Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Trinity – Tuesday
Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. — Matthew 10:32
It is our solemn duty and privilege as His disciples to confess Christ before men as long as we live in this world, to “be ready always to given an answer to every man that asketh [us] a reason of the hope that is in [us] with meekness and fear” (I Peter 3:15). To confess Christ means to express plainly and unmistakably by word and deed what we believe concerning Christ (II Corinthians 4:13) and why we have the “hope” or anticipation of “life through His name” (John 10:31). Jesus was true man. This is undisputed even by most worldlings. But that “[the] same Jesus [is] both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36), the Lord of glory, the true and everlasting God from all eternity is what the world will not believe. That the despised man (Isaiah 53:3), Jesus, who as a newborn infant was laid in a manger (Luke 2:7, 12), who was homeless here in this world (Matthew 8:20), who in shame died on the accursed tree of the cross (Galatians 3:13), who suffered all of that in the place of all mankind to satisfy God’s justice for the sins of the world (I John 2:2) and thereby earned His forgiveness for all (II Corinthians 5:19 and 21), — this is what the children of this world will not believe about Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 1:21-23). This is the principal part of our Christian confession before the world, that we assert and defend Christ’s divinity (John 10:30), His vicarious atonement (Isaiah 53; II Corinthians 5:15a), and God’s forgiveness of the world for His sake (II Corinthians 5:19).
To confess Christ also means that we should let the world know where we stand with reference to every doctrine of Holy Writ; for there is not a single doctrine of God’s Word that is not intimately connected with Christ Himself (Mark 8:38). God-revealed religion in all its parts treats of Christ, of His person, His office, His work of redemption, His merit and its imputation to sinful man, and the application of His benefits to penitent sinners by faith. The whole Bible, therefore, is the Book of Christ (Acts 10:42-43). Hence, to confess Christ implies the confession of every doctrine in the Bible, and to deny Christ means to conceal or to reject any truth contained in the Holy Scriptures of our God. It is this conviction that determines our attitude as Lutheran Christians toward all other nominally Christian denominations. By God’s grace we are firmly convinced that we are bound to show by word and deed that, as Christ’s genuine disciples, we believe, teach, profess and practice every doctrine of Scripture (John 8:31-32; I Corinthians 1:10), and that, as the fruit of our faith, we earnestly desire to “walk in the spirit” (Galatians 5:15, 25) as evidence that Christ Himself lives within us by faith (Galatians 2:20).
Prayer — Dearest Lord Jesus, God blessed forever, to Thee I render heartfelt thanks especially for Thy great love in humbling Thyself under the Law, keeping its precepts perfectly in my stead, and suffering the penalty of my guilt in order to purchase my redemption and to save me, a lost and condemned sinner. May I, out of love to Thee, always boldly confess Thee before men and staunchly proclaim and defend Thy saving Word in its purity even unto the end for Thy great love’s sake. Amen.
And Thou, O Holy Spirit, my Comforter and Guide,
grant that in Jesus’ merit I always may confide,
Him to the end confessing, whom I have known by faith.
Give me Thy constant blessing and grant a Christian death.
Hymn 334, 3