"Dear Jesus,

I am a sinner. 
I repent of my sins. 
Please forgive me and save me by your shed blood; 
come into my heart. 
I want to receive you as my own personal Lord and savior.

Amen"

 

Often the New Testament that one holds in their hand includes a written "prayer," such as the one above that, supposedly, when prayed, will result in the one doing so being saved. Such a "prayer" is often referred to as the "Sinner’s Prayer", and is used extensively by denominations as if it has its foundation within Scripture. As we consider this, it may surprise you that the New Testament Scriptures do not say anything about believing and praying in order to be saved.

 

Occasionally, one finds within the New Testament the phrase "calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16; Romans 10:13, et al), or one similar to it. However, a careful examination of the texts reveals that they do not teach "the sinner's prayer" as it is taught today by so many. Rather, it points to the necessity of one who wishes to be saved “calling” on the authority of the Lord for their salvation.

 

A careful study of the New Testament Scriptures reveals the following facts. A person is saved by grace, through faith (Galatians 2:8, 9) as they fully obey the gospel (Romans 1:16; Hebrews 5:9), which involves belief (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6), repentance (Acts 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9), confession (Romans 10:9, 10), and baptism (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21). There is no New Testament record of one instructing an unbeliever   to pray "the sinner's prayer" in order to be saved, as can be seen by the following examples of what those who were saved actually did (Acts 2:36-41; 8:5, 12; 8:13; 8:26-39; Acts 9:3-18; 22:16; 10:1-48;  16:13-16; 16:25-34; 18:8). The simple facts are, no unbeliever in the New Testament was saved by praying "the sinner's prayer," as there is no record of anyone having prayed it.

 

It is, also, interesting to note that God does not promise to answer the prayer of an unbeliever, when that one is seeking to be saved. It is the desire of churches of Christ to speak where the Bible speaks, and remain silent where it is silent. Further, it is our prayer that you will carefully consider this matter in view of what the New Testament teaches, rather than what is taught by man.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend