Saturday, March 30, 2013

Will you Freely Confess?

And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. 68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.  –Mark 14:66-68 (KJV)

Confessing Jesus Christ as savior appears on the surface to be an uncomplicated matter.  If we know Him, we will admit to the fact, and freely confess we are followers.  However, we know this confession is not always so easy.  In countries around the world the confession might get you arrested, persecuted, beaten, or killed.  But even in places such as the United States where we enjoy religious freedom we often fail to freely confess as we should.  Does a failure to confess constitute a denial of Christ?  The answer lies in whether or not we left any doubt in the minds of those to whom we are called to witness.  As we walk through our daily lives we are not exactly wearing signs which identify us as Christ’s followers, even though they will know us by our fruits, as Jesus said (Matthew 7:16, 20).  Demonstrating we are followers of Jesus by the way we live is mandatory, but more subtle.  Often times an open confession is required. 

Many years ago when I was in college, I was acquainted with a student from India whose name was Darshana.  She possessed many Christ-like characteristics; she was kind, considerate, patient, and careful with her speech.  One day I asked her if she held any spiritual beliefs.  She stated she believed nothing and held no spiritual or religious beliefs of any kind.  I asked her if she did, was there any spiritual beliefs she might consider.  She said if she were to pursue any religious or spiritual beliefs it would probably be Buddhism.  I encouraged her to become a Christian, but she politely declined.  I have no idea whatever became of her, but I pray my confession of Christ might one day take root in her life.

Never assume people know we are followers of Christ, for we must let them know through godly examples and verbal testimonies.  Simon Peter, Jesus’ disciple, had an opportunity to confess Jesus Christ.  However, he allowed fear and the uncertainty of what would happen to discourage him.  Peter was so fearful that he actually denied knowing Christ.  I am certain as the events unfolded before him, the trial, flogging, and crucifixion of Jesus that Peter was a miserable man. 

Following the resurrection, Peter found redemption and forgiveness for his denial.  Later, when the early church began in earnest, Peter became one of its most outspoken advocates.  Tradition holds the authorities crucified Peter upside down because of his confession of Christ.  As we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, let us commit ourselves anew to witnessing for the Lord and telling others about the blessings of having a relationship with Him.  Confess freely – Jesus is Lord.

God bless you this Easter weekend.