The Subtle Denial of Jesus
So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
The denial of Christ can be one of the most subtle and saddest of all sins. There are many seemingly great reasons people justify a denial of Christ, including that it is ‘wisdom’ among unbelievers to not lift up but rather push down Christ in case of offense, in addition to other causes such as embarrassment, persecution and many other reasons too numerous to mention.
According to Gill’s Expedition, ‘To deny Christ, is to drop, or oppose any of those truths which regard His person, office, and grace; or to hide and conceal them from men, through fear, shame, or cowardice of mind: and even not to confess him, through fear of men, is interpreted, by Christ, a denial of him; and such who deny him in any form and shape, either by words or deeds’.
Gill brings to light that the denial of Christ can come by word or action. The suppressing of truth in any form or any of the characteristics of Christ’s character and office in order to protect oneself or in the supposed interest of ‘others’.
Interestingly, Paul addresses this by saying, ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek’ Romans 1:16. Paul was a Jew, who had preached to both the Jew and Gentile during his ministry, having of course recognised the Jew first as the natural branch, although the Gentile being the focus of his ministry. Paul never watered down the gospel or denied Christ, but boldly declared the truth unashamedly. He did not lack faith in the gospel and the power of God that could restore sight to the blind, open the ears of the deaf and set the captives free.
We can think of many reasons to deny Christ, His person, office, and grace; or to hide and conceal them from men. We can even convince ourself that it is done through wisdom or selflessness even to benefit the person that Christ has been concealed from, but when we understand that He is the author and finisher of our faith, that He will complete the good work He began and that He who formed all things and all things are found in Him, all we need to do is what was simply asked of us by our Lord and Saviour.
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.
It is Christ who has given us this great gift of life and commissioned us to preach the truth without shame to both Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, both slave and free.
Since Israel was formed in 1948, more Jews have come to know Christ than during the last two thousand years, and during the time of the Gentiles, countless people have come to the Lord through the faithful preaching of our Christian forefathers despite the evil of some professing Christian denominations that came as wolves among the sheep.
As this season closes and a new one begins, we must once again place our trust in the gospel and the One who saves!
— By Judah Ayling