Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 13, 1958


W. R. Risener, Uss Norfolk, Fpo, New York, N. Y.

Prior to becoming a member of the Lord's church, the seeker of eternal life must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The church is built upon this rock. (Matt. 16:16-18.)

A man who is honest and sincere will not solemnly confess before men that which he does not believe in his heart, and no human tongue ever gave utterance to greater truth than this. Both the fact of His sonship, and of His resurrection from the dead are contained in the statement that Jesus Christ is the son of God. "Paul, — called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, — Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, — by the resurrection from the dead:" (Rom. 1:1-4.) No one on this side of that great and glorious resurrection day of our Lord believes that He is the only begotten Son of God unless he also believes that He was raised up from the dead.

Divine testimony is found in abundance upon the pages of God's word in support of this great truth, but I want to stress this point and make it clear, that man did not arrive at this conclusion through his own reasoning and wisdom. God is the Father of spirits; the revealer of divine truth. No man who, in his journey through this life, either travels short of God's truth, or goes onward beyond it, can please Him. It would not be a walk of faith for himself, and it destroys unity and peace because others cannot walk with such a one by faith. Let us endeavor 'to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace", by walking as the Spirit directs in the word of God.

When Peter confessed this truth to Jesus, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16), the Lord made it clear that man did not discover this truth in and of himself, "for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." (Matt. 16:17.) The Father is pleased to assign to Himself the task of making His will known to the children of men, and He has faithfully performed this function both with respect to this present covenant and also to those involved in the covenant made with Israel at Sinai.

"And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do." (Ex. 24:3.) They were made fully acquainted with the law, and then agreed, with one voice, to accept it. Then Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, "And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient." (Ex. 24:7.) Their acceptance of the law was given verbally, and was not given until they were fully advised concerning that covenant. It was not something obscure or hidden. "For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it." (Deut. 30:11-14.)

Neither with respect to us concerning the new covenant has the Father of Life been remiss in revealing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, "for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." "For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (2 Pet. 1:17.) "'This voice", says Peter, "we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount." And he goes on to say that we have an even more sure word of prophecy contained in the Scripture. "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (Jno. 20:30-31.)

So we in this age cannot make an appeal to ignorance as a legitimate excuse, "But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation!' (Rom. 10:6-10.)

If a man is as good as his word, (and I think he is), what he confesses with his tongue is that which he 'believes in his heart. What he believes depends upon how he regards the evidence before him. If the evidence consists entirely of that which is spoken or written (as is the revealed will of God to us, Heb. 1:1-2; 2 Tim. 3:16-17), how he regards the evidence depends upon his estimation of the author of it.

Dear reader, it is the Father's will, "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow; — and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2:10-11.) If you fail to do this, you bear mute witness that you believe God is a liar, (1 Jno. 5:10), but "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God." (Jno. 4:15.)