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 is looking.

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.


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 boundless joy. 


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, and resurrection.

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 possible. 

Three thousand were baptized at Pentecost on the same day they got saved.  (Acts2:41).
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.


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.
Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife to deny God and commit sin, but he remained faithful to God.
Daniel 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.
The 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 to come.

Copyright © 2004 Thomas E Berry
Scripture quotations from NKJV unless otherwise noted


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