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Greek Word Study - Agreement

How should a man live? By the law of the jungle? Should the stronger rule the weaker? Is it right for the powerful to plunder the powerless? These were the questions at stake in a discussion between Socrates and his friend Callicles. Since Socrates held that a man should live by his beliefs, he urged his friend to show him if his life was inconsistent in any area. If his actions did not match his philosophy, he promised he would change them.

And if he did not change? Socrates put it this way: “If you find me in agreement with you now, and afterwards failing to do what I agreed to, regard me as a regular dunce and never trouble any more to admonish me again – a mere good-for-nothing.”

The Greek word Socrates used for “in agreement” and “what I agreed to” is homologeo (ho mo lo GEH oh). It means literally “to say” (logeo) “the same” (homo). It was used in a variety of contexts, such as the following: to “agree” with testimony in court, to “speak the same language,” to “confess” guilt in an accusation, to “agree to a treaty” with a person or a god. (Go back over these and consider how “speak the same” applies in each case.)

A key element in each usage, as seen in the example from Socrates, is that a person must act on what he “confesses.” A person says, in effect, “I agree that this fact is true and therefore I’m going to do something about it.”

So what does it mean to “confess Christ”? It means to “agree” with God that Jesus is Lord and Christ—and plan to live accordingly. It means to “confess” our own sinful weakness in contrast with his purity—and plan to change. It means to “enter a treaty relationship” with Jesus, acknowledging him as our God and Savior.

It is no mere theoretical agreement; it is our consent to a Person and a proposition that is followed by commitment and action. This is how we confess Christ before men (Matt 10:32; Rom 10:9-10).