Confessing one’s faith in God plays an integral role in salvation.
After successfully defeating Jericho, the children of Israel carried their invasion of Canaan to the city of Ai. Because Ai was a less populous city than Jericho, Joshua committed only three thousand soldiers to the fight. Surprisingly, Israel was thoroughly routed. Confounded by Israel’s failure, Joshua asked God why He brought Israel across the Jordan only to be defeated by the land’s inhabitants. God offers a simple reason: you lost because there is sin in the camp. As the seventh chapter of Joshua unfolds, we learn about Achan, an Israelite who grew a little too greedy in Jericho. Achan ignored God’s explicit instructions and took for himself a beautiful Babylonian cloak as well as silver and gold. He buried these treasures underneath his tent, hiding his transgression from everyone except God.
49 days after Jesus’s resurrection, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples as they assembled together on the Lord’s day. (Acts 2) The tremendous sound of a great, rushing wind sparked public curiosity: as they gathered to investigate, they heard the disciples speaking in 15 or more languages. Accused of drunkenness, Peter declares this display a fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32. Included in this prophecy was a promise God extended to Israel first and the Gentiles second: “‘AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS THAT WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.'” (Act 2:21)