Can A Person Have Faith and Yet Refuse to Confess It Before Men?
It is a common opinion that a person must not noise his religious convictions about. But, in reply to this opinion, we must answer that Christians are strictly bound by God to make a profession of their faith before men. Our Lord exhorts us, through the Apostle Peter, to “be ready to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (I Pet. 3:15). In the light of this clear passage, no one can deny that it is vitally necessary for us Christians, in accordance with the Word and Will of God, to make a clear and forthright confession of our faith-whether such a confession brings us friends or enemies, well-being or hardship, honor or disgrace. Yes, God Himself commands it! And our confession must not only embrace one or two things contained in the Bible. It must be a confession which phrases itself after this manner: “It is written, and whatever is written in the Scriptures I believe, and whatever is contrary to that Word of God, I reject.” Never forget that it is your obligation and duty to God to confess your faith, to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.” If we do not do this, or if we intend to remain silent in regard to our faith, we deny our God and disobey His command. David exclaimed: “I believed, therefore have I spoken.” The Apostles, before the high council of the Jews, when they were commanded not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus, declared: “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot help but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” And such a confession is to be made by us “with meekness and fear,” not with personal bitterness or malice in our hearts, but with holy reverence, awe, and respect for the Word of God and for the honor of our Lord. If you claim to have faith and yet refuse to confess it before men, it is certain that your claim is a falsehood and that you really have no faith at all.
The Word of God expressly tells us that the last days perilous times shall come; there shall come a general falling away and departing from the faith; many will not endure sound doctrine but will rather give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Jesus, Himself, tells us that there shall arise false prophets and false christs, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” The chief purpose of such false prophets is to cause doubts to arise in our hearts concerning the Word of God and to lead us away from the Truth either in part or entirely. We, as true Lutherans, know and are sure that, by God’s, grace, we have the pure Word of God and the true Sacraments of our Lord. We must, therefore, openly confess before men our firm conviction, reject all false training, and refuse the hand of fellowship to everyone who does not accept our faith, which is based only and entirely on the Word of God, or who upholds and defends false doctrine. Yes, we must “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh (us) a reason of the hope that is in (us) with meekness and fear.”