Confessing Christ in the Face of Evil



Dietrich Bonhoeffer

But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, `Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, “`Who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart ” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. (Rom 10:6-10 NKJ)


So what does Paul’s teaching in Romans have to do with 1 John? Absolutely nothing! I just felt the leading of the Holy Spirit to expand on the idea of confession.

In 1933, a new voice of change was being heard in Germany, the voice of nationalism, of patriotism, and of white supremacism, it was the voice of Adolf Hitler. Hitler’s message found favor in the German Evangelical church and by means of an illegal election, Hitler made sure that only those that supported his message were in control of the churches.

There was, however, a group of pastors and theologians that saw Christ as the head of the church and not the Führer. They called themselves the Confessing Church. The Confessing Church included notable Christian pastors and theologians as Martin Niemöller, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Karl Barth.  Together, they published a declaration of faith, called the Barmen Declaration.

At the end of the declaration they wrote, “The Confessing Synod of the German Evangelical Church declares that it sees in the acknowledgment of these truths and in the rejection of these errors the indispensable theological basis of the German Evangelical Church as a confederation of Confessing Churches. It calls upon all who can stand in solidarity with its Declaration to be mindful of these theological findings in all their decisions concerning Church and State. It appeals to all concerned to return to unity in faith, hope, and love. Verbum Dei manet in aeternum. The Word of God will last for ever.

Bonhoeffer didn’t believe in cheap grace.  Salvation is a free gift, but discipleship costs everything.

When evil is knocking at the door, you have to make the decision whether to cozy up with the devil or stand, confessing your faith in Christ. What’s your confession?

About Terry Threadwell

Dr. Terry Threadwell has thirty five years ministry experience. Author, educator and Director of the Institute of Progressive Pentecostal Studies.
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