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January 15, 2011

Confess – 1.15.2011

Filed under: Old and New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 10:36 am

A bible study by Adam Osborne, JR.

Greek expression: homologeō
Pronunciation: haw maw law GEH oh
Strong’s Number: G3670

The word “confess” does have a negative connotation, but it also has a positive one. Confess means to declare affirmatively what one believes in. The Greek word homologeō literally means “saying the same thing”—that is, affirming one’s agreement with a particular spiritual reality. We confess that we are sinners, and we confess (affirm) that Jesus is the Savior. These two kinds of confession occur in the Bible. First, individuals confess that they have sinned and are therefore guilty before God. Second, they confess that Jesus is Lord. One confession often leads to the other.

In the first kind of confession, one agrees or acknowledges that he has broken God’s law and therefore deserves punishment.

  • Romans 6:23 (NIV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Those who were baptized by John the Baptist publicly confessed their sins and repented.

  • Mark 1:4-5 (NIV) And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

All Christians, in fact, must agree with God that they are sinners.

  • 1 John 1:8 (NIV) If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

All Christians are encouraged to confess their sins to God.

  • 1 John 1:9 (NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

James said that when a Christian is sick, the elders are to visit that person and give him an opportunity to confess any sins. In the same passage, James urged Christians to confess their sins to one another.

  • James 5:13-15 (NIV) Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.

The second, more positive meaning of the word, occurs frequently in the New Testament with respect to affirming one’s faith in Christ. When Christians confess, they declare as a matter of conviction and allegiance that Jesus is the Christ and that they belong to Him.

  • Matt 10:32 (NIV) “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.

Refusal to confess Christ is the same as denying Him.

Matt 10:33 (NIV)

    • But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.


  • Luke 12:8-9 (NIV) “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. 9 But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.
  • 2 Tim 2:11-13 (NIV) Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13 if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
  • Rev 3:5 (NIV) 5 He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.

The Christian life therefore begins with a confession of faith, a public declaration before witnesses.

  • Romans 10:9-10 (NIV) That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

An additional dimension of the Christian’s confession is provided in 1 John 4:2.

  • 1 John 4:2 (NIV) This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.

One must confess that “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.” A person must not only acknowledge that Jesus “has come” and confess belief in Jesus’ divinity and preexistence as the Son of God, but also that He has come “in the flesh”—that is, confess belief in Jesus’ incarnation.


  • 1 Tim 6:12 (NIV) 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
  • 1 John 4:2 (NIV) This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God

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