Reading Scripture: Matthew 16:15-19
Verse to Memorize: Matthew 16:16
Reference: Romans 10:10; James 2:22
Goal: To help believers believe with the heart, resulting in righteousness and confess with the mouth, showing the solid evidence of faith
Some couples rarely say they love each other though they have lived together for a long time. They say that the love in their hearts is important and insist that there is no need for the outward expression of love. Of course, the sincerity of the love in the heart is more important than the confession of love with lips. No matter how many times a person may say that they love their spouse, if they don’t really love them, how unfortunate it would be. However, if we really love someone, when we express the love to them externally, joy will be doubled and happiness will overflow. Spiritually, saying things in the heart is very important.
1. The Importance of Making a Confession
Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Here the Scripture is actually putting an emphasis on belief in heart. Even if we say we believe with lips, it does not necessarily lead to righteousness and salvation. Then, why did God tell us to express what we believe in heart with our mouths? This is to emphasize the importance of deeds, telling us the importance of the confession with the lips.
When we say we believe without God-given faith, deeds of faith do not follow. But those who outwardly express the things they believe in their hearts can show the solid evidence of faith through deeds. James 2:22 reads, “You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected.” As written, such people obey the Word of God telling us to do, not to do, to keep, and to throw away something.
Most assuredly, the profession of faith that arises from the bottom of the heart of such believers is accompanied by deeds, so God considers it true faith and He fulfills their hearts’ desires and guides them to the way of blessing. Peter, the disciple of Jesus, received amazing blessings from God through his professions of faith from the heart. When Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
2. Peter walked on the water by the words of his mouth
The following verses from Matthew 14:22 say that Jesus was going up to the mountain to pray alone, so after He had performed the miracle of feeding the crowds with five loaves and two fish, He sent crowds away. His disciples went by boat to the other side of the Sea of Galilee to Bethsaida. While they were rowing with all their might, Jesus came to the disciples, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” When He said, “Come!” Peter obeyed right away and walked on the sea water. Peter was able to walk on the water but because he did not have full assurance and seeing the wind, he became frightened and began to sink. This tells us that his faith was not perfect at that time. Then, Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Then, how was Peter able to walk on the water? He believed and acknowledged Jesus from his heart though he couldn’t have done so with his faith. That is why he could walk on the water at the moment. Thus, to believe, acknowledge, and profess such faith in Jesus with lips is very important.
Peter’s confession?Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water”뾦s not perfect. If he had had full assurance in Jesus from his heart, he would have said, “Lord! You can do everything. Command me to come to You on the water!” But he did not have such complete faith so he said, “Lord, if it is You”, which is like checking the fact once more.
3. Peter received the key of Heaven through the confession
Peter finally came to profess complete faith to Jesus through the experience of walking on the water. He said in Matthew 16:16, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” It was a totally different profession from that spoken by him when he had walked on the water for a moment.
At those times, not everyone believed Jesus and not all men recognized him as the Messiah. There were people who tried to kill Him out of jealousy. Some people slandered Him, spread false rumors, and passed judgment or condemnation, saying “He has lost senses”, “He is possessed by Beelzebul”, “He is one who incites the people to rebellion”, and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”
Jesus who knew all these very well said to His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Then, they stated, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” Although there were false rumors, the disciples only said to Him the confession that belongs to goodness.
Jesus said to them, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter boldly said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. Peter had said before, “Lord, if it is You”, but now he said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. Then, Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” and gave the word of blessing.
“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:18-19).
Peter was given this blessing to be a foundation of churches, and received the power to unfold many works of the spiritual space in the fleshly space. So, through Peter, many people were healed of their diseases. The lame came to walk, the dead came back to life, and thousands of people together changed their hearts immediately. Right after Peter pointed out that Ananias and his wife Sapphira had lied to the Holy Spirit, they breathed their last. Such a work could happen because Peter had the authority to make whatever he bound on earth bound in heaven and whatever he loosed on earth was loosed in heaven.
4. To receive answers by coming forth before Jesus
The Bible shows that many people were healed of their diseases and infirmities and received solutions to their problems by coming before Jesus. There were Gentiles among them but most of them were Jews who had known and believed God for generations. Even before meeting Jesus, they believed God but they could not solve their problems and receive answers with their faith. Only when they came before Jesus could they be healed of their diseases and infirmities and their problems could be solved. When they manifested the evidence of belief and acknowledgement in Jesus with deeds, they could receive answers.
Many people tried to come before Jesus and touch even the fringe of His cloak because they had faith that their problems would be resolved when they came before Him although their faith had not been perfected yet. They couldn’t have received answers with their own faith, but when they came to Jesus and professed their faith in Him they could receive answers through Jesus’ original voice.
Jesus has the same power as God the Almighty. So, He can resolve any kind of problem, including diseases and infirmities, no matter how complicated the problems might be. Of course, He did not solve all problems of all people unconditionally. This is because to pray for and bless those who did not believe, recognize, and have no interest in Jesus is against the justice of God.
Even though Peter believed Jesus and acknowledged Him, if he had not confessed faith with his lips, could he have received amazing words of blessing? Because Peter believed Jesus from the heart, acknowledged Him, and professed it with his lips, it was not against the justice of God that he could receive the promise of blessing. Thus, those who want to join the ministry of the Spirit like Peter, they have to make the confession of faith that follows realization of the heart. I hope you will receive answers to your prayers through the confession of faith with your lips that comes from the inspiration of the Spirit.