Hebrews 11:23: We must continue to hold firmly to our declaration of faith. The one who made the promise is faithful. (God’s Word Translation)
Case study one: There was a storm in the middle of sea of Galilee but Jesus was sleeping and the disciples woke him up asking if he was unconcerned about what they were going through. After Jesus woke up and rebuked the storm, he asked them, where is your faith?
Case study two: When a centurion asked Jesus to come and heal his precious servant who was on the verge of death, and added that he should not bother coming but only say the word, Jesus was amazed that he had never seen such a great faith in Israel. So faith can be seen in the words that we speak.
As the disciples expressed fear and confessed death in that storm, their faith was no where to be found, but by saying that Jesus only needed to speak the word and his servant will be healed, the centurion expressed great faith.
Paul said that this is the expression of the spirit of faith: we believe therefore we have spoken. In the book of Hebrews, the people were told not to neglect the confession of their faith which has a great recompense of reward. And there is no need for such an encouragement if it is not possible to slip from faith. Faith is authenticated by what is said. The Centurion said Jesus needed to say the word. If faith is more than the word then faith becomes less than it can be because Jesus said that Centurion had great faith.
Jesus said if we confess him before men, he will confess us before his father in heaven. In the early history of the church, the battle raged on of what is the right confession of faith. When the man Jesus healed of blindness was asked what he has to say about Jesus, he said he was a Prophet and that led to his being chased out of the temple. That is how important confession is, the declaration of what is believed. There are no silent believers. You have to say what you believe. How would it be known that you believe if you don’t say it?
What we declare as true is very important. For example we have not seen Jesus and still we confess him as Lord.
But the people in the time of Jesus wanted him to do mighty miracles. They told him: show us a sign so that we will believe you. He said: a wicked and an adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but none shall be given to them except the sign of prophet Jonah, and that as Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights he will be in the belly of the earth and will rise up.
That itself becomes the confession of faith because we were not their when he died and rose up. And what is written in scriptures are the account of eye witnesses that he actually rose up. They gave evidence of things we do not see and that becomes the basis of faith in us according to the Hebrews definition of faith, which we should confess. (I will give more explanation later).
And even after he rose up many did not believe in him. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, after the rich man died and went to the place of torment, and Lazarus went to the bosom of Abraham, the rich man asked that Lazarus be sent back from the dead so that his five brothers can believe and not come to where he is.
But Abraham told him that his brothers have Moses and the prophets (written word) and they should believe in their testimony. So a basic generator of faith is the written word. To neglect the written word is to neglect faith.
You do not need faith to realise that something is a miracle after it has been performed. In that case, the supernatural is right there in front of you, so what is there to believe or disbelieve?
But do you believe what is written and fasten your confession to it? Or you continue to argue with the truth? But you cannot do anything against the truth. No level of attack on the truth, on the scriptures will make the truth stop being the truth, so we do well to take heed to the testimony of scriptures and let that guide our confession. That is the origin of the life of faith.
Thomas did not believe that Jesus had resurrected, and said he won’t believe until he put his finger into the hole in his hand. That was a confession of unbelief and Jesus later told him that blessed are those who do not see yet believe. This is because there is no need to “believe” again after you have “seen.” So ultimately faith is not based on something that is seen.
If the word of God is not emphasised, and we do not realise that through the foolishness of preaching, things happen to build up our faith, then we have not started in faith. The aim of all preaching should be to build faith, otherwise it would have fallen short. It is therefore to re-emphasise truth, state the “evidence of things not seen” so that those things can be built into us in inward reality to be confessed by all.
Paul said that it pleased God through the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe. God has decided to pitch his tent with the believer who believes because he heard words spoken and thereafter made a confession in that regard. You cannot for long be neutral to truth. You will have to pitch your tent one way or the other with the words you will speak as out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
In time past, God tried signs and wonders to generate continual faith/devotion to Himself but that was a failed experiment as the children of Israel who witnessed the signs and wonders repeatedly fell back to idolatry.
Therefore, there is nothing to make God go through that route again except to bring unmitigated judgement on the earth when the time comes as he did in Egypt.
Even the devil “saw” God in his glory and still fell away.
Paul said that the Jews seek for signs and the Greek for wisdom and both lost out from faith which saves. God knows that the problem is not lack of sign or lack of wisdom, it is unbelief. And your life changes when your confession changes, either the confession of faith or the confession of doubt. There are certain things that cannot be proved, but we still believe just because we are told, as people, with their words, provides evidence of things not seen.
Jesus expressed faith by a series of “it is written” statements, giving evidence as a man, of things he had not seen, referring to what the people who saw it in the scriptures saw.
What we do with the word of God is to confess it, declare it as true. Therefore, anything that attacks the word of God attacks faith, because faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God but after we have heard we need to confess it is about a reality that needs to be created or to counter something, just as Jesus countered the devil.
Confession also extends to what God says/sees about us. Jesus needed to confess. He said If I say I do not know the father, I will be a liar like you. Confession, therefore is not an attempt to brag it is just aligning with the truth.
God told Jeremiah: do not say I am a youth. He told him not to confess about himself something that counters what God says about him. You should confess what God has said about you in the specific sense of your divine destiny. Anything different is to bury your talent, is to be a liar.
Jesus refused to pander to the whim of the people for the purpose of peace with them. He made the right confession about himself, even if that freaked them out. He said about himself what God said about him, and nothing can be wrong with that.
But the people picked issues with that, saying that he claims he is equal with God, saying he claims to be older than Abraham their revered progenitor. But the truth is the truth because that is the divine eternal perspective about the matter and being politically correct does not change the truth. And when we hear the truth it should build us more and more in faith.
Paul said that Jesus made a good confession before Pontius Pilate. He confessed that he was a king even while that could be termed a treason (and at best someone suffering from delusion), he confessed that Pontius would not even have power over him, if not given to him from above, thereby confessing his submission to the father.
But faith in this hour has been turned to another thing. Faith has been attached to something physical, cloth, oil, money, and those are limited expressions of faith, which at its core is confession based on the word, either personal or scriptural.
If God has called you an Apostle, it is time for you to make a good confession. Jesus declared that he was king, he did not deny it so that he could be treated with leniency. He went all-in the confession of faith in what God has said he is. Therefore, the time for you to hide is over. You cannot be what you should be unless you confess that you are what God said you are.
Let’s learn a lesson from John the Baptist. People came to him asking who he was. He did not say I am nothing. He said I am the voice of him that cries in the wilderness, make the way of the Lord. He said I am the divine mouthpiece. He said he was what God said he was and that was a good confession. He did not speak what was possibly political correct in his days, trying to fit into the expectation of the people, in an unhealthy need to be understood.
Paul said more than once that he was an apostle not by the will of man but the will of God. The point is, if it were left for a committee to decide if he should be an Apostle, the vote would have gone against him but he recognised he was who he was by the grace of God and he aligned his confession to that. Therefore, you don’t only say what God says about himself, but also what God says about you.
Your confession does not have to meet the approval of men, but you will be doing the wrong thing to not call yourself what God has called you, for whatever reason.
Faith, as I have emphasised in this series is not just getting things, it is also getting you to where you should be in God. There is nothing wrong with getting things but God wants to get you, and he needs your faith to be firing on all cylinders for that.
Because God needed Jeremiah to stop saying I am a child, to stop considering his limitation, to start looking at himself with the eyes which He was looking at him, he went to a great length to get Jeremiah to flow at his own frequency.
God needs you to agree with him on earth and “release Him” to act on your behalf by your confession of faith, nothing more.
When the children of Israel made the negative confession that they will go back to Egypt and not go to take over Canaan as God has promised them, He did not give them the promised land, never overlooking their unbelief. They did not align their confession with the word of God and therefore they had God as their enemy, and what should take a few years took forty. That is the difference the confession of faith or lack of it makes.
Our confession is that powerful. The tongue, James wrote, can set on fire the course of nature, even though it is a small member. The decibel level of the words of the mouth may not register much on the “sound scale” but it is on it that heaven and earth hangs.
God said it and it stood fast, is the testimony of scriptures. And when it comes to your life, in the things that God wants done, you need to align your confession right, align your confession to his.
Again, I repeat, Jesus said that if we confess him before men, he will confess us before his father in heaven and when it comes to confession. He is the truth and we need to confess the truth.
Our faith comes by hearing the word of God, but faith is released by confessing the same word. Jesus said that if you have faith as small as the mustard seed, you will say to the mountain, “Be removed and cast into the sea and it will obey you.” It will not obey your thought, it will obey your statement of faith. With the confession, you move things from hope to faith.
So say the right words. Words are things, just as thoughts are things. The hearing of faith creates thoughts within us, create the reality within us, and reality needs to be created outside of us by the confession of our faith.
That is the way of God, the way of faith, that if we confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, we shall be saved.
Something of eternal value happens to you because the word came into you and became a thing in you in faith and you release it by faith confession.
Confession and believing work hand in hand. As Paul said: we believe therefore we have spoken. You believe before you speak and by speaking you hear again and believing is reinforced. And the cycle is kept going by the act of confession. And positive confession should go on and on.
True believing will be marked by right confession. A king told Paul you almost made me a Christian, but almost does not count. Almost a goal is not a goal, it is not even a subset of a goal. It is with your confession that you choose.
Faith is the substance of thing hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. The substance of things hoped for is something within, the evidence of things not seen is the confession.
If you go to the court and you were a witness to a murder, the judge was not there, nobody else was there, but your confession becomes the admissible “evidence of things not seen.” Faith connects to a reality beyond the obvious by confession. Hope exists within the realm of the imagination, for it to be substantial means it has moved from what is possible to what is now and confession announces it to be so.
Hold fast to your confession of faith without wavering. The word of your mouth creates the reality you want to see, or God wants to see through you just as God said let there by light and there was light.
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