Many people believe that simply being sorry for our sin, and struggling against it is enough to merit God’s favor. Feeling bad about their sin and turning over a new leaf, they often struggle for years against their sins, trying desperately to win the victory against its power, to no avail. Repentance is not the same as being saved.
That is why the apostle Paul preached: “ … REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD, and FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.” Acts 20:21
Through the fall, man is spiritually dead, and his soul (the seat of his emotions and his will; the place of his decision making) now dwells within his decaying mortal body as a defenseless prisoner, controlled by its sinful desires. Though he would repent, his conscience recognizing and bearing record of his sin as an offense to God; he cannot perform that which he would choose. Though he might desire good, within himself he cannot overcome the sin that keeps him in bondage. Repentance simply cannot save him from his sins, nor pay the penalty they bring, for it cannot even free him from its power.
He finds that he must look outside himself for help to overcome his sin. In desperation he looks in faith to the sinless Savior, who alone can do for him what he could not do for himself. That is to save him from the power AND the penalty of sin; to free his soul from the bondage of sin within his flesh, and empower his soul’s decisions with the life giving, indwelling Spirit of God, enabling him to overcome the sins which once held him bound.
Romans 8:5 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
In our flesh, we cannot please God. Our repentance, although commanded cannot save us but is simply a willingness to turn to God and receive through faith the precious gift of salvation he offers through his son, Jesus Christ.
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;
John 16:8 “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”
The Holy Ghost convicts the world of sin and righteousness & judgment. You can preach the gospel all day long to someone without conviction and it will only be foolishness to them.
1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;”
-Why? Because just as only they that are sick need a Physician, only they that are convicted of their sin and God’s judgment upon them see their need for a Savior.
-How does the Holy Spirit bring conviction of these things? Through teaching of God’s righteous rule and reign and by the preaching of the law.
Romans 7:7 “ Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
Galatians 3:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
Proponents of Easy believism/Prayerism usually preach merely the gospel facts (the death, burial & resurrection of Christ). They generally assume that a clear presentation of this basic message is sufficient effort to warrant leading someone through a prayer.
In the book of Acts however, we read of Paul reasoning and disputing in the synagogue for days at a time. In chapter 17 we see him preaching to the men of Athens. He did not simply give an ABC’s or 123’s gospel message; he preached to them the true identity of God, who he is, his hand in creation & his personal relationship & availability to men. He preached God’s righteous judgment and the coming resurrection as well as the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Then when some said, “we will hear you again”, and clung to him, he continued preaching to them. As a matter of fact, NEVER did he lead anyone through a prayer or pronounce them saved, even if they WERE convicted. Instead he simply instructed those who believed to be baptized. Shouldn’t we do the same?
Most Fundamental bible believing Christians would immediately refute the Pope’s, or anyone else’s claims to pronounce salvation (or damnation) upon anyone. They would quickly cite: 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”
They would also insist that biblical salvation is not obtained by works done by men. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
They would be absolutely right on both accounts, and yet when it comes to evangelism, they themselves claim that same power, pronouncing salvation upon any who follow after their own prescribed works (praying a prayer). Subverting the Holy Spirit, they instead call upon the power of man’s will for salvation. Assuring the unsaved that a decision is the same as faith, they immediately lead them through the ritual prayer and pronounce salvation based upon such.
Christians, have we now become the mediators of salvation, to be initiated upon our own direction? Salvation is not of the WILL (a decision) but of faith.
John 1:13 “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Can we ever know who has true faith? How can we make that determination for someone else, and then suggest that a simple prayer is their initiation into Christianity?
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;”
No true salvation has ever been sealed by a prayer, but ONLY by the Holy Spirit of God.
2 Corinthians 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
Romans 8:9 “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
i invite your sincere questions and comments, and will do my best to answer according to God's word. While i do not claim to be without error; I will try to be as true to His word as I know.
is a Fundamental, Bible Believing Christian with a passion for His word and a desire to earnestly contend for the faith.