Sinner’s Prayer for Salvation- Is it Biblical? | Forum

Paogin Mangte
Paogin Mangte Oct 21 '14

Sinner’s Prayer for Salvation- Is it Biblical?
By Dr. Paogin Mangte.

Invite Jesus into your heart through prayer!
Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.”

This verse is taken out of context if it is applied to mean initial conversion. This is written in a letter to the church in Laodicea, i.e. to those that have already been baptized and have already been born again. This is not a verse about conversion. It was written to people who were already Christians (the church—see verse 14) and who were growing weak, in order to urge them back to a closer walk with God.

Many teach out of error that one only need say a prayer that goes something like this in order to be saved:

"Jesus, I know that I have sinned against you. I have sinned by my own choice. I take the responsibility for it. I know that I have earned punishment from You, and that the fair punishment would be death. Jesus, I believe that You died in my place. Forgive me for my sin. I cannot cover up or take my sin away, I am relying totally and completely on You. I am completely helpless. You are the only one who can save me. I reject my sin, I turn away from it, and I repent. Please come into my life, wash away my sin, and show me how to live my life in a way that is right and pleasing to You."
Nowhere in scripture do we see anyone “praying for salvation.” Although the thoughts and attitudes expressed in this prayer are exactly correct, it needs to be followed up with baptism into Christ so that your sins will be forgiven. Saying a prayer for salvation may sound reasonable from a human standpoint, but it is totally unbiblical and foreign to the New Testament.

Scripture Prayer of “invitation to Jesus” taught?==Baptism in Jesus name taught?

Sinner’s Prayer for Salvation taught? NO!!! Baptism taught? YES! Acts 2:38-41
Sinner’s Prayer for Salvation taught? NO!!! Baptism taught? Yes !Acts 8:5-12
Sinner’s Prayer for Salvation taught? NO!!! Baptism taught? YES!Acts 8:26-40
Sinner’s Prayer for Salvation taught? NO!!! Baptism taught? YES!Acts 9:18
Sinner’s Prayer for Salvation taught? NO!!! Baptism taught? YES!Acts 10:47-48
Sinner’s Prayer for Salvation taught? NO!!! Baptism taught? YES!Acts 16:15
Sinner’s Prayer for Salvation taught? NO!!! Baptism taught? YES!Acts 16:16-33
Sinner’s Prayer for Salvation taught? NO!!! Baptism taught? YES!Acts 19:3-5
Sinner’s Prayer for Salvation taught? NO!!! Baptism taught? YES!Acts 22:16

If you have prayed a prayer like this, you have been stopped just short of the “one yard line” (to use a term from the sport of football) You may have asked the Lord to show you what He wants you to do in your life. So keep going. Don’t stop now. Go get baptize in the name Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Obey Acts 2:38!
If you have prayed such a prayer asking God to save you, He is responding to your prayer right now by telling you what HIS salvation plan is and that you have not heard the full story! He has heard your plea and wants to save you. God wants you to know His salvation plan involves being baptized IN JESUS NAME for the forgiveness of your sins- Luke 24:47; Acts 10:43; Acts 22:16; Acts 2:38!
• The work of the calvary is God’s offer of life…
• Baptism in Jesus name is our acceptance- READ. James 2:19; Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38; John 3:5; Acts 19:2-5; Gal 3:27; Acts 22:16!

But I know Some people will still protest the need for baptism in Jesus name, saying something like this,“But baptism is a ‘work’ and we are not saved by works…we are saved by faith alone.”
First, we must consider what the definition of a “work” is that we are using. If one defines baptism a “work” then we must also label believing a “work”. We must also label repenting a “work”. Believing and repenting are both things -we must DO as a prerequisite to salvation. They are both things that require human action. Baptism is merely the last part of that equation. James tells us he will show us his faith by what he does.
Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself. -James 2:17

It must be remembered that although baptism is something we must do (like believing and repenting), baptism in Jesus name is an act of faith, not a “work.” ( Read Acts 2:37-42; Col 2:12;Acts 22:16). It must also be noted that the one at “work” when we are baptized is God, not us. See Colossians 2:12.

For Example: Just as we must report to the hospital before a surgeon can operate on us, so too, we must “report to God’ in the waters of baptism, submitting to God and claiming His promise so that our sins will be forgiven. Just as it is the surgeon who is the one who is at work when we are operated on, so too, it is God who is the one who is at work when we undergo baptism.

Baptism in Jesus name i is a once-in-a-lifetime event. It is part of our New birth (John 3:3-5). Baptism is not an on going process such as feeding the poor, or clothing the homeless or offering sacrifices as they did under the Old Covenant. Doing good deeds cannot earn us eternal life.

Baptism in Jesus name- is a manifestation of faith ( Mark 16;16; Acts 22:16; 19:2-5). It is not Man who is at work in baptism; it is God. Baptism is not a “work of righteousness.” On the contrary, if anything, it should be considered a work of Unrighteousness.

Remember. We are baptized in Jesus name because we are corrupt, unrighteous and spiritually dead in sin. This is why we are buried with HIM into DEATH as explained in Romans 6. It is the DEAD that are buried, not the living.

But God has always measured faith by our actions, as James 2:17-26 tells us:

Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself. But, someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith apart from works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe -- and shudder. But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith apart from works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Do you see how faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness, and he was called Friend of God. You see, then, that out of works is man declared righteous, and not out of faith only; And in like manner was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way? For as the body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Did you catch that? There are many who teach one is saved by “faith alone,” but there is only one place in the bible where the phrase “faith alone” is found—James 2:24. And it states very plainly we are NOT saved by faith alone!!! 
“You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.”

It is faith (or belief) that causes us to respond to God’s Word--the Gospel message. It is faith in God’s Word, that tells us Christ died in our place and rose again, that causes us to believe. It is our belief in God’s Word that causes us to turn from our sins and repent. It is our belief in God’s Word that causes us to go into the water in repentance for the purpose of having our sins forgiven and “washed away.” And it is in this manner that it can be said we are saved by faith. If we believe God’s Word about His salvation plan and respond accordingly, only then it can be said we are saved by our faith—because it is faith that acts as the catalyst to our response (repentance and baptism). If we do not believe, then we will not repent, nor will we go down into the water for the purpose of having our sins forgiven.

It must always be emphasized that baptism in Jesus name is an act in which God works, not Man. This happens through faith in God’s Word—Jesus. In Jesus name baptism we, the dead, are joined with Christ into His death. Then, being united with Him together in this death and burial, just as Christ arose from the dead, so too, He brings us up, still unified as one, with Him to resurrected life ( Col 2:12; Romans 6:3-5).

Those that have been misled into thinking baptism is a “work” and one only need say a prayer to be saved, must realize that baptism is no more a “work” than is saying the “sinner’s prayer” or “praying Jesus into your heart.”
Furthermore, it must be clarified what is meant by the term, “work”. And we must define the phrase-- “not saved by works” if we are going to debate it. Few would argue the work of the Calvary saves us. However, no work of ourselves can save us. Only the work of God can do that. So in the argument –“we are not saved by works…” it must be clarified that what is really meant is-- “we are not saved by works of ourselves”. But the Word of God does not ascribe baptism to that as being a work of man. The Scriptures credit baptism to that as being the work of God. Accordingly, we ARE saved by works—it’s just that the “work” isn’t ours; It’s the work of God!

READ Colossians 2:12:
And you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

REMEMBER! Again, baptism in Jesus name is not our work, it is His!
In speaking about marriage, Jesus said, “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let not man separate." –Matthew 19:6
So. Jesus sees marriage as something God does, not man. And so it is with baptism.Just as the Lord tells us it is God Himself who is the one who does the joining in marriage, so too, baptism is viewed in the same way. It is God who joins us with Christ in baptism. Just as marriage is a spiritual union between a man and a woman that God gets the credit for, so too, baptism is a spiritual union (between Christ and man) that God gets the credit for because it is God who does the joining.Ephesians 5:30-32 For we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church.And Christ frequently portrayed Himself as the Bridegroom. In the book of Revelation, the church is portrayed as the bride. This indeed, is profound.
Key Point To Remember!
• The Epistles (letters) are written to Christians, i.e., people who have already been baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3-5, 1Cor 12:13).
• The Epistles contain instructions to Christians and give instructions on how to remain in Christ and grow in Christ. The book of Acts gives examples of people who are not Christians becoming Christians. This is a great mistake many people make. They take instructions in the epistles on faith and apply them to conversion. But these verses do not relate to conversion, but to the converted.
• Once a person has been baptized into Christ, all the passages about faith and grace then apply.
• In other words, once a person has been baptized into Christ, it can be said their faith is what continues to maintain their salvation.

1Timothy 2:3-4-This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

God wants everyone to be saved and to know the truth. It is by God’s abundant mercy and grace that he provides us with a way out of the darkness. His salvation plan is available to every human being! His invitation is extended to everybody and it is by His grace that anyone gets an invitation at all. Yet even though His salvation is open to all, we must each, individually, respond to this invitation, to His grace, and to His call. We do this by believing, by repenting, by confessing our faith in Christ and by being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit ( Acts 2:38), so that our sins will be forgiven- Acts 22:16; 2:38!

According to both the Bible and history, the New Testament church invoked the name of Jesus at water baptism. Its baptismal formula was "in the name of Jesus Christ" or "Lord Jesus;' not "in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.' The Scriptural Record Every time the Bible records the name or formula associated with an actual baptism in the New Testament church, it was the name Jesus. All five such accounts occur in the Book of Acts, the history book of the Early Church. It records that the following people were baptized in Jesus' name.
• The Jews. "Then Peter said unto to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38).
• The Samaritans. "They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 8:16).
• The Gentiles. "And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord" (Acts 10:48). (The earliest Greek manuscripts say, "in the name of Jesus Christ," as do most versions today.)
• The disciples of John (rebaptized). "They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 19:5).
• The Apostle Paul. "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).
• Moreover, the Epistles contain a number of references or allusions to baptism in Jesus' name. See Romans 6:3-4; I Corinthians 1:13; 6:11; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12; James 2:17.

The only verse of Scripture that anyone could appeal to in support of a threefold baptismal formula is Matthew 28:19, in which Jesus commanded baptism "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:' The word name in this verse is singular, however, indicating that the phrase describes one supreme name by which the one God is revealed, not three names of three persons.

The apostles understood Christ's words as a description of His own name, for they fulfilled His command by baptizing in the name of Jesus. There is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4), and He has one supreme name today (Zechariah 14:9). Jesus is the incarnation of all the fulness of the Godhead (Colossians 2:9).

Jesus is the only saving name, the name in which we receive remission of sins, the highest name made known to us, and the name in which we are to say and do all things (Acts 4:12; 10:4-3; Philippians 2:9-11; Colossians 3:17). Thus the one supreme, saving name of Matthew 28:19 is Jesus. We are to fulfill the command of that verse as the Early Church did, by invoking the name of Jesus at baptism.
The Historical Record Respected historical sources verify that the early Christian church did not use a threefold baptismal formula but invoked the name of Jesus in baptism well into the second and third centuries.

• Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (1951), II, 384, 389: "The formula used was 'in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ' or some synonymous phrase; there is no evidence for the use of the trine name. . . . The earliest form, represented in the Acts, was simple immersion . . . in water, the use of the name of the Lord, and the laying on of hands. To these were added, at various times and places which cannot be safely identified, (a) the trine name (Justin), . . "
• Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible (1962), I, 351: "The evidence ...suggests that baptism in early Christianity was administered, not in the threefold name, but 'in the name of Jesus Christ' or 'in the name of the Lord Jesus'."
• Otto Heick, A History of Christian Thought (1965), I, 87: "At first baptism was administered in the name of Jesus, but gradually in the name of the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."
• Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible (1898), I, 24-1: "(One could conclude that) the original form of words was 'into the name of Jesus Christ' or 'the Lord Jesus: Baptism into the name of the Trinity was a later development."
• Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church (1947), page 58: The trinitarian baptismal formula . . . was displacing the older baptism in the name of Christ."
• The New Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia (1957), I, 435: "The New Testament knows only baptism in the name of Jesus . . . , which still occurs even in the second and third centuries."
• " Canney's Encyclopedia of Religions (1970), page 53: "Persons were baptized at first 'in the name of Jesus Christ' . . . or 'in the name of the Lord Jesus: . . . . Afterwards, with the development of the doctrine of the Trinity, they were baptized 'in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost'."
• Encyclopedia Bibilca (1899), I 4-73: "It is natural to conclude that baptism was administered in the earliest times 'in the name of Jesus Christ; or 'in the name of the Lord Jesus: . . . This view is confirmed by the fact that the earliest forms of the baptismal confession appear to have been single-not triple, as was the later creed."
• The Catholic Encyclopedia, II, 263: "The baptismal formula was changed from the name of Jesus Christ to the words Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by the Catholic Church in the second century."
Christians today should use the biblical baptismal formula as found in the New Testament. Everyone should be baptized by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.

Honest hearts, receive the truth! 
It is of utmost importance that water baptism be applied in the Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ( Galatians 3:27)!

"Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is NONE OTHER NAME under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
• '' Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For IN HIM DWELLETH ALL the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are COMPLETE IN HIM, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are ... BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead" (Col. 2:8-12).

The argument that we are saved before baptism IN JESUS NAME is NOTHING BUT a lie! It originates from the father of lies - THE DEVIL who was a murderer from the beginning and in whom is no truth.

You must make a choice between tradition (man-made doctrines) and truth (biblical apostles Doctrines)! 
Heaven or Hell? The Choice is Yours….!

• "YE ARE WASHED, ye are sanctified, ye are justified IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS, and by the Spirit of our God "(I Cor. 6:11). 
• "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, DO ALL IN THE NAME OF THE LORD 
JESUS" (Col. 3:17).
There is only ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, AND ONE BAPTISM (Eph. 4:5).

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” – Romans 8:1. How are we in Christ? Through baptism in Jesus name- READ- Gal 3:27 “ ..Baptized into Christ, have put on Christ..”

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