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Some people get upset when they hear about positive confession. They associate it with New Age teaching, or some other religious fluff. Worse yet, it may be likened to “name it claim it” theology! And because they have misunderstood or have been taught wrongly, they shun what is an otherwise profound biblical concept and crucial tenet of faith.

What we speak is serious business. Words reflect what is in the heart: “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:34-37). Don’t allow what you consider false teaching about positive confession to lure you away from the truth. You need to be speaking good things. If Jesus has changed your heart, then the flow of words from your mouth should reflect it. That’s not always easy, because the mouth has been strongly conditioned and influenced by the world. It takes faith to subdue it.

Our confession is actually an expression of faith. I’m not talking about reciting a creed. By confession I mean what we choose to let out of our mouths in any situation. Faith is expressed or denied by what comes out. You may have all the doctrines and creeds right, but what you speak will reveal what you really believe when the rubber hits the road. Do you believe that God has you covered? Then you won’t cry, “What am I going to do?” Do you believe the promises? Then you won’t say, “It’s hopeless!” What you believe will be spoken: “I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak” (2 Cor. 4:13).

Faith Without Words is Dead
James wrote that “faith without works is dead.” This doesn’t mean that you earn salvation by works, it simply means that real faith will result in works. In the same way, faith without WORDS is dead, too. The Bible teaches no silent witness. Words and faith are intertwined: “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach” (Romans 10:8). It’s not just in the heart, but in the mouth.

Consider the prosperity gospel the Lord gave to Joshua: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8). Joshua was told to meditate on the Word day and night. This means thinking on it and mulling it over. It means asking questions about it and considering it deeply. It doesn’t mean you have to have the Bible in front of you day and night. It doesn’t mean you can’t also think about other things, but it means that the Word is dominating your thoughts. And it shall not depart out of thy mouth. It’s not just in your mind or heart, but in your mouth as well.

Why is this important? Because “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” (Prov. 18:21).

Jesus said, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). He never spoke death to people. He only spoke life. His words were spirit, and brought forth changes in each situation. We were created in the image of God, and we were predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom.8:29). While our words may not always be as powerful, they too are spirit. They have the potential to bring life or death.

Therefore, the Lord promised Joshua success if he would obey (Josh.1:7), speak, and meditate. In other words, it’s the Word in the heart, in the mouth, and in action.

Receiving salvation is dependent upon both the mouth and the heart: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom.10:9-10). While it may be necessary to confess sins, these verses teach that it’s the positive confession of the Lord Jesus that saves you. If you’ve sinned, confess it and be done with it (1John 1:9). But why do so many church services include a time for confessing sins to get closer to God? You shouldn’t have to wait till Sunday for a special moment to confess your sins. In worship, you should be confessing all the Lord has done to take away your sins!

No one is perfect, but looking for sins to confess when there’s no awareness of any specific sins causes you to look more inside yourself than to Jesus. It’s better to believe unto righteousness and confess good. It will boost faith. You see how it works in this Romans passage. “Confess with thy mouth…and believe…For with the heart man believes….and with the mouth confession is made…” Notice in these two verses the train of thought:


It’s all intertwined. Faith requires words. If you possess it, you confess it. God revealed what He possessed through Jesus. Jesus was called the Word. This was God’s communication to mankind. Jesus revealed “the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person” (Hebrews 1:3). Although there were faint understandings of God through History, God showed who He really was in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the Word, or the perfect confession of who God is.What do we confess? In any given situation, words will reflect what we possess. Do we possess life or death? Hope or fear? Defilement or purity? Faith or unbelief?

Copyright Rick Bell
All rights reserved.

Author Biography

Rick Bell
Web site: Rick Bell
Rick is a writer, speaker, teacher, and minister who has lived and served overseas since 1995. In late 2013, he moved back to America, but continues to travel and work with pastors and leaders across the world. His passion is to build others up with the life-changing truths of God’s grace and love.

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