Thursday, February 28, 2013

What does it mean to "Receive Jesus"? How do I do this? Do I have to say the sinner's prayer? Should I "accept Jesus into my heart"?

If you have ever attended a church service or listened to a religious program, you have probably heard the speaker tell the audience they needed to "receive Jesus" to be saved.  Most churches teach you need to "receive Jesus", but differ on how this is done. Many churches teach that you have to say what is called "The Sinner's Prayer".

The so-called "Sinner's Prayer" usually sounds something like this:
Dear God,
Thank you for making a way for us to turn from the wrong things that we have done. I know I have done wrong things, but right now I want to look upon Jesus so that you will forgive me for the things I have done. Please let me receive Jesus into my heart. I want to live forever with God. Thank you for loving me.
In Jesus Name I Pray,
The "Sinner's Prayer" is NOT in the Bible.
Although the people who are saying the "Sinner's Prayer" are doing it with a sincere heart and are trying to do what is right, what they are doing does not result in receiving Jesus. In fact, the "Sinner's Prayer" or the idea of "Accepting Jesus into Your Heart" is not found in the Bible at all. The Bible Answer Show always wants to provide "Bible Answers" to questions. With this thought in mind we will examine what the Bible teaches about "How One Receives Jesus" and "Why We Need to Receive Him".

Why do I need to Receive Jesus?

Almost all religious people agree that mankind is plagued with a SIN problem. The only one who has never committed a SIN is Jesus Christ (Heb. 4:15). We, however, have sinned! (Rom. 3:23) "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". Our sins make us deserving of eternal spiritual death (Romans 6:23). Our sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2).

Since all have sinned, all need salvation. Because of our sins we deserved the punishment of death, but Jesus died for us so that if we "receive Him" we could have eternal life.

How do I Receive Jesus?
The passage in the Bible that mentions "receiving Jesus" is (Colossians 2:6-7).
"Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude".
The New Testament was originally written in Greek, and the Greek word for “received” is the  paralambano which means "to join oneself with" (Perschbacher Greek Lexicon). To "receive Jesus" is the same as being "joined with Jesus".

How is one Joined with Christ?
Galatians 3:27 answers this question, it states: “...for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ". The Bible teaches that when a person is baptized into Christ they "clothe" themselves with Christ. This would be the equivalent to joining yourself to, or "receiving" Jesus.

Why Baptism?

Getting dunked under water alone does nothing special. But when one acts in faith, placing their trust in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and is baptized, they:
  • Put on Christ (Gal. 3:27).
  • Get “into Christ” (Rom. 6:3-4)
  • Receive the “forgiveness of sins” (Acts 2:38).
  • This gets rid of the sin problem!
  • When one is baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:27, Rom. 6:3-4) they become partakers of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places that is only found “in Christ”.
    • (Eph. 1:3-14) Grace, redemption, forgiveness, inheritance, hope, the Holy Spirit and more are found "in Christ".
Everyone Can Receive Jesus!
  • When one truly believes in Jesus (John 8:24).
  • Repents of their sins (Luke 13:3,5).
  • Confesses the Lordship of Christ (Rom. 10:9-10)
  • Baptism then becomes that final point where one acts in faith and puts to death the old life, washes away sin, receives Christ and is born again. (Acts 2:38, 22:16, etc.)
What do I do After Receiving Jesus?
  • It is time to rejoice for your sins are forgiven and eternal life with God awaits you (Acts 8:39)
  • You are added to the Lord’s church (Acts 2:41,47)
  • You shall then live your life for Him. 
    • Serving Him daily (Rom. 12:1).
    • Worshipping and fellowshipping with other Christians (Heb. 10:25, 3:13).
    • Avoiding sin while walking in the light till you go on to your reward (1 John 1:7)
Please email us if you would like to learn more about receiving Jesus
By CS - Scripture references from the NASB and ESV. Quotes from Perschbacher Greek Lexicon