It is with pleasure that I send greetings to you once again in the exalted and resplendent name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
I feel compelled to address the growing Protestant phenomenon known as the Sinner’s Prayer. However, let me deal with first things first. My first responsibility is to present you with a notion of the Sinner’s Prayer. The Sinner’s Prayer, sometimes referred to as the Consecration Prayer or Salvation Prayer, takes various forms as practised by some Protestant denominations. Here is a shortened version of how it works: a person become convicted and desires to surrender his or her life to the Lord. This desire is conveyed to the Pastor or a Minister. The person who is under conviction is then asked to repeat what is referred to as the Sinner’s Prayer, and then declared as being born again. It is like administering an oath. The prayer takes various forms, some of which reference biblical verses, and are used to disguise and mask the deception of this fallacy.
Some of the scripture verses used to legitimise this practice of deceiving those sincere souls are Romans 10: 10 – 11 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” The purveyors of this false salvation doctrine also use Acts 2: 21 to justify and validate administration of the Sinner’s Prayer for salvation. To see the common thread in their fallacious argument, look at Acts 16: 31, which states, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” I am sure you can see the sleight of hand, the craftiness and erroneous emphasis on believe and saved as the only requirement for salvation.
Then, there are those versions of the Sinner’s Prayer which are written by proponents of this false teaching. The common theme in the many versions of the Sinner’s Prayer is verbalizing a belief in God and asking His forgiveness of sins. Yes, proponents of this fallacious doctrine argue that announcing one’s belief in God and asking His forgiveness are the only requirements for salvation. Even worst, some of them: pastors of small, medium and mega churches proclaim that after saying the Sinner’s Prayer, the individual is filled with the Holy Ghost.
Is the Sinner’s Prayer Biblical?
After careful review of the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, there is not even an implicit support for the doctrine of salvation by repeating the Sinner’s Prayer. In St. John 3, Jesus had an informative discourse with Nicodemus. I will presume we know who Nicodemus was. In the discourse, Jesus gave the fundamentals for salvation. In verses 3-5 of John 3, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” There is absolutely nothing in the passage to indicates salvation through repeating a Sinner’s Prayers.
The forgone passage corroborates Acts chapter 2. A careful read of the entire chapter will reveal that the use of verse 21 of the chapter, by proponents of salvation by repeating Sinner’s Prayer is a gross misuse of the Word of God. In Act 2: 37, Peter was asked a crucial question regarding the requirement for salvation. In the following verse; verse 38; he gave a clear and concise response. He said, “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.” Again, I cannot detect or infer anything that remotely resembles salvation by or through the Sinner’s Prayer.
Very quickly, let us also look at Acts 22: 16, which states, “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” What is your conclusion?
The use of biblical passages to legitimize the Sinner’s Prayer is baseless and disingenuous. The notion of “believe and thou shall be saved,” is founded on the fact that salvation is through Jesus Christ. Therefore, true belief in Jesus will lead one to genuine repentance of sin and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Finally there is the glorious baptism or infilling of the Holy Ghost. As a cautionary note, let me add that remission (removal) of sin can only be accomplished through baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. I am feel confident that this blog will help to clarify any doubts or questions that might linger in your mind about the process of giving your life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, I say to you, the only way to salvation is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, repent of your sinful ways, baptize in the name of Jesus Christ and be filled with the Holy Ghost. This is what the Apostles taught and did. There is no other biblical principle for salvation. God bless you.