In the middle of the 16th century, a man from Scotland left his mark on history. John Knox became a minister, theologian and writer. This devotion led to the founding of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. While living in exile in France, Knox was licensed to work in the Church of England, influenced the theology within the Book of Common Prayer and helped write the Confession of Faith. John Knox emulated the words of the apostle Paul below, living out his faith daily.
Because, if you confess with your 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. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame, Romans 10:9-11.
In the first century, baptism and confessions of faith went hand and hand. The term baptism refers to a public expression of an inner faith. Before ascending into heaven, Jesus exhorted his disciples to follow 3 main commands. This speech is referred to as the Great Commission. The first instruction is to go and make disciples by introducing new people to the good news of Jesus Christ, Romans 6:23. Immediately following this confession, new converts were baptized. Finally, as faith is activated, the Holy Spirit is awakened within hearts, minds and souls.
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38.
One of the common mistakes new Christians make is rededicating their lives numerous times. While confession should be a daily practice via prayer, God desires individuals to exercise repentance. Essentially, the Lord wants human beings to make a 180 degree U-turn, away from sin and toward God. Theologians introduced the phrase contrition to help explain God’s expectations. Confession doesn’t mean a thing unless you take steps to refrain from mistakes of your past. Thus, if you want to be a beacon of light, make sure your confessions of faith are followed by fruits of the Spirit.
by Jay Mankus