THE DUTY OF CONFESSING CHRIST BEFORE MEN
The duty of Confessing Christ before men is imposed on all of us directly by Christ, who says:
“Whoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”
Confessing Christ before men is necessarily preceded by our personal conviction as to who He is, for without such knowledge our confession is limited. All of men’s behavior and actions are influenced by three things: Faith or religion, our philosophy, and our political system. Christ is our Great High Priest, the author and object of our Faith. Christ is our Teacher and the subject and object of true philosophy. Christ is our real political leader for He alone is King and robed in majesty.
Christ is, therefore, confessed before men as He is, and as He is known by us, that is, as Son of the living God, and the Son of man, the one Godman, and the supreme High Priest and King and Teacher of men. This confession also confesses one true faith arising from the priesthood of Christ, and one true political system established by Christ, and one true philosophy derived from Christ the Preceptor and Teacher, through which are disproved and confuted every false religion among men, every false political system and every false teaching and philosophy.
Those who are confuted from among men either as professing a false religion, or holding a bad political theory, or as being in error respecting knowledge of the truth and seeking for wisdom amiss, may become enraged against him who confutes them, and persecutes him to death, deeming him to be an enemy and subverter of the established order of things among men.
The confession, therefore of Christ before men could entail persecution from men and death, and he who performs this duty willingly offers up his own life as a sacrifice upon the altar of truth, as Christ was also sacrificed for the sake of this confession and of the truth. But such voluntary self-sacrifice bears witness to perfect love of Christ, such as He also exhibited to us, and that to confess Christ before men is nothing other than a death defying struggle for the kingdom and glory of Christ and against the prevailing error of the Devil, in which struggle they are crowned who confess Christ well and die for Him.
But they who out of fear deny Christ, or out of fear of torture and of afflictions fail to confess Him, are proved neither to love Christ nor themselves; because by denying Christ, they deny their own sonship in Christ, and justly cast away the rights which go along with it, and as betraying it are condemned to eternal punishment, at the hands of the highest justice. But they who confess Christ and voluntarily and willingly die for Christ, these love both Christ and themselves; because by confessing Christ, they confess at the same time also their own sonship in Christ, and possess it eternally with all its natural rights. Those who confess Christ before men will also confess Him be fore His Father who is in heaven as brethren worthy of Himself and fellow heirs. Those who deny Him or out of timidity and fear do not confess Him, Christ will also deny as unworthy of Himself, as transgressors of the second commandment and is having forfeited the rights of sonship. It is to be observed, however, that confession of Christ before men is dangerous only at times and not always.