Confessions of Faith Help Us Obey Biblical Mandates
by Tom Nettles
A Twofold Duty
Two consistent expectations of biblical Christianity—the declaration and the protection of the purity of the faith—gave rise to confessions. Apart from some statement of the content of the Faith, no one can give a convincing profession of personal faith. The believing heart proclaims its confidence toward both the Person and the truth that saves. Romans 10:9, 10 includes both of these: “If you confess with thy mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (ESV). The credo of righteousness through the completed work of Christ alone to which the heart gives consent is expressed publicly by submission to the Lordship of Christ. Before one can confess, he must understand and believe. When one confesses, it must be of truths previously embedded within the heart. Not only, therefore, is faith a matter of the heart, but it cordially consents to the testable proposition that “God raised him from the dead.”
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