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Featured Have we turned the sinner's prayer into a sacrament???

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by lanman87, Jan 6, 2021.

  1. lanman87

    lanman87 Member

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    In the middles ages the Catholic church changed the definition of a sacrament to be something that gives grace instead of something the is a sign or signified a given grace. Which is one reason we Baptist use the word ordinance instead of sacrament. Because we see Baptism and the Lord's Supper as "an outward sign of an inner grace". It is our, (at least my) understanding that all grace comes through faith, not sacraments presided over by a priest or pastor. And that participation in the life of the church through prayer, study, worship, serving, giving, and the ordinances are means of grace only in that they grow and strengthen our faith. God changes who we are and that in turn changes what we do.

    But as I've read through some of the threads on this forum it occurred to me that perhaps we Baptist (and Evangelicals in general) have turned the Sinner's Prayer into a Sacrament. By this I mean we believe that "saying the sinner's prayer" has become the means of Salvation instead of a sign of Salvation. And maybe the goal of evangelism has become to get people to say the "sinner's prayer" instead of leading them to a deep and abiding faith in Christ.

    While we don't use the term sacrament, it seems to me that our usage of the sinner's prayer has become a sacrament of sorts. In that many see it as how we are saved instead of a sign of God's grace which has already worked to change our heart from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh.

    Thoughts????
     
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  2. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    What did Jesus Christ tell all sinners at the start of His earthly Ministry? "REPENT and BELIEVE in the Gospel" (Mark 1:15). What did He tell all sinners at the end of His earthly Ministry?, "and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem" (Luke 24:47). What did Peter tell those sinners who heard his Gospel Message in Acts 2? "Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (37-38). And again, " Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out" (3:19).
     
  3. lanman87

    lanman87 Member

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    Interesting reply, but it doesn't address the topic. Someone can say a sinner's prayer 1,000 times and never repent and someone can repent without ever saying the sinners prayer.
     
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  4. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    it must be from the heart, what the Apostle Paul calls, "godly sorrow" (2 Corinthians 7:10)
     
  5. lanman87

    lanman87 Member

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    To put it another way. Is the sinner's prayer How we are converted and express repentance or is it conversion and repentance why someone say's the sinner's prayer?
     
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  6. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    can a hell-bound sinner be saved without repentance from sins?
     
  7. lanman87

    lanman87 Member

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    That is a different topic. I'm asking specifically about the "sinner's prayer" in relation to salvation. It is "how we are saved" or is it a "result of having been saved".
     
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  8. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    that IS my question!"
     
  9. lanman87

    lanman87 Member

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    Okay, I'll this a different way. Is saying the Sinner's prayer how we "believe and repent" or is it a result of "believing and repenting"?
     
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  10. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    it all depends what the "sinners prayer" consists of?
     
  11. lanman87

    lanman87 Member

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    Please explain.
     
  12. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    what does the sinner have to pray in this "sinners prayer" that you mention?
     
  13. lanman87

    lanman87 Member

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    I don't know that the "have" to pray any particular words. But if you've been around evangelical Christianity for any length of time you've heard something like this:

    Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior.
     
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  14. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for your interesting view!

    If all a person needs to do is say the sinner's prayer, they are automatically saved, then yes, that turns of sinners prayer into the action on our part that obtains God's grace. This would be advocated by the Easy Believism advocates who believe is you profess belief in Christ you are "automatically" saved. It is of course, nonsense. We are saved when God alone places us spiritually into Christ. And God does that when He credits our faith as righteousness (or not). The people of Matthew 7 professed belief yet were not saved. The second and third soils of Matthew 13 professed belief yet were not saved.
     
  15. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    This is what I will change it to

    Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I repent of my sins (godly sorrow), and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior, AMEN!

    Simply, Biblical, and to the point!
     
  16. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    complete rubbish!
     
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  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Think that some do indeed look back at sau an altar call made one time as proof now saved, as something "magically" happened!
     
  18. lanman87

    lanman87 Member

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    Well you still haven't answered the question. Do people pray this prayer because they have already confessed and repented (in their hearts) or is praying this prayer how someone confesses/believe/repents?
     
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  19. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Think that many are raised to see it as second one!
     
  20. lanman87

    lanman87 Member

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    Me 2. Which is why I think it has become a Sacrament of sorts to us Evangelicals.
     
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