Pastor James J. Barker

Text: ROMANS 10:9-17


  1. A number of years ago, a preacher I know started an independent Baptist church on Staten Island. He told me what happened at their very first meeting.
  2. At the end of his message, he gave out the invitation and many people (RC’s) came forward "to receive Christ" (thinking they were receiving communion).
  3. Over the years, I have heard of many similar misunderstandings: born again, baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit, and many other scriptural terms mean something entirely different to the RC.
  4. Take for example, the word "confession." To the RC this word means something much different than it does to most of us. (cf. Rom.10:9).
  5. Now the word certainly can mean "confessing your sins" (cf. Lev.5:5; Ps.32:5; I John 1:9). Though we are never told in the Bible to confess our sins to a priest, but to God only. Because only God can forgive sin (cf. Mark 2:6-12).
  6. Now if you have offended someone, you need to go to that person and confess that and get it right (James 5:16), but that is much different from confessing one’s sins to a priest.
  7. But the primary idea behind the word "confess" is "to speak the same thing, to agree with, to declare," etc. (cf. Matt.10:32,33; I John 4:15).
  8. I would like for us today to see what it means to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. In other words, we are to publicly declare that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour.



    1. We have a duty to both confess with our mouth and to believe in our heart that Jesus Christ is our Lord (Rom.10:9).
    2. If we make this sincere and genuine confession, we are saved (10:9). I wonder if you are not sure what the Bible means by being "saved."
    3. Webster’s Dictionary defines the word as meaning: "to deliver from the power and consequences of sin."
    4. I like the Oxford English Dictionary better: "delivered from damnation." Have you been "delivered from damnation"?
    5. "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (10:10). So both are vitally important.
    6. Notice the emphasis on the heart (10:6,8,9,10). And also notice the emphasis on the mouth (10:8,9,10).
    7. The heart and mouth must never be separated. To confess with the mouth but not to believe in the heart is hypocrisy and perhaps self-deception (which is worse than hypocrisy).
    8. And to believe in the heart but not to confess with the mouth is procrastination and perhaps cowardice. Remember in that terrible list of sinners who will be damned forever in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, "the fearful" head the list (Rev.21:8).
    9. Too fearful to confess with their mouth that Jesus Christ was Lord, even though many of them knew in their heart that He was (e.g. many of the Pharisees, Pontius Pilate, Felix, King Agrippa, et al).



    1. Romans 10:9 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus…" This means, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus is Lord" (cf. Scofield margin).
    2. First of all, this means recognizing His deity (cf. I John 4:15; 5:1,20; Rom.9:4,5).
    3. Secondly, it means accepting His Lordship. There are some people who are confused on this point and say, "Jesus is my Saviour but not my Lord." If He is not your Lord, then He cannot be your Saviour and you are lost.
    4. Some object at what they call "Lordship Salvation," but there is no other kind of salvation found in the Bible (cf. Acts 9:1-7,18).
    5. Thirdly, to confess Jesus Christ as Lord, one must recognize His humanity (cf. I John 4:1-4; II John 7). There are many strange and weird cults which teach that Jesus was some sort of phantom or spirit. This unscriptural delusion is especially prevalent among the eastern and new-age cults.



    1. How are we to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord? There are many ways to witness for Christ but the best way is the literal way – we must open our mouths. The Bible says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth…"
    2. Our Lord said, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven" (Matt.10:32,33).
    3. So according to our Lord, the opposite of "confess" is "deny." If you do not confess that Jesus Christ is your Lord, then according to the Bible you are denying Him.
    4. Another way to confess Christ is by baptism. After a person is genuinely converted he should be baptized. Some one told me recently that he has been saved for 40 years and still has not been baptized! That is not the way it is taught in the book of Acts.
    5. This is why our Lord plainly stated: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). It is not baptism that saves, but believing in Jesus Christ. But after believing, confession should be made and this definitely includes baptism.
    6. I heard a man say on the radio long time ago that parents should have their children baptized as a sign of the covenant. You can be sure he offered no Scripture to back that up. The Bible teaches no such thing. Parents cannot confess Christ in place of their children.
    7. Baptism is for believers only, and it only by immersion (cf. Acts 8:36-39). A church that is not baptizing believers by immersion is not a NT church. They might be preaching the Gospel. And they might be correct in some of their other doctrines. But if they are not Scripturally baptizing their converts, they are not a NT church.



    1. The fruit of genuine confession is genuine salvation – "and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom.10:10b; 10:11-13).
    2. There are many other wonderful things that accompany salvation, such as assurance of salvation. There are some Christians, especially new believers, who struggle with assurance of salvation. But when you confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation.
    3. The Bible says, "Let the redeemed of the LORD say so" (Ps.107:2).
    4. Another thing that accompanies confession is forgiveness of sin and cleansing from sin. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).


  1. I read a story about an incident that took place during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71). When the German army was marching towards Paris, they passed through many villages. At one of these villages the inhabitants went out to fight the Germans armed with crude weapons of various descriptions.
  2. One old woman came out with a crutch, which she swung wildly in the air. "Go back! They will think you are crazy," her neighbors said to her.
  3. "I do not care what they think," she replied, "as long as they know whose side I’m on!"
  4. Beloved, do people know whose side you are on?
  5. And more importantly, does God know whose side you’re on?

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