Pastor James J. Barker

Text: MATTHEW 10:32,33


  1. In order to properly understand these verses (Matthew 10:32 and 33) we must look at the context (cf. 10:16-31).
  2. The context therefore is opposition and persecution. As Christians we should expect it (10:25).
  3. Now, concerning our text, to confess Christ means more than merely making a statement with our lips. It means backing up that statement with our lives.
  4. The vast majority of people here in America profess to believe in Jesus Christ but their lives do not show it.
  5. Someone has said, "Your walk talks louder than your talk talks."
  6. There are many ways in which we can confess Christ before others. The preacher preaches the Word, a man listens and is convicted of his sin. He realizes that he is lost and needs to get saved. Furthermore, he realizes only Jesus Christ can save him.
  7. What should he do? He should confess Christ before others. He should get out of his seat and walk down the aisle and tell the preacher or whoever greets him that he wants to receive Christ as his Saviour.
  8. Then what comes next? He should get baptized and join the local church.
  9. I would like to speak on this very important subject of believer’s baptism. I believe that if a person has not followed the Lord in believer’s baptism, he hasn’t adequately confessed Christ before others (Matt.10:32,33; cf. Mark 16:15,16).



    1. It is an ordinance, not a sacrament. Rome and the sacramental churches teach that when a person receives their sacraments, grace is conveyed. This is not taught in the Bible, and so we prefer the word "ordinance."
    2. Baptism is symbolic and is not necessary for salvation. It is the other way around – salvation is necessary for baptism.
    3. While baptism is not necessary for salvation, it is necessary for obedience, for church membership, and for a good testimony. Our Lord wants us to confess Him before others and this begins with baptism.
    4. Many churches sprinkle or baptize babies but this is unscriptural. The great Baptist teacher Augustus Strong was the president and professor of theology at Rochester Theological Seminary. He wrote many books, including his Systematic Theology, from which I will now quote: "To administer it (baptism) to a wailing and resisting infant, or to administer it in any other form than that prescribed by Jesus’ command and example, is to desecrate and destroy the ordinance."



    1. Christ is our example (Matt.3:13-17).
    2. Christ commands us (Matt.28:19,20).
    3. The disciples practiced baptism (John 4:1,2).
    4. The early church practiced baptism (Acts 2:41; 8:12,38; 9:18; 10:48; 16:33; 18:8; 19:5). Note that in each case, the person was saved first, then was baptized immediately afterward.



    1. Baptism is an identification with Christ and His church (Rom.6:4).
    2. Baptism cannot save anyone (Acts 16:30,31; John 3:16; I Cor.1:17).
    3. But just because baptism does not save doesn’t mean it is not important.



    1. The Greek word baptizo can only mean "to dip, to plunge under water, to submerge, or to immerse."
    2. Consider these Scriptures: "much water" (John 3:23), and "coming up out of the water" (Mark 1:10), and "down…into the water" (Acts 8:38).



    1. It must be after conversion, never before (cf. Acts 8:36,37).
    2. It must be before church membership (cf. Acts 2:41).
    3. Infant baptism is a horrible practice, and baptismal regeneration is a wicked doctrine. Many souls are in hell because they were taught that their baptism saved them.


  1. "O! how men have marred this most instructive ordinance! How they first of all put away the very ordinance itself in reducing it to drops of water, which never could set forth as in parable or picture, a burial! How they then took away the proper subjects of it, and substituted unconscious infants for the intelligent believers in Christ" – C. H. Spurgeon.
  2. Baptism is very important but salvation must come first. Have you been saved? If you are saved, have you been Scripturally baptized?
  3. This is indeed an excellent way to confess Christ before others!

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