To believe and confess starts with the cross and remains focused entirely on Christ. It releases and establishes the power and victory of the cross in our lives, but must always point to Jesus and be centred on Jesus. Right relationship is essential to know God’s will and believe.
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:10)
Throughout Scripture, there is a repeated reminder that the heart and the mouth are closely connected. Today’s verse applies it definitively to the simplicity of receiving salvation – believe and confess. What stands out, though, is that confession is a necessary step in salvation. We cannot be ‘secret’ believers. What we believe in our hearts about Christ must be confessed to complete the miracle of being born again of the Spirit. We must speak out what we believe in order to receive. It reminds us that Jesus Himself said if we are ashamed to acknowledge Him, He in turn will not acknowledge us. But this principle isn’t limited to the matter of salvation. It applies as powerfully to our lives and our ongoing faith in Christ. While what we believe may define us, it is what we confess that establishes it in us and empowers our lives and our faith.
Believe and confess is a daily requirement.
It’s a simple truth that unless we continually confess what we believe, we will inevitably lose sight of it. We need to remind ourselves daily of who and what God is and what He has one in our lives and in the past. This keeps our eyes fixed on Him and renews what we believe. Human nature is such that we forget what we don’t continually experience. If something is constantly before us, it remains fresh in our minds. The most powerful reminder is to believe and confess. Speaking out what is in our hearts keeps it at the forefront of our minds. It prevents our faith getting drowned out by the distractions of the world and our own relentless thoughts. What we speak reaffirms what we believe as well. It keeps it alive and connected to the source of our faith.
A daily requirement doesn’t simply mean morning or evening. It’s an all-day daily requirement. We all have days where the pressure’s on and there seems to be too little time and too much work. I’ve found that to continually believe and confess through the day helps me to focus on God rather than the pressure. It grounds me in the supernatural rather than the natural. I’m reminded that God is way bigger than everything else, and that if He gave me the work, He’ll empower me to do it and do it well. Even more wonderful, speaking what we believe ushers in the peace of God which passes all understanding. It keeps me in Christ, that place where I know that I know that I know that He is the I AM. When we constantly remind ourselves of the power that enables us to believe, we continue to believe.
To believe and confess strengthens faith.
Faith is a strange thing. It is essentially ‘inanimate’ unless it’s active. Faith only works when it is required to work. The rest of the time, it exists as a spiritual truth but one which is essentially dormant until activated. Most of the time, faith grows only when we use it. God challenges to step out in faith, and grows our faith accordingly if we’re obedient. But for this kind of growth, faith needs to be continually fed. We cannot keep it stashed in a drawer and haul it out only when needed. It’s rather like a savings account. We keep adding to it bit by bit, and one day, when we need it, we find more than we expected. To believe and confess is how we feed faith. We continually add to it through our confession, even though we may not see tangible results.
But when we need it, we find it surpasses our expectations because God empowers what we have spoken into it. We can understand this better when we remember the power contained in the tongue. Even the world agrees that words have the power to build or destroy. Better yet, we can look at creation and how God literally ‘spoke’ the universe into being. There is spiritual power in what we speak. We can speak either blessing or curse, for example. We can speak positive or negative, the things of the world or the things of God. When we speak what we believe, that feeds our faith with the power of God contained in His Word. If we believe in Christ, when we speak, we speak Christ. Everything He is and has done is released to feed our faith. We believe the Word and in speaking the Word, we speak Christ.
Believe and confess releases God’s blessings.
This is a powerful spiritual truth that has been perverted by the name-it-and-claim it preachers. These depict God as some kind of spiritual ‘vending machine’ who has to supply our every want if we declare it. This reduces God’s role to provider rather than I AM, sovereign Lord of the universe. Deuteronomy, however, reminds us that blessings come when we love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Christianity isn’t a spiritual ‘gravy train’ on which we get a free ride. We must believe and confess. Believe is always unto righteousness. Jesus alone is our righteousness. Unless we fully believe that Jesus is the only way to righteousness, we cannot confess unto the full blessings of salvation. It starts and ends with relationship. Any confession we make outside of that is witchcraft – speaking words in an attempt to manipulate God to provide on our terms.
At the same time, many believers are in lack because they do not believe and confess. They may pray constantly, but without results. A study of the full measure of salvation reveals that God has already provided for every single human need. In essence, we’re asking God to supply what He has already provided. First, we must believe in every single salvation blessing purchased by Jesus on the cross. When we confess what we believe, it’s the ‘activator’ that establishes the provision which already exists. We do still ask in prayer, but it’s with thanksgiving – believing we have received it. Confessing it activates our faith. Through faith, we speak the provision into our live as God spoke creation into existence. But it starts with believing in Jesus and what He accomplished and purchased for us. It starts with relationship. Without that, we cannot believe for the provision we confess.
The power of believe and confess in spiritual warfare.
We overcome the enemy through the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. The blood is what we believe in. Our testimony is declaring it. I don’t discount the reality of the powers of darkness or their attacks on believers. But I have come to see that much of the ‘warfare’ teaching out there is over the top and in fact plays right into the devil’s plans. As someone once said, if we expect a fight, a fight is what we’ll get. True spiritual warfare is to believe and confess the victory that Christ has already achieved. If we focused on that rather than engaging the enemy, a lot of our ‘battles’ would be over before they began. I don’t overestimate the enemy, but I do believe that we give him way too much credit and attention. And he loves every minute of it.
Acts is very revealing, especially if we think Jesus had ‘an edge’ because of who He was. None of the apostles went around binding the demons, engaging them in extended interaction, or making long, complicated prayers and declarations. They confronted them, dealt with them, and the demons moved on. This is because everyone involved knew the victory of the cross, demons and apostles alike. Of course, some situations are more complicated and do require prayer and fasting. But again, it starts with relationship with Jesus. When we are in Him and He is in us, we are attuned to the leading of the Spirit to guide us. But when we believe and confess His victory, He empowers it in our lives. His name, His blood, His victory – these things are already established. The battle belongs to Him, and He has already won it. Our part is to believe and confess.
Ways in which we believe and confess.
God has given us three powerful ways in which we believe and confess. All require an intimate relationship with Christ and a growing knowledge of the Word. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. We must have the Word to have something to believe. The more we believe of God, the richer our relationship with Him and the easier confession will be. The first to confess our belief is through thanksgiving. This includes what He has done, is doing, and will do. Thanksgiving honours God as the source of all good things in our lives and His absolute sovereignty over everything. It is, in essence, surrender and reveals humility and obedience. These bring us closer to Him because they are what He desires in us. He will always respond graciously and with His abundant love and mercy. When we give thanks, we confess God as perfect provider.
The second way is praise. This is entirely focused on who and what God is – on His holiness, glory, power, and majesty. We believe and confess that He is the I AM, that all things are possible with Him, that He is omnipotent and so much bigger than any situation. Praise in enormously powerful. It feeds our faith, cements what we believe, and empowers us to confess His greatness. The more we praise, the more we will believe and the more we will want to praise. The third way is declaration, something with is much understood and greatly misused. Declaring without believing is simply words at best and borderline spellcasting at worst. We cannot simply quote scripture without first relating to God and learning His will. Once He guides us and provides revelation, then we have the requisite belief in Him and His Word to declare it.
Believe and confess is centred in the cross.
As today’s verse reminds us, we believe unto righteousness. Jesus is the righteousness of God, perfect in every way. Without Him, we cannot draw near to God or expect His response. That righteousness raises us up as sons, but sons in the image of the Son. This requires humility, surrender, and a servant heart. If we believe in Jesus we must believe these things also. Only then can we confess unto the blessings of salvation. To believe and confess only has relevance when we look to the cross. When we draw near to God with humble hearts and willing obedience, He empowers us to believe and He empowers us to confess that belief. Only when our confession is based on the right believing relationship will it fulfil the purposes God intends and transform us. Any confession not rooted in Christ will never manifest the power and glory of God.
Lord, forgive us if we have misunderstood or overlooked this truth. Stir us up to seek after that right relationship with You so that we may believe and confess You in all situations. Teach us Your truth and help us to come with humble, teachable hearts. Release Your Word in us to build our faith. Above all, help us to keep our eyes firmly on the cross so that when we speak it is always of Jesus and what He accomplished.