God’s Word is awesome; it never changes. Read it, study it, and digest it. No matter how many times we read through His Word, choice little nuggets appear—like digging for gold—only with God’s Word we’ll never run out of discoveries. If we continue studying our Bibles, inevitably, new and priceless nuggets appear providing us with rich new perspectives and challenges.
This happened to me recently as I was reading through the New Testament again. I was in the book of Matthew when suddenly one of the verses I had read many times before gave me pause. Of course it had always been there but I suddenly was more aware of the message.
“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32, 33).
Presumably, these two sentences are quite familiar, and their meaning is fairly straight forward. Confess Christ and you’re in; deny Christ and you’re out. Only this time look real hard at the word deny. In the Greek the word for deny is arneomai; simply translated it means refuse. Knowing the truth as Christians, but refusing to confess Christ when we’re given the opportunity is a sin.
Basically it’s an attitude of rebellion and it’s contrary to the command given us to us by Jesus Himself. Maybe we could all use a refresher course here:
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
Well okay, what is the gospel?
Simply put, the gospel is Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. It’s not that we don’t confess Him, but the fact is in many instances we refuse to confess Him. We must see this refusal as an act of rebellion against God.
According to the Scriptures, we not only confess Jesus Christ with our lips, but also with our actions, with our life styles and with our attitudes. Even our bodies being the temple of God can be a confession or a denial of Jesus Christ as our Savior and LORD.
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Confessing with our mouths but not with our lifestyles can also be a denial. Born-again believers in Christ are not to conform to this world. This non-conforming admonishment my dear brothers and sisters is from God, not from me, I’m only a messenger. Conforming to the world is a denial of Christ.
“Whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33).
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
The Greek word used in this instance by Paul the apostle is syschēmatizō, and its meaning is, to conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern, to fashion one’s self according to, in this case—the world.
Does this mean we can’t confess Jesus Christ to the world if we are conformed to the world? No, what I’m saying is our confession or our witness might not be well accepted if we’ve taken on the characteristics of the ones we’re witnessing to. I’ve heard popular Bible teachers admit that if you decide to mark-up your body with tattoos and piercing that’s fine, as long as you have a good reason such as for witnessing purposes. That is conforming to the world.
Are you fearful to confess you are a follower of Jesus Christ out in public because you are worried you might go through some kind of persecution?
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
Remember what Jesus said, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32, 33).
If you’re one of those Christians sitting back thinking, I’m in good shape because I know the truth. I’ve nothing to worry about because I’m saved. The you’d better take a closer look at Matthew 10:33.
We deny Christ by keeping silent, and also if the world can’t tell the difference between us (believers) and them (non-believers) this too, can be a denial. If we live as the secular humanists of this world, what does that say about our testimonies? We are told in the Scriptures that we are to live in the world and to occupy until He comes—but we are not to be of the world. The question is this: When you are out in the world are you professing or denying Christ?
Think about it.
God bless you all,