There is the story of a woman who, early one morning, made a mad dash out of the house when she heard the garbage truck pulling away. She was still in her bathrobe. Her hair was wrapped in big curlers. Her face was covered with sticky cream. She was wearing a chin-strap and a beat up old pair of slippers. In short, she was a frightful picture. When she reached the sidewalk, she called out, “Am I too late for the garbage?” And the reply came back “No, hop right in.”
Church membership is like a poker game; you’re either in or you’re out. If you’re in, then ante up. For Peter it was show time and time to make the decision to be in or out. Jesus was halfway through His ministry and teaching, now was the time to see just what the Disciples had learned.
Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist. Others say Elijah. And still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
The bottom line is that all of us want to go to heaven rather than to live eternity in hell. When all is summed up in scripture there are three requirements for salvation! Confession, repentance and baptism. One must recognize that he/she is a sinner and change his/her ways. Repentance meant not only being sorry for the wrong that we have done, but to change direction and go in the opposite direction. All believers where called to be baptized. John preached baptism. Jesus was baptized.
All believers in the New Testament seemed to respond to Christian baptism. But there was no greater requirement for salvation than to “confess Jesus as Lord.”
There was a variety of opinions which men held concerning Jesus. Many of those opinions showed that they connected Jesus with Messianic prophecy, but few regarded Him as the Messiah. We are not surprised by Jesus’ question to the Disciples in our text. Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist. Others say Elijah. And still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Confession is different from spilling the beans to the public. Celebrities are not confessing when they hire writers to tell a prurient public their boring stories of sexual trysts; they are not after forgiveness, they are after publicity with royalties attached. Nor do you and I confess when we tell all to an understanding psychiatrist; we don’t want forgiveness, we want to feel good. We confess when we cannot stand the hurt we caused another. We confess when we put ourselves in the hands of the person we wronged and trust him or her with our souls. We confess when, naked in the eyes of the person we unfairly wounded, we plead nothing but the hope of grace.”
So, what is a Christian confession? It is required that we must confess that Jesus is Lord! Phil 2:9-11 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. This confession is important because we are admitting that Jesus is not just a man, He is God. In this confession we are admitting that we are sinners and that we need to be forgiven. That as God, Jesus can and will forgive our sins. Corrie Ten Boom, used to say that when we confess our sins, that God would cast them into the deepest ocean, gone forever . . . then God places a sign out there that says, NO FISHING ALLOWED!
This confession must be public, for no Christian lights a lamp to hide it. Jesus said, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. Our salvation comes at a cost. For God it was His son, Jesus. For the believer, their faith must be public.
“Upon this rock I will build my church,” Jesus said. The spiritual body, the church, mentioned here for the first time, is built upon the divinely revealed fact about Christ confessed by Peter. This confession is so powerful and so real that nothing can destroy it. Not even Hell itself.
When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest!”
All words, and nothing from the heart where all true confessions come!