Monday, March 9, 2009

We Have a Confession to Make

Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. (Hebrews 3:1)

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)
God has given many wonderful promises and benefits for those who know, love and serve Him, and they are all found in Jesus Christ, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.

The Greek word for “confess” is homologeo and means, “to say the same thing” (homo, same; logeo, to speak or say). To confess is to speak in agreement with something. Jesus is the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. He is the one we confess, speak in agreement with and about. To confess Him is to declare our faith in Him.
  • We confess that Jesus Christ is Apostle. The word “apostle” refers to one who is sent. By confessing Jesus Christ as Apostle, we agree that He is the one who is sent by God. He represents the Father before us. “He who has seen Me has seen the Father,” He said (John 14:9). All other apostles are apostles of Jesus Christ, sent by Him, but Jesus Christ is the Apostle of the Father, the One sent by God.
  • We confess that Jesus Christ is our High Priest. The role of the High Priest is to represent God to the people and the people to God. Jesus Christ is uniquely qualified to do that because He is fully divine and fully human, Son of God and Son of Man.
As High Priest, Jesus Christ has made complete atonement for us, taking our sins upon Himself and nailing them to the Cross. He has cleansed us from all guilt and shame. As High Priest, He is the mediator of a “better covenant, which was established on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6), a covenant cut in His own blood (Luke 22:20). As wonderful as the promises of the Old Covenant were, this covenant is even better, adding to those promises.

When we confess Jesus Christ as Apostle and High Priest, we are agreeing that He is the one sent by the Father to us. In confessing Him, we also confess the covenant He has mediated for us, for He completely fulfills all the requirements of both the old and new covenants. He has done all that is necessary; our part is to commit ourselves to Him by faith.

With that in mind, I have written two confessions based on two passages from the old covenant. I chose these because they are wide-ranging and form a good foundation for laying hold of what God wants to do for us in this life. I believe they will be an encouragement to you, especially in these difficult times. Do you confess Jesus as your Lord? Are you trusting Him with your life? Then these confessions are for you, too.

Be bold when you make these confessions. Years ago, I began making confessions like these, based on similar Scriptures. I was in a very difficult time in my life and I knew I needed a strong, bold faith in God if I was going to get the turnaround I needed. So I printed out a number of Scripture promises, cast them in the first person, in the form of personal confessions, and began speaking them out. I did not just read them silently to myself — I knew I had to get these down deep into my heart. So I read them out loud. It was awkward at first, but I kept at it. I paced back and forth in the hallway of my house, reading and repeating these promises and confessions out loud, over and over. Before long, I began to speak them out louder and louder. I got to where I was shouting them out regularly.

What was I doing? Letting them fill my eyes, my mind, my mouth and my ears, and before long they began to fill my heart. You might say I was defibrillating, shocking my heart back into the rhythms of faith with the Word of God, recalibrating my thoughts and emotions with the promises of God, realigning my will with the heart of God. After about a month, I began to see breakthrough. My life has been different and I have walked in a deeper level of faith, and joy, ever since.

It seems to me that now is a good time to pick up these “defibrillating” paddles once again and reinvigorate our faith with the promises of God. I invite you to join me in these confessions:
All the blessings of God come upon us and overtake us, because we obey the voice of the LORD our God. We are blessed everywhere we go, in the city and in the country. We are blessed with increase in every area of our life — at home, in business, in ministry. We are blessed in all our comings and goings — when we go out, we go out in safety; when we come home, we come home in safety. The LORD causes all our enemies to be defeated — they scatter from before us in every direction. The LORD commands His blessing on us in our storehouses, and in all we set our hand to. The LORD establishes us as holy unto Himself, to fulfill His plans and purposes for our lives — He leads us into our destiny. The LORD gives us plenty of goods and abundance of prosperity. The LORD opens His treasury to bless all the work of our hands. We shall lend to many and shall never have to borrow. (from Deuteronomy 28:1-14)

We are blessed by the LORD, because we delight in His commandments. Our descendants will be mighty on the earth. Wealth and riches are in our house. Light arises for us in the darkness. We are gracious, full of compassion and righteous. We deal graciously and lend, and we guide our affairs with discretion. We will never be shaken. We will be in everlasting remembrance. We will not be afraid of evil tidings. Our hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD. We are established in heart, and we will not be afraid. We shall look in triumph on our foes. We are generous and share our gifts abroad. We remember to give to the poor. Our righteousness (the righteousness of Christ now at work in us) endures forever, and we will be exalted with honor. (from Psalm 112)
Jesus is our High Priest, and in Him, we have many wonderful promises to confess.