This was a response I wrote to a friend who claimed that salvation required confessing with one's mouth. Here's what I had to say about it.
Here is a list of examples from Scripture of people who got saved without a single word.
The sinful woman in Luke 7, who washes Jesus' feet with the jar of perfume, says nothing at all. She makes no proclamation or confession about Jesus. She’s completely silent. Jesus then tells her in vs. 48, “Your sins are forgiven,” and in verse 50, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” She spoke no words but got saved by her faith.
Matthew 9 has the story of the sick man. Before Jesus healed him it says, “When Jesus saw their faith He said, “your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9:2) The sick man is healed a moment later, but through the story the sick man doesn’t say anything until after his sins had already been forgiven, and he’d been healed.
Nevertheless, many of the leaders believed in Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue. (John 12:42) John makes it clear that anyone who believes in Jesus immediately receives eternal life (John 6:47). Nonetheless, there were believers who did not confess.
If verbal confession is required then no mute person could be saved. Jesus came to save the world, mute people included (John 3:16-17).
Confession is an action. Proclaiming is a good work. Scripture says repeatedly that we are not saved by our actions or good works. So, we are commanded to confess, and we should if we want to grow as disciples. Eph 2:8-9 “not by works” We need to confess to grow as disciples, and there are consequences for those who do not confess, but the consequences are not eternal damnation as long as the person has believed in Jesus. In Philippians 2 it says every knee will bow and every tongue “confess.” That’s a quote from Isaiah, but the wording in Isaiah is “every knee will bow and every tongue shall give an oath.” So it seems that there may be some connection between confessing Christ, and swearing an oath. An oath to serve and obey maybe.
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