Lesson 177-March 10, 2019 Lesson: “How Important is My Confession?”

Lesson 177-March 10, 2019

Lesson: “How Important is My Confession?”

Scripture: Matthew 10:32-33

Lesson Goal: To better understand Jesus’ very serious words concerning our, followers of Jesus, open and public confession of Him.

Introduction:

I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
With all my strength, with all I am
I will seek to honor His commands
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
I have heard how Christians long ago
Were brought before a tyrant’s throne
They were told that he would spare their lives
If they would renounce the name of Christ
But one by one they chose to die
The Son of God they would not deny
Like a great angelic choir sings
I can almost hear their voices ring
Now the years have come, and the years have gone But the cause of Jesus still goes on
Now our time has come to count the cost
To reject this world, to embrace the cross And one by one let us live our lives
For the one who died to give us life
Till the trumpet sounds on the final day
Let us proudly stand and boldly say.
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
With all my strength, with all I am
I will seek to honor His commands
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb.

Please read Matthew 12:30, Joshua 24:15. What do these verses teach us?

(v32) Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heav- en.

“Therefore whoever” — “everyone who”

“confesses” — “to confess,” acknowledge, to affirm, “to declare one’s allegiance.”

“Confession of Christ here involves commitment to Him as Lord and Savior and the resulting acknowledgment of Him by life and by lips. In the case of most of the 12, this led to the ultimate confession of the Lord in mar- tyrdom.” Believers Bible Commentary

To confess Him means to literally and publicly to confess Him but it also carries the idea to back up the verbal confession by a surrendered life to Him.

Question: How important is it for the believer to unashamedly say “Jesus is Lord?” Please explain.

Question: How important is it that the believer’s confession (the talk) and a surrendered life of obedience to Jesus (the walk) match? Please explain.

Question: How important is the believer’s consistency in tongue and action? Please explain?

As Jesus speaks the words of verses 32 and 33 to His disciples it is critical that they remember His words. For they would face earthly courts, both religious and governmental where they would have to make a conscious decision between confession and denial.

Question: Have you ever had to make the decision, the choice between confession of Christ as Lord or deny- ing Him? Ask God to give you wisdom concerning both the question and your response.

Question: What does it mean to deny Christ in the ultimate sense?

(33)But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

Question: Is it possible to deny Christ in a moment of pressure or pain and still be His follower? Look at the example of Peter for help with your answer. How does this help us in our understanding and interpretation of verses 32 and 33?

To deny Christ in the sense of verse 33 means a refusal to recognize and live His claims over ones life. Jesus is talking about a type of denial that is marked by a habitual and constant refusal and rejection of Him.

This rejection many times is displayed by a self indulging all sufficient arrogance. Other times this denial may take the form of a self produced, self justified laundry list of excuses and alibies for unbelief and denial.

NO matter the means or method for such denial the result are equally fatal. Notice the word “whoever,” “all,” “everyone,” found in both verse 32 and 33. In verse 32 the world speaks concerning confession while in verse 33 it speaks of denial. The word is “ostis” which is the pronoun “whoever.” This word should help us under- stand the absolute seriousness of these verses that ultimately leads us to a place of self evaluation and self ex- amination.

Question: Are you a confessor or a denier?

Question: What does your actions of life say concerning that which you say you believe?

Question: Are you ashamed to acknowledge and to confess Jesus in the public arenas of life?

Notice Jesus’ words in both verse 32 and 33 “before men.”

Question: Does your confession change depending on the arena? Do you openly confess at church in the Life Focus Class and the worship center but grow remarkably silent in the locker room or the break room. Is your confession louder among the “church folk” than at home with your family?

Question: Does your public confession with the church crowd become silent denial among your peers at school or at work?

When Jesus spoke of our confession of Him before men it means more than to recognize a fact or truth. Please see James 2:19. The recognition of a truth is not the confession that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 10:32. Out- ward confession with the mouth is a testimony and reflection of a genuine belief in the heart. Please see Ro- mans 10:9-10.

Jesus is declaring that each person’s standing before God is based on his or her personal relationship with Je- sus Christ. Are we confessing Jesus Christ before others each day? Do we publicly identify with Jesus daily? Please read I John 4:15.

Question: Has your confession of Jesus Christ ever been silenced? Please explain.

Question: What are some things that may silence our confession publicly of Jesus Christ? Before you answer remember those courageous followers of Jesus Christ that stood in the midst of intense persecution, some fac- ing martyrdom, those men He was looking in the eye as He spoke.

For most of us persecution has never silenced our confession because we have never known real persecution. Our silence often comes because we felt embarrassed or faced a little friendly ridicule. Someone may have called us a name or made fun of us briefly and our confession was silenced. We may have felt awkward to de- clare Christ in that crowd when we were trying to find popularity and fit in. Did we find it easier to just re- main silent and become a participant than to openly and unashamedly confess Jesus in the middle of the party? Were we more concerned about how our peers would accept us than giving any thought to honoring Christ?

Question: What lengths are we willing to go to in order to find worldly acceptance?

THINK ABOUT IT!!!

The future tenses of todays verses helps us to understand a future day of judgment. In that day the one that has publicly confessed Christ will stand before the Father in heaven and Jesus will publicly, before the Father con- fess.

I have witnessed that most of us have no trouble identifying with the sports teams we support. We have open conversation, dialogue, and interaction. We talk about it everywhere we go. We openly show our support and allegiance to our teams. Our teams become the most frequent subject of our Facebook and tweeter conversa- tions and thoughts. We have no trouble expressing our loyalties to our team. In fact much of our lives revolve around the world of sports. From the compacity crowds at the T-ball game to the thousands that gather on Rocky Top, etc. We show out support and unashamed allegiances because these things are important to us Our confession is open and loyal. We will argue, debate, fuss, and sometimes even fight because of our pas- sion for such things. In every arena of life people know our sports allegiance.

WHAT ABOUT JESUS? IS OUR OPEN CONFESION OF OUR FOLLOWING JESUS JUST AS VISIBLE AS OUR PASSIONS AND LOYALITIES TO OUR TEAM?