‘With the heart man believeth unto righteousness: and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.’ Romans 10:10
Suggested Further Reading: Proverbs 1:7–15
Young Joseph has his garment seized by his wanton mistress: his answer is, ‘How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?’ The woman might have answered, ‘God? What do I know of him? Jehovah—who is he?’ There was a bold, distinct confession of his allegiance to Jehovah, as a reason why he could not sin. The case of Nehemiah is equally to the point. When they invite him to a secret conference in the temple, he says, ‘Should such a man as I flee?’ He avows his confidence in his God as a reason why he cannot for a moment act dishonourably. Now, Christian, here it is that you are to make confession with the mouth. Some dirty trick in business, which has become so common that nobody thinks any harm of it, comes in your way. Now, play the man, and say, ‘I would rather starve than do it; I cannot and I will not live by robbery, even though it should be half legalised by society.’ Now is your opportunity, young man. When the Sabbath morning comes round, and you are pulled by the sleeve to go with others to waste its holy hours, you can say, ‘No,’ and give the reason, ‘I cannot do it; I am a Christian.’ Or, it may be you have come up from the country, and your friend—your friend proposes to take you to a den of infamy, just to show you life. Tell him he does not understand how to cater to your appetite, for you are a Christian. For some ends I would prefer the affirmation of one’s faith in Jesus in the time of temptation to any other form of confession, since there surely can be no hypocrisy in it. Take care, brethren, that you never fail to acknowledge your Lord in the time of temptation.
For meditation: A word of testimony is a means of conquering the devil (Revelation 12:11). Our Saviour demonstrated to Satan that he was the Son of God by resistance, not by the requested submission (Matthew 4:3–7). Being a Christian is not only a good reason for taking a stand for God in times of temptation, but also a powerful excuse to use for our own protection at such moments.
Sermon no. 520
19 July (1863)