The Plan of Salvation 4

The Plan of Salvation 4

Plan of Salvation (4) - Confession


This is the fourth of six articles dedicated to a review of God's plan of salvation as given in the New Testament. Recall what Jesus said about each of the following: (1) hearing - Jn. 6:44-45, (2) believing - Jn. 3:16, (3) repentance - Lk. 13:1-5, (4) confession of our faith in him - Mt. 10:32-33, (5) being baptized -Mk. 16:16, and (6) being faithful unto death - Rev. 2:10. Repentance is a turning away from sin as a result of Godly sorrow; we will see that confession is its positive counterpart. 

The Greek word for confession as used in Mt. 10:32 is homologeo, which Vine defines literally as "to speak the same thing" (homos, "same," lego, "to speak"); and further, "to declare openly by way of speaking out freely, such confession being the effect of deep conviction of facts." This definition will hold for all of the contexts discussed in this article. 

In these contexts, confession does not hold its modern religious connotation of confessing one's sins to a priest (or anyone else). Confession of sins is discussed in scripture (e.g., 1 John 1:9 and James 5:16). However, the confession that is under discussion here is referring to a person's willingness to state by word and deed, emphatically and publicly, that Jesus is the son of God. 

Our lead article discusses the verses, which clearly show that confession is a condition of salvation. The Q&A section is devoted to a further elaboration of Romans 10, which contains one of the most definitive verses on confession. And finally, our Ye Often Hear it Said section addresses the importance of who we trust.


If Ye Confess . . . 


There are two common errors made regarding the Biblical teachings on confession: denying its importance or jumping to salvation by "confession only." Neither of these extreme positions is correct as we will see in reviewing the Biblical teachings. 

Mt. 10:32 Jesus said: "Everyone therefore who shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." This alone makes confession a condition of salvation. 

The confession of Christ was not a trivial statement in the first century as it could be in many of our societies where we have freedom of religion. There were consequences both before and after the death of Jesus for confessing him (Jn. 9:22; 12:42; Acts 22:19). 

Confession as a condition of salvation is further taught in Rom. 10:9"... if you confess with your mouth Jesus {as} Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved ..." We urge you to study all of Romans 10 assisted by the questions on the next page. 

We see from the examples given in the book of Acts that all converts had a willingness to confess Christ. In Acts 8:37 there is an explicit example of confession prior to baptism. However, confession is not a one-time act; it is a way of life (1 Jn 4:15): "Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God." 

Our words, our deeds and everything that we are and stand for as Christians must be a confession of Christ. Thus, the concept of salvation by "confession only" is as easily dispelled as is salvation by "faith only" (James 2:26). Just as faith cannot exist apart from the works that it motivates, so confession cannot exist in word only. 

The confession of Christ also encompasses all that He taught. Speaking of those who once were faithful Christians, John states (2 Jn 1:7): "For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ {as} coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist." Apparently these false teachers acknowledged some form of "Jesus Christ" but refused to teach that He came in the flesh. Doctrine is important (Mt. 4:4). 


Ye Often Hear It Said . . .


It does not matter if you accept Christ . . . 

but Jesus said (John 14:6): 

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me." 

Jesus was describing the way to his Father's house. He had told them that: "... you know the way where I am going" (Jn.14:4) Thomas asked him "... how do we know the way?" It was then that Jesus stated: "I am the way ..." 

We can and should know the way to God's eternal dwelling place for us. Jesus has defined the way by His perfect life (Heb. 1:1f), by sending the Holy Spirit to guide the apostles (Jn. 16:13), and by the words that the inspired men wrote as a result of this inspiration (1 Cor. 2:12f). Christ is the highway that Isaiah identified (Isa. 35:8). It is a way only available through Jesus, since it is only by His blood that he entered into the holy place for us (Heb. 9:12). 

Is it not fitting, then, that we should not only believe in Jesus as our savior, but also confess Him before others? The great commission to go to people of all nationalities and preach to them the gospel of Jesus is a command for us to confess our belief that Jesus is the Son of God, and thereby the way, the truth and the life.


You Find the Answers 

These Bible study questions provide assistance to you in studying and teaching God's Word. The answers are quite clear, and they prove that we can have the same understanding as the apostles had by reading what they wrote (Ephesians 3:4). We challenge you to open your Bible and establish the truth. 




1.      Did Paul's Jewish countrymen have a zeal for God? (2)

2.      Then, what was their problem? (3) 

3.      What had they failed to see about the OT law? (4) 

4.      Is Paul contrasting the OT law with faith in Christ? (5-6) 

5.      Were some wanting to see Christ in order to have this faith? (6-7) 

6.      What is the solution? (8)  Where is the power? (Rom. 1:16) 

7.      What were they preaching (the "word of faith" in vs. 8-9)? 

8.      What two conditions of salvation are stated here? (9)

9.      Does faith motivate righteousness?   Is part of this confession? (10) 

10.   Does God make racial distinctions in any way? (11-13) 

11.    Is it necessary for salvation that the truth gets preached? (14-16) 

12.   Is learning the word of God and Christ essential to faith? (17)