What does confess mean?

 

The English term ‘confess’ is found in various places in the New Testament. We will examine which terms mean what.

The New American Standard Greek Lexicon identified confess in two ways: exomologeo and homologeo. Exomologeo is one Greek term translated as confess. Let us look at the definition (http://www.biblestudytools.net/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=1843&version=nas): 

Strong’s Number:   1843  Browse Lexicon 
Original Word Word Origin
exomologeo from (1537) and (3670)
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Exomologeo 5:199,687
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
ex-om-ol-og-eh’-o     Verb
 Definition
                      

  1. to confess
  2. to profess
    1. acknowledge openly and joyfully
    2. to one’s honour: to celebrate, give praise to
    3. to profess that one will do something, to promise, agree, engage

 

 

 

This term is found in various places in the New Testament, and is generally used to mean to ‘speak about’. These are the verses where this term is used:

Matthew 3:6

Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

Matthew 11:25

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

Mark 1:5

The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

Luke 10:21 

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.

Luke 22:6 

He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

Acts 19:18

Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds.

Romans 14:11 

It is written: ” ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,  ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ “

Romans 15:9 

so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name.”

Philippians 2:11

and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

James 5:16

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

So, we should speak about Christ to others. We should speak about our sins to other believers so we can be prayed for.

As mentioned earlier, another term translated as confess is homologeo (http://www.biblestudytools.net/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=3670&version=nas) and is defined as follows:

Strong’s Number:   3670  Browse Lexicon 
Original Word Word Origin
omologeo from a compound of the base of (3674) and (3056)
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Homologeo 5:199,687
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
hom-ol-og-eh’-o     Verb
 Definition
                 

  1. to say the same thing as another, i.e. to agree with, assent
  2. to concede
    1. not to refuse, to promise
    2. not to deny
      1. to confess
      2. declare
      3. to confess, i.e. to admit or declare one’s self guilty of what one is accused of
  3. to profess
    1. to declare openly, speak out freely
    2. to profess one’s self the worshipper of one
  4. to praise, celebrate

 

 

 

 

 This term is also found in various places in the New Testament, and is used to mean to ‘declare’, ‘tell’, or ‘agree’. These are the verses where this term is used:

Matthew 7:23

Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 10:32

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.

Matthew 14:7

that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked

Luke 12:8

“I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.

John 1:20 

He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.”

John 9:22

His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue.

John 12:42

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue;

Acts 7:17 

As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt greatly increased.

Acts 23:8

(The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.)

Acts 24:14

However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets,

Romans 10:9

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:10

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

1 Timothy 6:12

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Titus 1:16

They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

Hebrews 11:13 

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.

 Hebrews 13:15

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 2:23

No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

1 John 4:2

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

1 John 4:3

but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

1 John 4:15

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.

We are to acknowledge Jesus is the Son of God who came in the flesh. We are also told to confess our sins.  When we confess our sins, we are agreeing with God about the things we did are wrong – coming into alignment with God.  We are forgiven because of the faith we have in Christ, the confessing of Christ as the Son of God, and the agreeing with God about our sins are evidence of the faith we have.

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