Being Saved........

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by BillyMac, Jan 12, 2004.

  1. BillyMac

    BillyMac
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    Can a person just say one day on their own, "I am not saved therefore I need Christ" and be saved???
    That is, can they decide on their own to believe in Him and be saved??? I mean REALLY saved.

    In another thread, LadyEagle brings a narrative about another who did just that in the thread, "What would you say to this woman?":

    Recently I have been reading on the website of Pastor Michael D. O'Neal where he discusses and teaches about the sinner's prayer. On one of his pages he states exhaustively that all that is needed is to BELIEVE on Jesus to be saved.

    The Sinner's Prayer
    by Michael D. O'Neal, 1994


    SOURCE

    If this is true then the woman that LadyEagle speaks about in her thread may indeed have decided on her own to become a Christian and been convinced that she had indeed encountered a saving grace experience.

    However, my father-in-law and I had a similar discussion several months ago, during which the point was made that the Holy Spirit has to move an individual to make that decision in order for it to be spiritually correct. It has to be a decision of the heart and not just one of the mind. Conviction of sins is a relevant part of the experience, therefore it had to have the substance of faith in order to be felt in the heart.

    Given my own deeply felt conversion, I'd have to conclude that the Holy Spirit DOES play a role in that experience. Or at least He did with me. (I say "with me" instead of "for me" as it took my willingness to accept His guidance.)

    As I ponder this question further, I appeal to members of this board: how important is the role of the Holy Spirit in that decision??? And what about the sinner's prayer that traditionally implores the unbeliever to ask Jesus into his heart without the urging to do so by the Holy Spirit of God???

    What say you???
     
  2. dianetavegia

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    There's head knowledge and heart knowledge.

    Scripture tells us that:
    Diane
     
  3. massdak

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    Recently I have been reading on the website of Pastor Michael D. O'Neal where he discusses and teaches about the sinner's prayer. On one of his pages he states exhaustively that all that is needed is to BELIEVE on Jesus to be saved.

    The Sinner's Prayer
    by Michael D. O'Neal, 1994


    SOURCE

    If this is true then the woman that LadyEagle speaks about in her thread may indeed have decided on her own to become a Christian and been convinced that she had indeed encountered a saving grace experience.

    However, my father-in-law and I had a similar discussion several months ago, during which the point was made that the Holy Spirit has to move an individual to make that decision in order for it to be spiritually correct. It has to be a decision of the heart and not just one of the mind. Conviction of sins is a relevant part of the experience, therefore it had to have the substance of faith in order to be felt in the heart.

    Given my own deeply felt conversion, I'd have to conclude that the Holy Spirit DOES play a role in that experience. Or at least He did with me. (I say "with me" instead of "for me" as it took my willingness to accept His guidance.)

    As I ponder this question further, I appeal to members of this board: how important is the role of the Holy Spirit in that decision??? And what about the sinner's prayer that traditionally implores the unbeliever to ask Jesus into his heart without the urging to do so by the Holy Spirit of God???

    What say you???
    </font>[/QUOTE]you have a good post and it is a very important issue, i agree that a person is not saved by a prayer but he is saved by trusting in Christ believing the gospel. i believe that it is the Holy Spirit that shows the person who Christ is, the scriptures tell us that no one can call Jesus Lord except by the Spirit.

    1Cr 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and [that] no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

    i have some sites on altar calls and sinners prayers regarding the modern invitation system i can post them if you want to read more of this
     
  4. BillyMac

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    Thank you massdak. If you think it would be appropriate to post them then please do.
     
  5. Karen

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    Dear mac,
    You ask some thoughtful questions.
    But I would say that some of the articles you have been reading are trying to make a fine point that does not exist.
    I am a member of an SBC church that has an altar call. Yet in almost half a century, I have NEVER personally heard an SBC minister imply IN ANY WAY that the recitation of a prayer or physically walking an aisle was what saves one.
    Faith and repentance. Salvation by grace through faith. That's what is taught.
    Yet the opposition that many seem to have against praying at the time of salvation confuses me. What's wrong with talking to God at that time?
    When you yourself became a Christian, did you really not have any overt commmunication (prayer) then with God? You just had thoughts to yourself? If those thoughts were God-directed in any way, they were prayer.

    Yes, the Holy Spirit is intimately involved. He calls sinners to repentance. He is God and He is essential.
    Yes, some people like the woman in question are either exceptionally confused, immature Christians or never were Christians at all. In either case, God will work on them.
    And even if this person is not an internet urban legend, it does not necessarily mean anything at all about Charles Stanley. Lots of people misunderstood the Lord Jesus, after all.

    Karen
     
  6. Servent

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    Karen very well said, I was saved about 6 years ago its was very diffrent I felt Gods tuging on my heart for a long time then one night while at work I just ask myself if there was really a God and in a second there was no tought in my mind I never walked an aile or said a prayer but I knew in in my heart there was a God and I have been serving Him ever since. ther is nothing wrong with an alter call, but is it neassary, I dont think so I know Im saved
     
  7. massdak

    massdak
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    karen i think you are over stating that a problem does not exist when it in fact does, according to the modern invitation system a pastor should only preach the gospel and then invite those he preached to only to believe trusting only in Christ. it is true God calls all sinners to repent and believe, but it is only those who He draws that He will save. many invitation systems are garnished with emotional and psychological enticements and coaxing for a response to walk forward that equates faith as their response to follow the procedures or sacraments of the churches protocol, this usually entails a personal worker that will ask questions and walk a person through the guideline of a prescribed or repeated prayer. This type of act is never equated like the conversions seen in the new testament. the same argument is used by those who defend the altar call as what the catholics use, they also say it is grace but they really believe something else.
    altar calls and sinners prayers should not be used as the means to reach God, a person should only be directed to Jesus they by the Sprit will naturally call out to the Lord to save them by faith inwhich Jesus is the author and finisher of.
     
  8. BillyMac

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    Hey Karen! Thanks for your response.

    To answer your question, as a young man when I was saved in 1963, I walked an aisle at a Spring revival of a Southern Baptist Church where I had been a "member" for a short time. Convicted by the Holy Spirit, I was full of guilt and remorse, and the experience was dynamic and memorable. Following a tearful contrite prayer, a burden was lifted from me and I was a changed person.

    My father-in-law however is an Independent Baptist. Comparing notes with him in the differences of our faiths as Christians makes for interesting conversations, and can be thought provoking. Too, I don't limit my reading to Southern Baptist material but do take an interest in the way that other faiths view the scriptures and how that view is adapted to their walks in Christ Jesus.

    During my years of indoctrination following my conversion, I was brought along to believe that we Southern Baptists possessed an exclusive truth when it came to salvation, a belief that many years hence I know to be false. Christiandom is full of true believers despite their denominational ties.
     
  9. LadyEagle

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    Diane stated it acurately, I believe. There is head knowledge and there is heart knowledge. I don't believe we can be saved unless the Holy Spirit is tugging at our hearts, convicting us of our need of a Savior. It is more than just repeating the sinner's prayer. It is more than emotionalism. It is more than walking an aisle (and I do believe there should be an Invitation at the close of a service). It is a relationship. And it is permanent. Praise God! [​IMG]
     
  10. Circuitrider

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    What about Titus 3:5, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Without the work of the Holy Spirit we cannot be saved. However, the Holy Spirit may be working behind the scenes in a person's life in a way that we cannot see and over a period of time. If someone decided to get saved and was truly born again, the Holy Spirit was the saving agent. [​IMG]
     
  11. massdak

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    you sound reformed in your theology, how would you describe your doctrine?
    by the way i agree with what you said
     
  12. David Mark

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    I don't limit anyone. But when I study that Scripture, I must give all the credit to God for the salvation of a man. To me, no man has the ability to claim any credit for his own salvation.

    I don't mind saying that I came to God or I repented of my sins or that I did anything right.

    But I must give the ultimate credit to God and say that he drew me to his Son, The Christ, The Savior and Lord.

    What do I have to boast about? That he drew me to his son? If it is a boast, it's a boast about God and his ways not mine.

    That is one of the reasons I like the song: Amazing Grace.

    Dave. [​IMG]
     

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