John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” NKJV
The confession of faith is defined in one way as a document that spells out the belief system of a given church (especially the Reformation churches of the 16th century). Since the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the visible Christian Church has gone through many changes. Splits have occurred because of disputes over doctrinal differences and we find today that there are reported to be approximately 41,000 different denominations of Christianity all claiming to know, love, and believe in Jesus Christ. How could this be the will of the Father and what in the world has caused such a wide spread division?
Before the Church ever began and there were just the disciples huddled together in a house somewhere because they feared the Jews would come and get them to crucify them just as they had done our Lord, there also was a brief dispute among the majority of the disciples and the one disciple named Thomas as to the reality of our Lord’s resurrection. The Lord Jesus manifested Himself to the disciples by entering the house supernaturally and they were glad when they saw the Lord. However, Thomas was not present at that first time our Lord appeared to them and rebuked them for even saying such a thing to him. Well, many of us are aware of what Thomas said to the other disciples, but for those reading who do not know what he said here it is, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
Though Thomas had heard our Lord say to him and the others on numerous occasions (during the 3 years prior to the cross) that he would be turned over to sinners to be beaten, spat upon, and then killed and he walked with these other men and women for over three years and could trust that they would not willfully lie to him he still wanted visible proof of the Lord Jesus Christ being alive from the dead. Well, the Lord Jesus hearing Thomas’s un-belief came again (after 8 days) and went directly to Thomas and showed Himself to him and Thomas made what should be the confession of every individual believer and every Christian Church by saying, “My Lord and My God”. If this were the genuine confession of every Christian Church (from the heart), there would not be all of these thousands of different denominations.
Wonderfully however, this is The Confession of faith of every person that has been baptized into the Body of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. Those of us who genuinely know Christ Jesus as Lord and God are part of the invisible Church that does make this confession from the heart. We unlike the Apostle Thomas have never seen our Lord in the flesh, but we have received the testimony of the Spirit and are assured that our Lord has received us, washed us, and loves’ us forever. Thomas believed with his sight but for all of us we believe in our hearts that God raised Christ from the dead and we are saved. Though we have not seen Him in the flesh we have seen Him through the eyes of faith given to us upon regeneration (new birth). This saving faith given to each of His elect children brings Christ into our hearts and we begin to love what He loves (the souls of men and women) and hate what He hates (sin, satan, and all darkness). What the Apostle Peter says below sums up every one of God’s elect children and His true invisible Church body.
1 Peter 1:3-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith --- the salvation of your souls. NKJV
“There are two hundred and fifty-six names given in the Bible for the Lord Jesus Christ, and I suppose this was because He was infinitely beyond all that any one name could express.” Billy Sunday
“The question in salvation is not whether Jesus is Lord, but whether we are submissive to His lordship.” John MacArthur
“When God becomes a Man and lives as a creature among His own creatures in Palestine, then indeed His life is one of supreme self-sacrifice and leads to Calvary.” C. S. Lewis
“The name Emmanuel takes in the whole mystery. Jesus is "God with us." He had a nature like our own in all things, sin only excepted. But though Jesus was "with us" in human flesh and blood, He was at the same time very God.” J. C. Ryle
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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