When I say "confession," I'm not talking about sin, at least not specifically (though this is a part of making any genuine confession of faith). I'm actually talking about confessing one's acceptance of faith in the risen Christ. Confessing that one is a believer in, and follower of, Jesus.
I confess: I haven't thought about this much before now.
But as a new senior pastor at a church, I'm starting to think through what it is I say, and why. I'm thinking about it because I'm asking others to repeat after me and I want to be above reproach in the statements of affirmation that I'm asking those before me to make. That's resulted in me feeling a little uneasy about what comes most naturally to me. Those "institutional" words that roll off the tongue - my tongue - like butter are as follows:
I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and I accept Him as my personal Lord and Savior.
That being said, I wonder how many people understand what they're saying when they say the confession above. Does it even matter? If faith in Jesus has a starting point for every person who believes, what should a confession of faith look like? What should people say? If we are called to make disciples of all nations and teach people to obey all that Christ has commanded us, we should strive for understanding and clarity when sharing the truth with others, and that includes initial confessions of faith in Jesus.
What about you? Do you like the above confession? Why? If it bothers you, can you tell me why? Do you have a different statement for confession that is common to you or your faith tradition? I'd love to hear your thoughts.