I Used To Believe In The Sinner’s Prayer…I Do Not Anymore…

Last year for Valentines I dived into how to receive salvation. It was kinda an expanded version of the “sinner’s prayer.” View Post: Here.

However, I think it is crucial to have a follow-up post. PLEASE NOTE: This is not my average length for my blog posts. With everything that gets covered in this post, I do not want to separate it. I understand this isn’t for everyone. 27% of this post is scripture. This is for those who are serious about Jesus, who are wanting answers about salvation. It’s not watered down. I tried to cover all the topics related to it. Salvation is SO MUCH MORE than the sinner’s prayer. 

Saying the sinner’s prayer and actually living for Jesus Christ are two different things.

The modern world has made the “heart” lukewarm. The world makes the heart a fuzzy place, an intuition, a feeling, what we decide… and that is NOT what scripture is referencing when scripture talks about the heart.

The Bible says(Paraphrase) “What is in your heart reflects your life, your spirit, and who you are on the outside.”

We don’t have to look or “feel” with our heart to know who we are “on the inside”.

  • what are we doing, looking at, & listening to
  • what are we thinking
  • what are we saying
  • what are we doing & thinking in secret that no one else knows

The heart is a place we store important things. It could be sin. It could be Jesus.

  • (NIV) Proverbs 3:01, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart.”
  • (NIV) Luke 6:45, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
  • (NIV) Luke 12:34, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

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What Believing In Our Heart ACTUALLY Means

Scripture doesn’t tell us to ask Jesus in our hearts, but it does say to fully believe Jesus in our hearts. When we fully believe something to be true, it’s evident in our life. It shows itself through our actions, what we speak, and even the way we think.

Those who believe in Jesus will take up their cross and LIVE LIKE JESUS! Saying words alone CANNOT do this. 

This doesn’t mean there aren’t genuine Christians who said the sinner’s prayer, I believe there absolutely are! But saying something is not the same as truly believing and acting on those words. True belief results in action and desire for Christ. We can’t stand still. WE WANT MORE OF JESUS!

  • (NIV) John 20:31, “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
  • (NIV) John 5:24, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”

To believe means to accept something as true. To believe is to hear God’s word, scripture, and trust it. This is why we must believe Jesus died for our sins and that God physically resurrected Him from the dead.

  • Thomas physically touched the holes in Jesus’ hands and pierced side (John 20:17)
  • (KJB) Luke 24:39, “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have.” (Jesus was not a spirit. His physical body was resurrected. That’s why He had an empty tomb.)

To fully believe in Jesus, in faith, this means we store His truth, we believe everything in the Bible to be true. We await Jesus coming back. When we store scripture in our hearts, that means we are outwardly acting on what scripture says.

  • We admit we are a sinner and need a Savior.
  • We will seek Jesus in prayer, worship, and scripture reading.
  • We believe He forgives us, and He helps us repent from sin.
  • We will confess sins to Jesus (Psalm 32:05, 1 John 1:09)
  • We will tell others about Him. (Matthew 10:32, Romans 10:09-10)
  • We will believe & say He is coming again in the flesh. (2 John 1:07)
  • We will fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • We reflect the actions and love of Christ to others and the world.

There is an outward cleansing that takes place, and I do not mean a physical baptismKeep reading, baptism is discussed. 

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Believing In Jesus Means Our Lives WILL Reflect Jesus 

When we believe in Christ, and desire Him, there is a death that takes place while we are still living. Death to sin. Through Jesus living in us, we are able to stop these behaviors and repent from sin. He conquered sin and death! We cannot do this on our own. We must rely on Christ and trust Him to help us!

  • (NLT) Romans 8:09, “But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to Him at all.)”
  • (NLT) Romans 12:02, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Jesus is the Author of faith. He helps us have faith in Him. We can die to our sins and repent because Jesus died for our sins. This process is called sanctification.

  • Cleansing of the eyes– stop reading and looking at things that encourage sin like lust, envy, gossip, cursing, etc. Getting rid of books, tv shows, YouTubers, etc.
  • Cleansing of the ears – stop listening to anything be it music, shows, or people that encourage sin. Cursing and speaking badly of others. Gossip. Meditation of self or ego. Taking God’s name in vain. Instead, we listen to what is good, wholesome, and gives God glory.
  • Cleansing of the mouth- this is the hardest for most people. Are we speaking badly of others or gossiping and sharing information we should not? Are we complaining? Are we taking God’s name in vain? Are we speaking unwholesome words? We need to speak what is encouraging, edifying, and glorifying to God. Out of our mouth reflects our heart, our true self, what we hold to. 
  • Cleansing of the hands– we may need to give up things or past times we used to really enjoy. Doing things just for our enticement. We need to reach out and focus on others more. Be productive with our time in a way that honors God.
  • Cleansing of the feet- are we going to places that do not glorify God? A strip club? Are we visiting friends that encourage sin? Are we fellowshipping with others? Are we going to places that glorify God?

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If We Do Not Accept Jesus We Are Still Cursed & Will Receive God’s Wrath

Salvation in Christ means our lives take on the sanctification process. The detachment to our flesh. Sin has placed a curse on the flesh, our spirit. If we do not have Christ, we are NOT a child of God, instead, we have the wrath of God upon us. Note: There is a level of accountability. Children, babies, and mentally handicapped who never knew right from wrong are not going to Hell if they die.

Let me say it again if you do not have Jesus as your Savior, YOU ARE NOT A CHILD OF GOD! You have a curse on your soul because of sin and if you choose to keep it God’s wrath is the consequence.

  • (NIV) John 3:26, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”
  • (NIV) Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  • (ESV) John 3:18, “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

As you see from above these changes CANNOT possibly happen as soon as one says “the sinner’s prayer.” Salvation is spoken of in all tenses. We were told of the Messiah, from the beginning. We accept Jesus’ sacrifice of salvation for us and then we run towards it.

(NIV) 1 Corinthians 9:25, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (Our life should reflect Jesus’ cleansing of our sins. The “strict training” is the dying to our flesh and pleasing ourselves, again, not through our own hands but the work of the Holy Spirit because of Jesus!)

(NIV) James 1:12, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (Loving Jesus means to serve Him, to deny ourselves.)

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Do We Earn Salvation Through Works Or Baptism?

These scriptures are not to be confused with works. We can do righteous acts on this earth and these actions will not give us salvation. We can only receive salvation through Jesus, what HE did on the cross for OUR sins, this is through belief, in faith. However, this also does not give us a right to keep sinning. The book of Romans Paul explains this perfectly in Ch. 6.

(BSB) Romans 6:01-04, “What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? 3Or aren’t you aware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4We therefore were buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life.”

The baptism talked about here is not a physical water baptism. Again, it is only through belief, in faith, that Jesus died for our sins and He resurrected that we can receive salvation.

Check out Acts Ch. 10. Peter is speaking to Gentiles about Jesus Christ, and they have not been baptized. But upon hearing, they believe AND receive the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues and exalting God. No one comes to the Father except through the Son. There is not ONE ACTION WE DO that gives us salvation. Soon afterward the Gentiles are baptized, but it’s clear people can receive the Holy Spirit without a water baptism. (Acts 10:44)

A water baptism is not a requirement to salvation but it is something every Christian should do! It’s not about being forced to have a water baptism rather WE GET TO DO IT! Jesus wants us to be baptized into His name, to outwardly proclaim to the world and Jesus that we are His servants. To outwardly show the spiritual baptism that takes place inside.

The baptism of Jesus Christ (not water) is a fire, a refinement that happens in our spirit because He became our sacrifice for sin. He atoned for what we cannot. His Spirit goes into us when we truly believe in Jesus and His words. 

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John the Baptist explained, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes One who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11)

When we see the Gentiles, in Acts Ch.10, speak in tongues this is only one way we see the Holy Spirit baptism. PLEASE NOTE: I’m not saying that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is ONLY speaking in tongues. 

There are ways to identify the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is what matters most in determining if someone has the Holy Spirit, not spiritual gifts! As Jesus tells us, we will know them by their FRUIT! He does not say we will know by spiritual gifts. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is nine things love, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, self-control, and patience. This fruit is more important than speaking in tongues. If we speak in tongues but do not have love it is meaningless. At some point, I’m not saying now, all spiritual gifts fade. Love does not, and the fruit of the Holy Spirit is ultimately love. (Matthew 7:19-20, 1 Corinthians 13:01-02 & 13:0408, Galatians 5:22-23)

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Some People Think They Are Too Late For Salvation

Some think they have blasphemed the Holy Spirit, which is a whole different topic on its own, but if people are concerned about committing it, more than likely you didn’t because you care. There is a hardening of the heart that takes place.

These are resources I highly recommend, as well as my own struggle with this fear that I had LAST YEAR! God broke me from fear.

Some people believe they have done too much sin in order for the Lord to accept them. Or some think Jesus could never love them, that salvation can’t possibly apply to them.

Please understand these are LIES from the enemy. Satan wants you to feel helpless. He wants you to fall into the trap of thinking, “I don’t deserve Christ.” My friend, NONE OF US deserve Jesus. That is why the gift of salvation comes from God. He showed us GRACE and MERCY! We do not deserve it. We can’t repay Him for what He went through and did for us. But He loves us that much. 

(NIV) Romans 3:22-24, “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

(NIV) Ephesians 1:07, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

(NLT) Ephesians 2:08, “God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”

(NIV) John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

(NLT) John 10:11, ““I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices His life for the sheep.”

Jesus loves you. He wants to cleanse you. He made a way so His Spirit can interact with your own. You just need to accept Him, His truth and seek Him, asking for forgiveness, confess with your mouth the sins you’ve done, and confess that Jesus is LORD. Repent. Talk to Him, and talk to other believers. Don’t worry about not having an “epiphany” moment. This isn’t about getting a ticket for Heaven. This is about knowing the Savior who died for you! 

I recommend the book of Romans for those not familiar with the Bible. A lot of people recommend the Gospel of Luke for new believers or those wanting to know more about Jesus’ story.

For more information on Christian Topics, you can check out my Believer Handbook page. I have a ton of posts organized that cover all sorts of things for new or seasoned believers!

Monthly Scripture- (NKJ) Psalm 85:02, “You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin. Selah.” 

Community Prayer Requests | February ’20– Join us in requesting prayer, praying for each other and lifting each other up. 

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22 thoughts on “I Used To Believe In The Sinner’s Prayer…I Do Not Anymore…

  1. I agree. I have a question though. What about people who seem genuinely unselfish, caring, do all kinds of really amazing selfless things throughout their live, even from childhood, give away money, volunteer, consistently thoughtful, kind, never care about their own needs, etc, BUT never mention any faith in God, go to church,or maybe if asked, might say they never had any religious beliefs, or something polite about it. How can those people be so LOVING in word and deed, but not have faith?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There are people who thrive on works. I’ve seen loving people on the outside struggle with seeds of bitterness on the inside. Or the seed of pride, that being good enough and doing good enough is enough. It isn’t. It may not be spoken or known because their focus is on others, but God knows. He looks at the heart. Like Christ said, the outside may appear clean but the inside is not washed.

      These people may struggle with lust,lingering anger, take God’s name in name, etc. These are all things that are sin. All fall short, and doing works alone is not enough. We have to admit we aren’t enough. We need Jesus. Some who appear loving do it purely for the praise of men, not saying all do.

      All the more reason we shine Jesus and we encourage others to be vocal about Him. 💗💗💗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was thinking that maybe these people just never have any reason to turn to God because they are so ‘self-sufficient’. And if they come from families that are like that, they don’t know any different. We have to get the gospel out to the people that are doing WELL and HAPPY, not just the ones who are struggling.

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  2. Great post sister. The heart is where salvation takes place. Some people say good things but their hearts are far from God. Yet, our words are important. Romans 10:10 says “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
    Something also happens with confession. Otherwise, the Bible would not tell us to declare salvation with our mouth. ♥️

    Liked by 2 people

      1. 🙂 Definitely, and I hope people read why words by themselves mean nothing. But words with belief, in faith that comes from Jesus, that’s powerful. Like I shared, our mouth reflects what’s in our heart, and I hope by sharing more scripture people can see that. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I added some additions, and I included scripture reference, including the one you shared. 🙂

      “We will confess sins to Jesus (Psalm 32:05, 1 John 1:09)
      We will tell others about Him. (Matthew 10:32, Romans 10:09-10)
      We will believe & say He is coming again in the flesh. (2 John 1:07)”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s this tension between salvation by faith in Christ alone, and the Biblical truth that real faith in Jesus influences a change in behavior.

    We’ll never do enough to save ourselves, but our actions can point to the fruit of saving faith. Thankfully God alone know the motives and substance of each person in totality. God is the only righteous judge worthy to sit on the throne.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. On the other hand, God works in all kinds of ways, at different rates of speed in different people, and on different issues at different times. There is no one-size-fits-all Christian life.

    “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6

    “May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely, and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

    Not saying Christians don’t need to make the effort to make good and right choices. But it also does not do to forget that God is love, and sent not the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved, and that nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, so I think we are also justified in not being too anxious about our grades as we go about making that effort.

    Liked by 1 person

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