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Lesson 7: More Salvation Questions

Why Do We?  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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1) Why do we reject that people are saved by faith alone?

Sinner's Prayer - Recognizing the NeedThe "Sinner's Prayer" is a term that describes the words spoken by a person when he or she has recognized their sin and their need for a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It goes something like this:  “Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.”
Because the Bible plainly states that faith alone doesn't save a person. (, , )
James 2:14 ESV
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?
James 2:19 ESV
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
James 2:26 ESV
For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
Supposed Bible verses support it: ; , ;Some examples: http://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/prayers/the-sinners-prayer-4-examples.html It is false evangelismThe same website above had a survey question near the end asking, "Did you become a follower of Jesus today? Click YES or NO"For the less honest, makes it easy to "convert" a large crowd at the same time. Sinner's prayer ignores what the Bible plainly says elsewhere (consider Lesson 6)The Bible doesn't contradict itself—It is intended to be taken as a whole body of teaching.Places baptism AFTER forgiveness—a place the Bible never puts baptism! No New Testament example of conversion by prayer.Even Paul wasn't forgiven of his sins on the road to Damascus, nor after fasting three days and nights (cf. 9:9, 11).Paul was baptized for the forgiveness of his sins (; ) Prayer for forgiveness is reserved for those who have already been baptized, and have entered the covenant relationship with Christ.Consider -10This isn't a passage about becoming a Christian—it is written to those who are ALREADY Christians, and what they are supposed to do if they sin. So what does it mean to "call on the name of the Lord?"—Whoever "calls on the name of the Lord" will be saved...—Yet, the people there ask, "What shall we do?"—Peter didn't answer, "Well, I've already told you! Call on the name of the Lord!" He told them to repent and be baptizedActs 22:16—Ananias told Paul the same thing; Note the phrase here, "calling on the name of the Lord"Calling on the name of the Lord is repentance and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Long term, it often leads to insecurity about a person's salvation.[look up story from book, "Stop asking Jesus into your heart"]Baptism itself provides (as a side effect) a point in time which a person can look back to and know that they were saved/forgiven/added to the church.
Works of obedience (as a result of faith) are a part of God's plan. (; ; )
Ephesians 2:8–10 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Philippians 2:12–13 ESV
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Titus 2:11–14 ESV
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
Works don't save by themselves; But neither does faith!
Saved by grace through faith, which leads to works that demonstrate that faith.
*Note: Baptism is NOT a work.

2) Why do we believe works are a part of a person's salvation?

The Bible connects grace, faith, and works together.
This subject isn't actually as confusing as many would make it to be. What's difficult is "unlearning" the error that is popularly taught. The truth actually makes more sense!
Write down the following passages:
, ,
James 2:14 ESV
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?
James 2:19 ESV
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
James 2:26 ESV
For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
Ephesians 2:8–10 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Philippians 2:12–13 ESV
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Titus 2:11–14 ESV
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
Works themselves don't cause salvation. (Though this is what we are often accused of believing)
Consider
Ephesians 2:8–10 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Grace is accepted through faith. No faith, no salvation.
Salvation is not a result of works. Works are a result of faith.
(Look at things in reverse)
No faith, no works—no works, no faith—no faith, no grace.

3) Why do we reject the "sinner's prayer?"

Similar to this: "Asking Jesus into your heart," "Accepting Christ"
Often find this being used in movies, like the climactic scene of God's Not Dead.
Sometimes see it at funeral services—there's a sort of "altar call" where everyone bows their heads, then whoever "got saved" raises their hand. (Sometimes deceit involved on the part of the preacher in these situations—Delbert's story).
From Website "www.allaboutgod.com"
Sinner's Prayer - Recognizing the Need
The "Sinner's Prayer" is a term that describes the words spoken by a person when he or she has recognized their sin and their need for a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It goes something like this:
“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.”
Supposed Bible verses support it: ; ; , ;
Psalm 51 ESV
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Acts 2:21 ESV
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Romans 10:9–10 ESV
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Romans 10:13 ESV
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Some examples: http://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/prayers/the-sinners-prayer-4-examples.html
It is false evangelism.
The same website above had a survey question near the end asking, "Did you become a follower of Jesus today? Click YES or NO"
For the less honest, makes it easy to "convert" a large crowd at the same time.
1) Sinner's prayer ignores what the Bible plainly says elsewhere.
The Bible doesn't contradict itself—It is intended to be taken as a whole body of teaching.
Places baptism AFTER forgiveness—a place the Bible never puts baptism!
2) There are no New Testament examples of conversion by prayer.
Even Paul wasn't forgiven of his sins on the road to Damascus, nor after fasting three days and nights (cf. 9:9, 11).
Paul was baptized for the forgiveness of his sins (; )
Acts 9:18 ESV
And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized;
Acts 22:12–16 ESV
“And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him. And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’
3) Prayer for forgiveness is reserved for those who have already been baptized, and have entered the covenant relationship with Christ.
Consider
1 John 1:5–10 ESV
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
This isn't a passage about becoming a Christian—it is written to those who are ALREADY Christians, and what they are supposed to do if they sin.
4) Long term, it often leads to insecurity about a person's salvation.
[look up story from book, "Stop asking Jesus into your heart"]
Baptism itself provides (as a side effect) a point in time which a person can look back to and know that they were saved/forgiven/added to the church.

So what does it mean to "call on the name of the Lord?"

—Whoever "calls on the name of the Lord" will be saved...
Acts 2:21 ESV
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
—Yet, the people there ask, "What shall we do?"
Acts 2:37 ESV
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?”
—Peter didn't answer, "Well, I've already told you! Call on the name of the Lord!" He told them to repent and be baptized
Acts 2:38–39 ESV
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. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
—Ananias told Paul the same thing; Note the phrase here, "calling on the name of the Lord"
Acts 22:16 ESV
And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’
Calling on the name of the Lord includes not just confession, but repentance and baptism.
[look up story from book, "Stop asking Jesus into your heart"]
Baptism itself provides (as a side effect) a point in time which a person can look back to and know that they were saved/forgiven/added to the church.
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