It was fear of
others that kept me from Christ. I had been attending church for
nearly three months and clearly understood the gospel. I even
wanted to be saved, but I didn’t have the courage. The reason
I started attending church was to be able to play on the junior
softball team. But, the preacher’s message had gotten through.
Every time he would give an invitation for sinners to come and be
saved I wanted to go forward so badly I could barely stand it.
One thing held me back---five other fellows who were my closest
friends. They were in church for the same reason I was, --- in
order to play on the softball team. I was afraid of what they
would think if I got saved.
The fourth Sunday in July, 1944 I had agonized through two sermons
(morning and evening) and invitations to accept Christ and walked
out the church door still unsaved. Weighed down with conviction I
went home, got in bed and tried to sleep. There was no sleep as
the Holy Spirit wrestled with me mightily. Finally, I knelt by my
bed and received Christ as my Savior. I gained the sweet peace of
knowing that live or die, I was a child of God.
The following Sunday morning I had no fear. Pastor Floyd Irwin
extended the invitation and I immediately stepped into the aisle
and went forward to meet the pastor. He took my hand and asked,
”Tommy, are you coming to be saved?” I answered, “No, Sir, I’m
coming because I got saved last Sunday night. I want to get
baptized and join the church.” He motioned for me to sit on the
front pew and as I did I received one of the shocks of my life.
In a line right behind me were the very five fellows whose opinion
I had previously feared should I get saved. They were all coming
forward to be saved. I thought, “For three months I have been
sitting out here miserable because I feared what these fellows
would think if I got saved, and they have been fearing what I
would think if they got saved!”
There are many benefits that come from unashamedly confessing
Christ publicly as Savior. In fact, Jesus considered this matter
so important He said, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before
men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.
But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My
Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32, 33). Sadly, many
Christians are ashamed to openly confess Christ as their Savior.
They constantly hide their light under a bushel. They are like
mice: in residence, but only come out of their holes when no one
The most prominent Christian even to be ashamed of Christ was no
other than the apostle Peter. His self-confidence was shattered
during the night Jesus was taken into custody. First, he forsook
the Lord and fled. Then He was gripped with fear as he was
identified as a disciple in the judgment hall of Caiphas. To
prove he was not a Christian he denied being a follower of Christ
with cursing on three occasions. This method succeeds every time
and Peter finally convinced folks he was not a Christian---but he
went out and wept bitterly.
Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were disciples, “…But
secretly for fear of the Jews”. (John 19:38). As a secret
disciple Nicodemus had no influence. When he tried to stop the
Jewish leaders from plotting to kill Jesus they rebuked him with
scorn. (John 7:50-52). Joseph had no job because he was filled
with “fear of the Jews”.
Every Christian needs to decide quickly after they are saved that
they will openly and courageously take their stand by confessing
Christ as their Savior.
I. CONFESSING CHRIST BRINGS
SALVATION ASSURANCE AND JOY
We are saved
by grace through faith, the clear statement of scores of
Scriptures. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the
right to become children of God, to those who believe in His
name.” (John 1:12) “For God so loved the world that He
gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should
not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).
We are saved completely and forever the very instant we place
sincere faith in Christ as our very own personal Savior and Lord.
But is that the end of all spiritual responsibility? No. The
Scriptures make abundantly clear that getting saved is not the end
but only the beginning. The very next step is to confess Christ
as Savior and Lord with our mouth. “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.” (Romans 10:8, 9).
Jesus required that those who trusted Him should also confess
Him. The woman who touched the hem of His garment in faith and
was healed of her issue of blood tried to hide herself in the
crowd. Jesus would not allow it. He stopped and let the daughter
of Jairus die while He called forth a confession from this woman
with the words: “Who touched me?” (Luke 8:45). Her
confession provided the basis of abiding joy and a lifelong
thrilling testimony. He told the maniac of Gadara, “ . . .Go
home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has
done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” (Mark
5:19). The believer who holds back from confessing Christ will be
characterized by defeat and stunted growth. The Christian who
boldly takes his stand for Christ will be characterized by
CONFESSING CHRIST IN BAPTISM IS
VITAL TO CHRISTIAN VICTORY
Jesus considered baptism exceedingly important. He insisted on
being baptized by John even though John was overwhelmed with
unworthiness. (Matthew 3:13-15). This baptism showed that Jesus
would make salvation available to mankind through death, burial,
All twelve apostles were baptized by John the Baptist, including
Matthias who replaced Judas. This was a requirement in order to be
an apostle (Acts 1:21-22). When Peter said at Pentecost, “Repent,
and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ…”
(Acts 2:38) he was speaking to many people who had believed on
Christ but up to that point had been ashamed to be baptized.
In the inspired record of the early church found in the Book of
Acts we observe that the converts were baptized as quickly as
Three thousand were baptized at Pentecost on the same day they got
When the Samaritans believed they got baptized. (Acts 8:12).
The Ethiopian eunuch had barely gotten his confession of faith out
of his mouth when Philip baptized him. (Acts 8:36-38).
When Cornelius and his household believed they were baptized
immediately. (Acts 10:47, 48).
The Philippian jailer believed on Christ after the midnight hour
and was baptized before morning. (Acts16:30-33).
Scriptural baptism is by immersion. This means the convert is
placed all the way under the water. In Acts 8:38 we have a
graphic description of how New Testament baptism is to be
performed. Two people go down into the water---the convert and
the minister. The minister immerses the convert and the two of
them walk up out of the water. The word baptize is from the Greek
word baptize which means immerse, submerge, dip or
plunge under. It cannot mean sprinkle because the Greek word
for sprinkle is rantizo. The Bible does not say the
converts were rantized. It says they were baptized.
Baptism is a double spiritual picture. It is first of all a
picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ showing
how He made salvation possible for us. It is also a picture of
how we have been placed in Christ and have died with Him, been
buried with Him, and raised in Him. (See 1st
Corinthians 12:13; Romans 6:1-11). We have been immersed into
Christ and in Him we have received the condemnation for our sin on
the cross. In Him, we have been buried, and as sinners are
forever dead. In Him, as new-born children of God, we have risen
with Christ to live as a child of God forever. Water baptism is a
picture of this beautiful reality.
III. CONFESSING CHRIST DAILY IDENTIFIES US AS CHRISTIANS
We should confess Christ daily by a godly life and person al
witness. In Mark 8:38 Jesus said, “For whoever is ashamed of
Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him
the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He come in the glory of
His Father with the holy angels.” This means that among
family and friends at work or school, or in every situation we are
to let it be known we are Christians. It means we should stand
for Christ’s church, His preachers and His people.
The greatest saints have fearlessly confessed their faith
and commitment to God.
was tempted by Potiphar’s wife to deny God and commit sin, but he
remained faithful to God.
was threatened with the lion’s den if he continued to openly pray.
He continued to pray openly just as he did in the past.
apostles were commanded not to speak any more in the name of
Jesus, but their witness could not be stopped.
Those who confess Christ consistently will enjoy a special
blessing from Christ in this world and special reward in the world
Copyright © 2004
Thomas E Berry
Scripture quotations from NKJV unless otherwise noted
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.