Word family: Confession, confess.
Synonyms: Acknowledgement, admission, profession, owning up, disclosure, statement, [opposite of denial or concealment]
Related ideas: Preaching, “witnessing”, loyalty, faith, conversion, honesty, repentance and forgiveness
Definitions: Confession is owning up to something you know or believe, and telling it forthrightly to all who should hear it. In the Bible it refers to two things, namely (1) confessing your faith in Christ to the world, and (2) confessing your sins to God.
Greek References: homo-logeo, exomo-logeomai 3670, 1843 (Strong) cf 3056 logos
Testimonial or proclamation of faith in Christ
- Luke 12:8-9 “Everyone who confesses me before men, the Son of man shall confess...”
- Romans 10:9-10 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart... you shall be saved”
- 1Timothy 6:12 “[Timothy] made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses”
- 1John 4:15 “Everyone who confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God”
- 1John 4:2-3, 2John 1:7 “Many deceivers... do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist”
- Philippians 2:11 “Every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord...”
Wicked perverted confessions
- Luke 22:6 “[Judas] confessed and began seeking a good opportunity to betray [Jesus]...”
- Matthew 14:6-10 “[Herod] confessed with an oath to give [his daughter] whatever she asked”
Confession of sin to God and those against whom we sin
- Psalms 51:1-17 “I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me”
- Romans 14:11 “Every tongue shall confess to God”
- 1John 1:8-10 “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us...”
- James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another”
- Acts 19:18-19 “Many of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their [evil] practices”
Comment: There are two distinct confessions in the gospel, the confession of Christ and the confession of sin. Both are necessary for salvation, and one is pointless without the other. We have to be both honest about our faith and honest about our faults.