption meaningful.

C. Fear of Men

Some people dare not confess because they are afraid of men. Many people can honestly say that they have no other reservation in their heart; they are willing to stand up and confess, but when they see the faces of others, they become afraid. When they look at their parents’ faces or their friends’ faces, they feel too shy to speak up. This is where many people are stumbled; they are afraid of men and do not have any boldness to open their mouth. Some people are naturally timid; they are timid not only in confessing the Lord but also in other things. If you want them to tell others about their faith, you are asking them for their life. They simply dare not open their mouth.

However, this kind of person needs to hear what God has to say. Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man bringeth a snare.” If you are afraid when you see someone, you will fall into a “snare.” As soon as you become afraid, you fall into a snare. Your fear becomes your snare. Whenever your heart is afraid of men, you are creating a snare for yourself. Once you are afraid, you fall into a snare. This snare is created by your own fear. Actually, the person you fear may be very willing to listen to you. Even if he is not inclined to listen, he may not be as fearsome as you think.

There is a story about two persons who were colleagues. One was a believer and the other was not. The one who believed was very timid; the one who did not believe was also very timid. The timid believer did not dare tell his colleague that he was saved. The one who did not believe was puzzled by the great changes that were happening to his colleague. His colleague used to have a quick temper but had now changed. He dared not ask his colleague the reason. The two of them shared a table and sat face-to-face every day. One was too timid to speak, and the other was too timid to ask. Every day they just looked at each other. One was afraid to speak, and the other was afraid to ask. One day the believer could not hold back any longer. After praying about it, he went to the other one and shook his hand tightly and said, “I am a very timid person. For at least three months I have been struggling to tell you something. Now I am going to tell you. I have believed in Jesus.” After saying these words, his face turned pale. The other one said, “I too have waited for three months. I wanted to ask why you have become so different, but I was too afraid to ask.” The believer mustered enough courage to open his mouth. From that time on, the opportunity opened up, and he was able to bring his friend to the Lord.

Those who are fearful of men will fall into a snare. Please remember that while you are afraid of others, others may be afraid of you too. We must never have a fear of men. We who follow God should not fear men. If you have a fear of men, you cannot be a good Christian and you cannot serve God. A Christian must be bold to speak to his relatives and friends. He must be bold to confess the Lord both in private and in public. We must take this way from the beginning.

D. Being Shy

Some people are shy. They feel that it is a shameful thing to be a Christian. It is true that this kind of shame may exist when we face unbelievers. If you tell others that you are engaged in technical research, they will congratulate you for having a good future. If you say that you are studying a certain philosophy, others will also say that you are a thoughtful person. You are not ashamed to talk about doing many things. But if you say that you are a Christian, many will say that you are too simple-minded or not intellectual enough. They will not esteem you highly. You are not ashamed to talk about other things, but as soon as you confess your Christian faith, you feel ashamed within. It is unavoidable for a new believer to feel shameful when he opens his mouth to confess his faith. However, we must overcome this feeling. It is true that the world feels shameful about someone becoming a Christian, but we must overcome this feeling.

How can we overcome this feeling of shame? We must deal with it from two aspects:

On the one hand, we have to realize that when the Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross, He bore our sins as well as our shame. When our Lord bore our sins, He suffered great humiliation. Today, in the eyes of God, it is only proper that we suffer humiliation from men. The humiliation we suffer before man can never be compared with the humiliation our Lord suffered on the cross for us. Therefore, we should not be surprised at humiliation. We should know that we belong to the Lord.

On the other hand, there is a good hymn which says, “Our shyness is like the early morning sky disowning the sun! But the Lord radiates the divine light which illuminates our consciences which are as dark as the night.” Since the Lord has been gracious to us and has redeemed us, being ashamed of confessing Him is like the early morning sky being ashamed of the illumination of the sun. Today the Lord has graced us. He has redeemed us and preserved us. He will even bring us to the heavens. Yet we consider it a shame to confess Him! If that is a shame, then all the grace we have received should also be considered a shame to us, and we should deny it all! The Lord has done so much for us, and yet we feel ashamed of confessing Him! How can this be?

We should feel shameful for such things as carousing, drunkenness, unrestrained dissipation, works of darkness, sinning, and evil works. The Lord has delivered us from all these. We should feel glorious. How can we have a sense of shame? It is not shameful for us to confess the Lord; it is glorious and joyous for us to confess Him! We are those who will never perish, who will never be condemned or judged by God, and who will never have to depart from the glorious face of God. We are those who follow the Lamb and who will always be with Him (Rev. 14:4). It is altogether wrong for others to plant the seed of shame in us. We should stand up boldly and say that we belong to God. We should rejoice and glory in Him.

By nature Peter was a strong-willed person. He wanted to distinguish himself among the disciples and to be ahead of others in everything. But one day he denied the Lord and became like a little mouse. When he was questioned, he was afraid. Humanly speaking, Peter was a “hero” and a born leader among the disciples. Yet he trembled even before others tried to take his life. He trembled and swore when all that was said to him was, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.” This was indeed too poor. All those who refuse to confess the Lord are poor. Peter was most shameful; it was a shame for him to deny the Lord (Matt. 26:69-75).

All those who are too shy to open their mouths are full of shame. The really noble ones are the ones who confess their allegiance to Jesus of Nazareth, even at the point of being burned at the stake or thrown into the sea. They may be beaten, burned alive, or thrown into the lions’ den, but they still proclaim, “I belong to Jesus the Nazarene.” This is the most glorious thing in the whole world. The most shameful ones are those who are ashamed to confess the Lord. This kind of people are useless. They will even loathe themselves and be ashamed of themselves! The most shameful thing is for a person to despise himself and be ashamed of what he has.

Therefore, we should not have any fear or shame. All those who learn to follow the Lord should learn to confess Him boldly before man. If light is shameful and darkness glorious, if holiness is shameful and sin glorious, if spirituality is shameful and carnality glorious, and if following the Lord is shameful and following man glorious, then we would rather choose shame. We would rather suffer humiliation with Christ as Moses did, which humiliation is far better than the glories of men (“Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.”  Heb. 11:26).

E. Love of Man’s Glory

Why did the rulers in John 12 not confess the Lord? They did not confess the Lord because they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God. Many people dare not confess because they want both; they want Christ, and they also want the synagogue. They want Christ; this is why they believe. But they also want the synagogue; this is why they will not confess Him. If a person wants both, he will not be absolute in either.

If you want to serve the Lord, you must make a choice between the Lord and the synagogue. Otherwise, you can never be a good Christian. You must make a choice between the Lord and man. The rulers were afraid of losing men’s favor. They were afraid that if they confessed the Lord they would be put out of the synagogue. But a person who chooses the Lord in an absolute way will not be afraid of being put out of the synagogue.

If people do not persecute you after you have believed in the Lord, you should say, “Lord, I thank You.” If people persecute you after you have confessed the Lord with your mouth, you should also say, “Lord, I thank You.” What is so strange about this? We cannot be like those rulers who, for the sake of their love for the synagogue, refused to confess their faith in the Lord Jesus. If everyone in the church had been like them, there would be no church on earth today. If Peter had returned home and remained silent after he believed in the Lord, if Paul, Luke, Darby, and the rest had remained silent after they believed, and if everyone in the church had remained silent and dared not confess the Lord, their troubles definitely would have been less, but there would be no church on earth today!

One characteristic of the church is that it dares to believe in the Lord. Another characteristic is that it dares to confess its faith in Him. To be saved is not just to believe in the Lord Jesus; it is to believe and to confess that one is a believer. The confession is important. Christianity is not only manifested in one’s conduct but also in one’s mouth. The mouth must confess. One must confess, “I am a Christian.” It is not enough for a Christian to just have good conduct; he must also confess with his mouth. If you take away the mouth, there will be no Christianity. The Scripture is very clear. The heart believes unto righteousness and the mouth confesses unto salvation. Christianity is believing in the heart and confessing with the mouth.

III. CONFESSING THE LORD
AND THE LORD’S CONFESSION

The Lord said, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 10:32). Thank the Lord that if we confess the Lord today, on that day He will also confess us. The Lord also said, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (v. 33). “But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12:9). What a great contrast! All we have to do is confess that this excellent One, this chiefest among ten thousand, is the Son of God. He will then confess us before the heavenly Father and the angels of God. If you think it is difficult to confess such a Lord before men, the Lord will find it difficult to confess such a person as you when He descends in the glory of the Father. Today we must not shrink back from confessing the Lord through fear of men (“I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;”

Isa. 51:12). If today we find it difficult to confess Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, then on that day, when our Lord comes back, He will find it difficult to confess us before His Father and all the glorious angels. What a serious thing this is!

In reality, it is not difficult for us to confess the Lord. It is especially easy when we compare our confession with His confession of us. It is difficult for Him to confess us because we are prodigal sons who have come home, and there is nothing good in us. Since He will confess us in the future, let us also confess Him well before men today.

May all the newly-saved brothers and sisters be bold to confess the Lord from the beginning. We should never try to be Christians in secret.

WANT TO KNOW JESUS PERSONALLY?  CLICK HERE

Written originally by Watchman Nee in China during the Chinese revolution and died in a prison camp but these lessons have been the foundation of my life for 38 years.  The illustration in the first lesson was created by me after a study of the Greek word “eis” which means “into.”  David Williams – site Admin.

My Own Songs

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Recent Posts

Donate

Order DVD's of If You Could Know Video - shipping address follows payment . Minimum donation $20 please.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

To subscribe to our teachings for Christian growth simply add your email below. A confirmation email will be sent to you!

Tags

Admin

If You Could Know That Jesus Loves You is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).

WATCH THIS AMAZING VIDEO