The Sinner’s Prayer

The Sinner’s Prayer

By: Mike Scott

Q. I hear certain T.V. evangelists encourage people to pray the “sinners prayer” and receive salvation. Is there anything like the “sinners prayer” taught in the New Testament?

NO! There is nothing in the New Testament anything like the so called “sinners prayer” often encouraged by those who believe that salvation comes by faith only.
Prayer is the blessed communication between a child of God and his heavenly father, based on the mediatorship of Jesus Christ. It is for those who are already in the right relationship to the Father.

Isaiah 59:2 (NASB)
“But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”

This verse demonstrates our problem. If our sins have caused a separation between us and God, how will He hear our prayer for forgiveness? We must demonstrate our sincere desire for forgiveness by obedience to his commands.

I Pet. 3:21 (NASB)
“Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you–not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience–through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…”

What we must have when we commune with God in prayer, if we expect an answer, is a clear conscience. The Scriptures are clear, we must obey God in order to have a clear conscience and to receive forgiveness.

Romans 6:16 – 18 (NASB)
16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Paul tells us the truth of our relationship to God before forgiveness. We are slaves to sin. In order to be right with God we must be obedient. When we obey, we receive forgiveness.

ROMANS 6:1-7 (NASB)
1 ¶ What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,
6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;
7 for he who has died is freed from sin.

Acts 22:16(NASB)
“’Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’”

Acts 2:38(NASB)
“Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
“’Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

Here then are the requirements for salvation according to the Scriptures:

1) One must believe in Jesus:
John 8:24

2) One must repent of his sins:

Acts 2:38(NASB)
“Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

3) One must confess Christ:

Romans 10:9-10 (NASB)
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

4) One must be immersed for the forgiveness of sins:

Mark 16:16
“He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.”

Acts 2:38(NASB)
“Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

5) One must walk in newness of life (having put away sin) and continue in faithful obedience:

Romans 6:4
“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

Revelation 2:10
“’Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

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