February 26, 2014

Say the Same Thing

Usually we use the word confess” when we speak about admitting our sin. John the Baptist called men to confess their sins (Matthew 3:6). The apostle John wrote that if we confess our sins then Christ forgives us (1 John 1:9). You have probably heard before that the Greek word behind our English translation is ὁμολογέω, a saying (logeo) of the same thing (homo). William Tyndale translated it as acknowledge” rather than confess” because the Roman Catholic church turned confession into a sacrament. But we Protestants understand that when we confess we don’t tell our sins to a priest. Instead, we same the same thing as God about the nature of our sin, namely, that sin is sin and we’ve done it.

In the New Testament the word confess” also has a different subject than sin. For example, John the Baptist confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, I am not the Christ’” (John 1:22). The apostle John described the fearful parents of the man born blind because the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be the Christ he was to be put out of the synagogue” (John 9:22).

Our salvation depends on our confession of faith: if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Some day, every tongue (will) confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:11).

This type of confession has a different subject but the same action. We say the same thing as God about whatever He says, including the nature of His Son. As we mature in Christ, we will be more specific in our confession about our sin and more specific about our confession of the Savior. Peter commanded it: Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

How is your confession? Are you more frequent, more specific, and more eager for both types? If not, now is as good a time as any to confess.


confession liturgy


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