Stuff Christian Culture Likes

Stuff Christian Culture Likes


#166 The Sinner’s Prayer

posted by Stephanie Drury

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The sinner’s prayer is an assortment of confessions that Christian culture deems necessary for salvation. Not to be confused with the Lord’s Prayer, the Sinner’s Prayer is not found in the Bible.

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The sinner’s prayer is Christian culture’s litmus test for salvation. “Have you prayed the Sinner’s Prayer?” is the ultimate question for those unsure of their eternal repository. If death is imminent, this is the type of prayer an evangelical would guide you through. In this sense it is like the Catholics’ last rites, but an evangelical wouldn’t cop to this. We’ve already discussed how they feel about Catholics (see here).



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Annette

posted June 28, 2010 at 7:10 pm


This concept was the bane of my youth. I never felt like it “took.” I never felt properly spiritual after the prayer, so my whole childhood and adolescence was lived in the mortal fear of the Rapture. Thank goodness I no longer believe in that. Or in a sinner’s prayer. ECUSA all the way!
P.S. My captcha is “again lukewarm”. How does it DO that??



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Steve D

posted June 28, 2010 at 9:06 pm


The “Sinner’s Prayer” is the closest thing in the Evangelical World(tm) to a Harry Potter incantation. Speak this prayer and all of your sins will be forgiven, all of your problems will disappear, and you will escape the fires of Hell forever. The problem that I have is that I’m never sure if the person praying that prayer is doing so with their fingers crossed.
congressmen tripped



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Joel Bradshaw

posted June 28, 2010 at 11:02 pm


For best results, combine the “Sinner’s Prayer” with irrevocable salvation (“once saved, always saved”). That way, that bedside conversion at four? You’re set for life.
Well, except for blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. But don’t worry! You can eliminate even that, because the Bible doesn’t say squat about whta it actually is, so we can just say that you’ll know if you’re blaspheming the Holy Spirit, because it’s very intentional, and is pretty much limited to outright Satan worship.
This was my experience growing up. Salvation is one of the few things I did question in my younger years, so these were the answers I was given. But in my experience (yes, I did have a bedside conversion at four, and then the extra baptism bonus round in my tweens), this theology fell apart when I started “falling away from” (read: taking seriously and therefore questioning) my faith. My mother (who told me these things, I’m pretty sure) now is very worried that I’m going to Hell, or at least that I don’t love Jesus anymore. Which, if you think about it, doesn’t make much sense.
Unless that theology is just bluster and pat answers, to avoid actually having to deal with the holes inherent in the saved-only-by-faith model. Which it is.



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Jonathan Charlie Chang

posted June 29, 2010 at 9:44 am


I love this post and something I’ve thought about a lot. It’s funny because when you read the stories of the disciples you never once see them pray this systematic prayer. If anything, to me, salvation doesn’t seem like a “do this, then you’re saved” formula, it’s more of a lifetime thing. There wasn’t any specific moment where I can look at the disciples and say, “Yes that’s when they got saved.” I always ask myself, when did they get saved? Was it when they simply decided to follow Jesus in his ministry? When?
We humans always like to put formulas and systems on things, even God. But I’m always enjoying how God breaks our thinking and is constantly surprising us.
nicodemusatnite.blogspot.com



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Meghan

posted June 29, 2010 at 10:35 am


Steve D- except that in Harry Potter, the author is clear to illustrate that even magic doesn’t make all of your problems go away. :)
Joel- my experiences almost exactly. My parents are desperate to evangelize and to be “certain” of not only their own but also their children’s salvation, and my adolescent and adult sojourns away from “acquiring the fire” and toward doubt and hope (to me, the two are inextricable) have really freaked them out. Whenever I visit their church with them while I’m visiting home, now, their friends at church always give me that “here comes the prodigal!” look and tell me how they’ve been praying that I would show up someday. Good grief.
LOL@ captcha: politely rapports.



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Tari

posted June 29, 2010 at 11:53 am


I’ve been thinking about this prayer a lot in the past few weeks, because I’m a newly minted Orthodox who decided based on who-knows-what-kind-of-brain-blip to send her kids to evangelical sleepaway camp. In the South. I was convinced that my kids would have the obligatory “come to Jesus” moment in which they were pressured to pray this prayer, and I was twitching with uncomfortable feelings on how to handle that.
Instead, they came home from camp with completely different stories. In fact, when my 5th grader had his sit-down with his counselor on the last day, the first words out of the counselor’s mouth to him were “please tell me more about Orthodoxy. I really want to know.” Wowza.



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Rollo Tomassi

posted June 29, 2010 at 12:13 pm


As Steph is always wont to point out, Evangelicals like easy, binary answers – on, off, black, white, right, wrong, etc. Ambiguity, grey areas and any spiritual heavy lifting is uncomfortable. Salvation and genuine belief, being personal in nature, are not one of these easy absolutes, but immature faith need affirmations from others so a line of delineation has to be established.
Alter call, sinners prayer, public declaration of faith (add testimony to taste) and bam! the church numbers (see pastor’s score card) goes up one tick. “100 people came to Christ at revival camp this weekend, praise God!” No, 100 people mouthed the words you think are necessary to delineate ‘saved’ from ‘unsaved’.



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Billy

posted June 29, 2010 at 12:39 pm


Like I’ve said before, the more mature in your faith you become, the more grey areas you will have. I never have really understood the sinners prayer. Salvation has to do with the heart. I’ve just looked at it as a symbolic matter; maybe like just hearing your self say it. Kind of like baptism, symbolic. However, Jesus did command that one be baptized. However, as with the man on the cross next to Jesus; while he was hanging there dying, Jesus assured him that he would be with him in paradise.
I’ve tried to eliminate secondary issues in my life and stick with the primaries. Virgin birth, son of God, died and rose again, salvation only through Him, etc. The rest are important, yet debatable; but not really beneficial when it leads to arguments.



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toosensitiveboy

posted June 29, 2010 at 2:13 pm


I thought salvation came from grace. This prayer then is only a narcissisitic boasting of your salvation.



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Phree Thinka

posted June 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm


Joel- blaspheming the HS from my understanding, is when you call God a liar. Of course church doctrine spouted/shouted from the 501c3 church will brow beat you into this thought: if you question any parts of scripture in the OT or NT, you are blaspheming the HS. i have a couple questions about specific scriptures and when i raise these questions that i grapple with, i’ve been scolded by many a christian elder/pastor/family member, these spiritual giants in my life tell me i am wrapped up in “hersey”….and so the definition of Hersey:
her·e·sy? ?/?h?r?si/ [her-uh-see] –noun, plural -sies.
1. opinion or doctrine at variance with the orthodox or accepted doctrine, esp. of a church or religious system.
2. the maintaining of such an opinion or doctrine.
3. Roman Catholic Church . the willful and persistent rejection of any article of faith by a baptized member of the church.
4. any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs, customs, etc.
My husband and i started to celebrate God’s holy day – you know, Saturday, the Sabbath because the bible tells us that’s the day God rested and claimed holy. Additionally, it’s on the top ten commands. if you look up who switched the sabbath it’s a tie between Constantine and the Roman Catholics. Both are claiming stake to the change in the holy day. i like the way this website articulates this position and other perspectives on authentic christianity:
http://toolong.com/pages/remember_sabbath.htm
Bascially in a nutshell, the way we read scriptures we see that Christ honored every Sabbath and so did His posse. We want to honor the elements JC honors…for much of my life we have been kept from jewish celebrations – 501c3 activities only. We started to celebrate the simplest of God’s parties (Channukah, sabbath, etc.) and we are now called blaspheming heretics…and shunned. it’s sad, not for me, but for everyone standing in judgement of the way we want to follow in our Abba Father’s footsteps.



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Tony D.

posted June 29, 2010 at 7:12 pm


I can’t tell you how many times I repeated this slogan (please don’t call it a “prayer”), or something like it, in my atheist-watching-TBN days. Ah, we had fun…
(Captcha: sneaking in)



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Phree Thinka

posted June 29, 2010 at 10:32 pm


p.s. i lost count how many times i have repeated this slogan…it’s more than just words, it’s living a lifestyle that is pleasing to God. This would mean having the alacrity to seek and be lead by the Holy Spirit in truth and love.



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AdmNaismith

posted June 30, 2010 at 11:19 am


This is my BIG problem with Christianity, and Evangelical varieties in particular.
Do what you want no matter how many people it hurts (up to and including rape, murder, international banking), say a few magic words and Jesus apparently doesn’t care about your path of destruction here on Earth.
The really sick corollary on that is that no matter what you say or do, if you invoke ‘Jesus’ in some way, no one will cross you (at least here in the USA).
‘Jesus understands why I stole that money and cheated on my wife.’
And there are people who just eat it up- ‘Oh, he said “Jesus”, I believe every word he says. He won’t steal money or have meth-fueled extramarital gay sex again!’
It seems that invoking Jesus in American society makes you immune to any questions of faith or propriety, no matter what your actions.
I firmly believe in a life of good works toward other people and the world around us well, over magic spells like this.



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Billy

posted June 30, 2010 at 5:01 pm


I’ve never heard anyone say “Jesus understands why I cheated on my wife.” If so, they’re deceived. As far as Murderers, rapists, etc. invoking the name of Jesus and everything is ok…. that’s why it’s called grace. Asking Jesus to forgive you is one thing, living a lifestyle that is proof of that life change is another.



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stephanie drury

posted June 30, 2010 at 5:47 pm


I’m pretty sure Jesus understands why people cheat on their spouses, and why they commit any sin.Was it Augustine or Chesterton who said “Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God”? If you meant that Jesus doesn’t mind sin, that can’t be true either, or else he wouldn’t have had to give his life to save us from it. Anyone who truly repents doesn’t believe that God will look the other way, they feel broken and helpless because of their sin.



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John M.

posted June 30, 2010 at 8:22 pm


If Jesus can turn to a thief, dying on a cross, and tell him he’s going to be in paradise with him, for practically doing nothing, how much more grace would he chose to show those you even make some moderate attempt at living a good life in his name?
Christian culture has muddied the waters with their outright opinions, but its a lot less complicated then they have made it, and that is biblical. The ten commandments, were written in the context of Jewish culture post exodus, if you want to follow just those, it would be out of context of all of their societal rules. I feel that societal rules can inhibit some really good works. Faith without works is dead.



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Tari

posted July 1, 2010 at 10:46 am


Steph, I think you’re completely right by saying “Anyone who truly repents doesn’t believe that God will look the other way, they feel broken and helpless because of their sin.” but I think AdmNaismith makes a great point about how Christian culture often overreacts to a token form of repentence – especially when there’s no real evidence of true repentence behind it.
The example I’m thinking of: a few months back a infamous plaintiff’s attorney here in town killed himself (and his employee) in a car accident – from all accounts the accident was 100% down to his own recklessness. He was known for many years as someone who no one would call a “Christian”, nor would he have claimed that name for himself. He skated close to the law many times, fought off disbarment – all things that very successful plaintiff’s attorneys seen to do with regularity. But since he’d “repented” to a very successful mega-church pastor some time before his death, he was sent off with a huge funeral at said-megachurch, with the pastor waxing sentimental on how he was now in Heaven, enjoying the home and family he’d never known. So a tearful repentance + a big check insured that he was sent out of this world proclaimed as a wonderful, Godly man. Oh my aching skull!



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Ben

posted July 9, 2010 at 8:13 pm


Adm, if you believe living a life like that will get you into heaven and close to God – then you are taking the power of God out of the situation. It’s nothing YOU can do. How arrogant can we be to think we can earn anything from God?! While there are no magical words, if someone truly repents in their hearts and believes Jesus is who the Bible says he is, prayer or no prayer, they are Christians. Only God can without a doubt know who is Christian and who isn’t: but the fruits of their life afterward are a strong litmus. as john said above, faith without works is dead.



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Jonathan CHM

posted July 28, 2010 at 9:15 pm


Is it true to say that a person who truly repents in their hearts could earn a way to salvation?
Examples to prove that not all the people, that proclaim to believe in Jesus, will automatically be granted with the Holy Spirit:
1) Acts 19:1-2, “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” The phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed, in Acts 19:1-2 implies that not all the people, that believe in Jesus, would automatically be granted with the Holy Spirit or else it would not justifiable for Acts 19:1-2 to enquire whether these people had received the Holy Spirit at the time of their believes with the assumption that the Holy Spirit would automatically be granted at the time when they began to believe.
2) Acts 8:14-17, “…Samaria HAD RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD,….when they were come down, PRAYED FOR THEM, THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.). Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” As the phrase, received the word of God, is mentioned in Acts 8:14-17 with the phrase, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, it implies that believing in Jesus does not imply a person would receive the Holy Spirit automatically unless requesting it.
3) Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” The phrase, every one that saith unto me Lord Lord, in Matthew 7:21 refers undoubtedly to those people that believe in Jesus since they call Jesus to be their Lord. Would these believers be accepted by the Lord? No, they will not be accepted by the Lord since Matthew 7:23, “(mentions that) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” As these people, that call Jesus as Lord, could be rejected by Him in the last days, it implies that not all, that believe in Jesus to be their Lord, are Christians.
Is it irrational to use Matthew 7:21-23 to jump into conclusion that Christians would lose salvation since 1 Corinth 3:12 opposes it? The following is the extract:
1 Corinthians 3:12-15, “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. IF ANY MAN’S WORK SHALL BE BURNED, HE SHALL SUFFER LOSS: BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; yet so as by fire.”
As proved above that Matthew 7:21 should not be applicable to backsliders since Christians would never lose their salvation, the only possible reason to think of and that is those people that are mentioned in Matthew 7:21 that proclaim Jesus to be Lord are not Christians at all.
The same is supported in Luke 13:24-25 that many believe in Jesus and yet not many are saved. The following is the extract:
Luke 13:24-25, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: FOR MANY, I say unto you, WILL SEEK TO ENTER IN, AND SHALL NOT BE ABLE. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I KNOW YOU NOT WHENCE YE ARE:” The same is mentioned in Matthew 22:14, “(that) For many are called, but few [are] chosen.”
Some Christians might use the two criminals that hung on the cross as an excuse for not requesting the receipt of the Holy Spirit. They have to bear in mind that Jesus had not resurrected yet at that time and the criminals did confess that they were sinners too. Besides, one of the criminals did not reject when Jesus called him to follow Him to be with Him in the paradise. Do you find this to be his acceptance of Jesus for his confession when he agreed to be with the Lord to be in the paradise without opposing Him?
Bear in mind that Romans 8:9, “(mentions that)…if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” As the phrase, any man have not the Spirit of Christ, is mentioned in Romans 8:9 with the phrase, he is none of his, it implies that those people, that do not have the Holy Spirit/Jesus Christ with them, are not considered to be Christians at all.



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Jonathan CHM

posted July 28, 2010 at 9:24 pm


Why should a non-christian pray sinner’s prayer? The reason is simply that he could confess his sin before God for his expression of sin so as to seek God’s forgiveness. Not only that, he could acknowledge the resurrection of Jesus and to request earnestly for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in his body.



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stephanie drury

posted July 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm


That’s the point of the post, Jonathan – just saying the words of the Sinner’s Prayer doesn’t automatically mean someone is truly confessing or acknowledging anything.



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Jonathan CHM

posted July 29, 2010 at 8:34 am


Prior to praying sinner’s prayer, a person needs to repent from his sin or else praying sinner’s prayer would serve no purpose since John 9:31, “(mentions that)…God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.”
A non-christian insists in worshipping idols and prays sinner’s prayer, would not cause him to be saved through sinner’s prayer since he keeps on continuing in sinning by worshipping idols.



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Your Name

posted August 12, 2010 at 10:42 pm


DOES THE BOOK OF ACTS SUPPORT THAT BELIEVING IN JESUS ATTRACTS IMMEDIATE RECEIPT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?
1} Let’s meditate Acts 22:12-16 below:
Acts 22:12-16, “And one Ananias…came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive they sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized, and washed away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
From the above verses, it is easily to spot out that nothing is mentioned whether Saul had repented from sinning in persecuting Christians or he had confessed his sin or he had believed in Jesus or the Holy Spirit had come to him except the phrase, be baptized and washed away thy sins. Despite nothing is mentioned that is pertaining to the above factors that contributed to his salvation, it is irrational to conclude that he needed not to exercise any of these elements prior to his salvation. Similarly, it is irrational to conclude that he did not request for the Holy Spirit just simply giving the explanation that the above verses do not mention it. As the phrase, washed away thy sins, is mentioned in Acts 22:10 with the phrase, be baptized, it implies that baptism in the past was accompanied with sin cleansing.
2} Let’s meditate Acts 8:14-17 below:
Acts 8:14-17, “Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, PRAYED FOR THEM,, THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”
Nothing is mentioned in Acts 8:14-17 that the Samaria had believed the word of God except the phrase, had received. It is erroneous to use these verses to support that salvation could come about simply by receiving the word of God instead of believing. Thus, the absence of certain factors, such as, repentance of sin; confession of sin; and the requesting for the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:14-17, do not give any strong proof that they did not exercise prior to their conversion to Christianity. The phrase, had received, in Acts 8:14 implies that Samaria should have believed in Jesus at that time. Did they receive the Holy Spirit immediately after believing? No, they did not receive the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:14 until Acts 8:17, “(that mentions that)…laid they their hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost.” As there is an obvious gap between Acts 8:14 and Acts 8:17 in which they believed and yet the Holy Spirit was not with them, it implies that believing does not attract the immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit. As the phrase, prayed for them, is mentioned in Acts 8:15 with the phrase, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, it implies that requesting for the receipt of the Holy Spirit is acceptable from the Scriptural point of view. As praying with the receipt of the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:15 should be associated with baptism, it implies baptism in the past should be accompanied with also praying with the receipt of the Holy Spirit in addition to sin cleansing as mentioned in Acts 22:10.
3} The apostles were told to Acts 1:4-5, “…be…assembled together…(and) should not depart from Jerusalem…(so as to) be baptized with Holy Ghost…” Did these apostles ask for the receipt of the Holy Ghost? In order to tackle this question, let’s meditate John 6:32-34 as below: John 6:32-34, “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. THEN SAID THEY UNTO HIM, LORD EVERMORE GIVE US THIS BREAD.” The phrase, the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, in John 6:33 certainly refers to the Holy Spirit. The phrase, Then said they unto him Lord evermore give us this bread, in John 6:34 implies that the apostles did request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit and yet Jesus turned them down by saying, John 7:39, “(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” The same is mentioned in John 16:7 that the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples at the absence of Jesus. The following is the extract: John 16:7, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” The same is in Philemon 1:15, “(that) For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever.” Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit did not come to the Apostles even though they did ask Jesus in John 6:32-34 until the day of Pentecost.
4} Let’s examine Acts 8:26-37 below to determine whether these verses do support sinner’s prayer:
Acts 8:26-27, “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise…And he arose, and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians…had come to Jerusalem for to worship…” Acts 8:37-38, “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and he eunuch; and he baptized him.”
Observe carefully the above verses and you would have discovered that none of the verses between Acts 8:26 and Acts 8:38 mention that the words, believe, and the phrase, the Holy Spirit came to the eunuch except the phrase, he baptized him. The absence of the word, believe, and the phrase, the Holy Spirit comes to eunuch, does not imply that he had not believed in Jesus and that the Holy Spirit did not come to him, The same that it is irrational to use Acts 8:26-38 to jump into conclusion that repentance and confession of sin and the requesting for the Holy Spirit are not necessary just because they are not stated among these verses. The phrase, had come to Jerusalem for to worship, in Acts 8:27, gives us the possible idea that he should have believed in Acts 8:27 or else there should not be any reason for him to travel for worship. The phrase, he baptized him, in Acts 8:38 gives us the idea that he should have received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:38. Despite he had believed in Jesus when he was in Acts 8:27, he only proclaimed his belief that was followed by baptism in Acts 8:38. There is an obvious gap between Acts 8:27 and Acts 8:37 in which he believed and yet the Holy Spirit had not come to him and this could come to the conclusion that believing does not attract immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit.
As mentioned in Acts 22 above that sin cleansing has to be associated with baptism and that Acts 8:15 that praying for the Holy Spirit has to be associated with baptism. As the word, baptized, is mentioned in Acts 8:38 and that baptism is to be associated with sin cleansing and praying for the Holy Spirit, sin cleansing and praying for the Holy Spirit should have been exercised at the time of baptism even though they are not stated in these verses at all.
5} Let’s mediate the extracted verses from Acts 10 below:
Acts 10:1-2, “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band…one that feared God…” Acts 10:30-32, “And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, A MAN STOOD BEFORE ME IN BRIGHT CLOTHING and said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard…Send therefore to…Peter…” Acts 10:25-26, “And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up I myself also am a man.” Acts 10:43-44, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sin. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.”
Nothing is mentioned in Acts 10:1-26 that Cornelius had believed in Jesus except that Peter prevented him to fall down and worship him as mentioned in Acts 10:25-26. It is only mentioned in Acts 10:43-44 that the Holy Spirit came down upon him when he heard Peter that declared that whosoever believe in Jesus shall receive remission of sin. It is erroneous to use Acts 10:43-44 to jump into the conclusion that a non-Christian could be saved simply by hearing the words of God instead of through faith just because Acts 10:43-44 are not indicated that Cornelius believes except that he heard the words. The same is for repentance and confession of sin and the praying for the receipt of the Holy Spirit. The absence of all these words in Acts 10:1-44, does not imply that Cornelius did not do it.
6} Let’s meditate Acts 16:29-33 below:
Acts 16:29-33, “Then called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, Sir, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his straightway.”
The phrase, And they said Believe on the Lord, in Acts 16:31 refers undoubtedly to the preaching words from Paul and Silas to the keeper of the prison. However, nothing is mentioned in the subsequent verse that he believed in Jesus or the Holy Spirit had come to him except the phrase, was baptized. As nothing is mentioned that he believed in Jesus or the Holy Spirit had come to him, it does not imply that he had not been born again. The same that nothing is mentioned that he had repented and confessed his sins and even to request for the Holy Spirit, it is irrational to conclude that he did not do it.
7} Acts 19:2, “…HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED?…”
Nevertheless, it could come the conclusion that it is erroneous to extract any event from the book of Acts to comment that certain practices, such as, believing in Jesus; repentance and confession of sin; and praying for the receiving of the Holy Spirit, are not mentioned in that event, and immediately derive a conclusion that those practices are not necessary to be exercised in order to be born again.
It has been proved in Clauses 2 and 4 above that believing in Jesus does not necessarily attract immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit.
SALVATION IS THE WORK OF FAITH
In order to be saved, a person that believes in Jesus Christ has to be born again through receiving the Holy Spirit. It is irrational to support that a non-Christian that believes in Jesus will automatically be granted with the Holy Spirit since Acts 19:2, “…(enquire those people that believe in Jesus,) HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED?…” Furthermore, Romans 8:9 mentions that those that do not have the Spirit of Christ are not Christians at all. The following is the extract: Romans 8:9, “…if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
Salvation is truly the work of faith. When a non-Christian prays a sinner’s prayer, he has to exercise his faith throughout his praying. When he prays to confess his sin before God through sinner’s prayer, he has to believe that God has forgiven his sin immediately after his confession or else he would not expect to receive any forgiveness of sin from God. This is due to James 1:6-8, “(mentions that) But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” As the word, wavereth, is mentioned in James 1:6-8 with the phrase, let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord, it implies that a non-Christian, that does not believe that his sin has been forgiven immediately after sinner’s prayer, would not have his sin be forgiven. As his sin would not be forgiven if he does not believe that he has been forgiven immediately after sinner’s prayer, his sin would not be forgiven and that would not cause the Holy Spirit to enter into his body since John 9:31, “(mentions that)…God heareth not sinners…” The same is in praying for the receipt of the Holy Spirit, the same person must believe that he has already received the Holy Spirit after sinner’s prayer. Or else, his prayer is in vain and would not cause him to receive the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, faith has to be exercised throughout sinner’s prayer in order to cause a non-Christian to be born again.
Could a non-Christian mention that he believes in Jesus Christ and yet he does not believe that his sin has been forgiven and he also does not believe that the Holy Spirit has come into his body immediately after sinner’s prayer? Certainly, there is a question whether this non-Christian has believed in Jesus since he questions about whether his sin has been forgiven and the existence of the Holy Spirit in his body immediately after his sinner’s prayer.
Salvation does not depend upon emotion but faith. A non-Christian must believe that his sin has been forgiven and that he has received the Holy Spirit without relying upon feeling. With his faith immediately after sinner’s prayer, he would then be born again.
RELIANCE UPON EMOTION TOWARDS TO EXISTENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Reliance upon emotion towards the existence of the Holy Spirit within our bodies to determine whether we are born again is not scriptural due to Job 9:2 and John 3:5-8 provides the truth we could not sense the existence of the Holy Spirit. The following are the explanations:
i} Job 9:2, “…God” Job 9:11, “Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not: he passeth on also, but I perceive him not.” As the phrase, he goeth…and…passeth on, is mentioned in Job 9:11 with the phrase, I perceive him not, it implies that we could never sense the existence of God.
ii) John 3:5-8, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. THE WIND BLOWETH WHERE IT LISTETH, and THOU HEARST THE SOUND THEREOF, BUT CANST NOT TELL WHENCE IT COMETH, and WHITHER IT GOETH: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
Let’s analyse John 3:5-8 in two different approaches as follows:
a} Let’s relates the word, wind, in John 3:5-8 to be the Holy Spirit and the phrase, the wind bloweth where it listeth, in John 3:8 would turn up to be the Holy Spirit goes as He wishes. The phrase, thou hearst the sound thereof, in John 3:8 can be interpreted as you hear the Holy Spirit speaks to you whenever He guides you in truth or whenever He informs you that you have committed sin or etc. The phrase, thou…canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth, in John 3:8 implies that we cannot tell when the Holy Spirit has come and where He has gone to. We could sense His existence only if we could know when He comes and where He goes within our bodies. As it is mentioned that we could not tell where the Holy Spirit comes and goes, it implies that we could not sense the existence of the Holy Spirit.
b} Let’s interpret the word, wind in John 3:5-8 in a straightforward way that has no connection with the Holy Spirit. The phrase, The wind bloweth where it listeth, in John 3:8 implies that the wind blows as it wishes. The phrase, thou hearst the sound thereof, in John 3:8 could be interpreted as we are aware of the wind by the external environment, such as, the sound of the wind; the coolness of our bodies; the movement of the external objects, i.e. tree & etc. The phrase, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth, in John 3:8 implies that we can never have any unusual sensation about the movement of wind within our bodies that drives us crazily. The reason is simply that wind can never penetrate into our bodies & to move within our bodies. The phrase, so is every one that is born of the Spirit, in John 3:8 implies that it happens the same to the Holy Spirit.
As proved above that we could not sense God, our prayer through requesting for the receipt of the Holy Spirit, must rely merely on faith instead of depending upon whether there is any emotion within our bodies to determine the existence of the Holy Spirit within our bodies.
JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD AND HE IS ALSO GOD
There are many instances to prove that Jesus is God Himself:
1} Human beings and angels worship Jesus Christ. The following are the extracts: Hebrews 1:6, “…firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.”; Matthew 2:1-2, “…there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for WE have seen his star in the east, and are COME TO WORSHIP HIM.”; Matthew 2:11, “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him…”: Matthew 8:2, “And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt,…”; Matthew 9:18, “…there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him..”; Matthew 15:25, “Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.”; Matthew 20:20, “Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him…”; Matthew 28:9, “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.”
For instance, if Jesus Christ is not God, worshipping Jesus contradicts the Ten Commandments as mentioned in Exodus 20 and even Luke 4:8, “….Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
2} Jesus did miracles, but the surrounding audience glorified God and this implies that Jesus Christ is God Himself. The following are the extracts: Luke 5:24-25, “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. “; Luke 13:12-13, “And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.”; Luke 13:17, “…and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.”; Luke 17:15, “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God.”; Luke 18:42-43, “And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God…”
3} Jesus is God and is even obvious in John 1. The following are the extracts: John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:10-11, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
4} Jesus even admitted Himself to be God. John 8:24, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” John 8:27, “They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.”
5} God even called Jesus Himself to be God. The following is the extract: Hebrews 1:8, “But unto the Son he saith, THY THRONE, O GOD, is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”; Isaiah 9:6-7, “For unto us a child is born, UNTO US A SON IS GIVEN: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: AND HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED Wonderful, Counseller, THE ALMIGHTY GOD…”
6} Jesus Christ is our Saviour and yet Titus 1:3, “(mentions)…God our Saviour;”, it implies that Jesus Himself is God since this verse links up God to be our Saviour even though Jesus Christ was the one that died for our sins.
7} Jesus Christ has neither beginning nor ending and the same is for God. The following are the extracts: Hebrews 7:3, “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.”; John 8:56-58, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw [it], and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”; John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…”; Proverb 8:22-24, “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When [there were] no depths, I was brought forth; when [there were] no fountains abounding with water.”
8} Jesus Christ is our Lord and yet the name of the Lord is God and this indirectly refers Jesus Christ as God.
The following are the extracts that refer Jesus as the Lord: 2 Peter 2:20, “Lord and Jesus Christ…”; 2 Peter 3:18, “.Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”;; Hebrews 1:8, “But to the Son he says…”Hebrews 1:10, “And, ‘You, Lord…”; Philemon 1:3, “…the Lord Jesus Christ.”; Titus 1:3, “…the Lord Jesus Christ.”; Titus 1:4, “…the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.” Matthew 8:5, “…Jesus..a centurion beseeching him, and saying, Lord…”; Matthew 8:25, “And his disciples came to him…saying, Lord…”; Mark 16:19, “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat as the right hand of God.”; Luke 2:11, “…Christ the Lord.”; Luke 6:5, “And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.”; Luke 13:15, “The Lord then answered him…”
The following are the extracts that the Lord is God: Isaiah 30:18, “…for the Lord is a God of judgment…”; Isaiah 33:22, “…the LORD s our King; he will save us.”; Isaiah 45:3, “…I, the Lord…am the God of Israel.”; Jeremiah 32:27, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all fresh…”; Habakuk 3:18, “…the LORD…the God of my salvation”; Deuteronomy 4:35, “…the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.”; Psalm 33:12, “…God is LORD…”; Psalm 118:27, “God is the LORD…”; Psalm 144:15, “…whose God is the LORD.”; Psalm 18:31, “For who is God save the LORD? Or who is roc save our God?”
9} Jesus created the Universe and God was the one that created the Universe as mentioned in the Book of Genesis and all these point to the fact that Jesus is God Himself:
The following are the extracts that Jesus was the creator of this Universe: Hebrews 1:1-2, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” Hebrews 1:8, “But to he Son he says…” Hebrews 1:10, “And: ‘You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.”; John 1:7-11, “The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all [men] through him might believe. He was not that Light, but [was sent] to bear witness of that Light. [That] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”
10} Jesus Christ was with the Holy Spirit since birth instead of at the time of His baptism with John the Baptist. Matthew 1:20, “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.”; Luke 1:34-35, “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES FROM GOD
1 John 4:12, “No one has seen God at any time…God abides in us.” 1 John 4:13, “By this we know that we abide in him and he is in us, because HE HAS GIVE US OF HIS SPIRIT.”; Numbers 24:2, “…the Spirit of God came upon him.”; Ezekiel 37:1, Isaiah 4:13-14, “…the Spirit of the LORD…”; Proverbs 1:23, “…I will pour out my spirit unto you…”; Nehemiah 9:20, “You also gave Your good spirit to instruct them…”; Isaiah 44:3, “…I will pour my spirit upon thee…”; Isaiah 59:21, “…saith the LORD, my spirit that is upon thee…”; Matthew 3:16, “…the spirit of God…”; John 15:26, “But when the COMFORTER is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, WHICH PROCEEDETH FROM THE FATHER…”; 1 Peter 1:11, Romans 8:9, “…Spirit of Christ…”
THE APPEARANCE OF JESUS CHRIST
The first coming and His next coming will be in physical form absolutely since 1 John 4:2, “(mentions that)…Every spirit that confesseth that JESUS CHRIST IS COME IN THE FLESH is of God:”
Even though the coming of Jesus Christ will be in physical form, he could appear in spiritual form too. The following are the explanations: The phrase, Spirit of Christ, in Romans 8:9 and 1 Peter 1:11 gives us absolute proves that Jesus Christ could be in spiritual form. Another proof that Jesus could be in spiritual as well as physical form could be located in Luke 24:33-37 in which Jesus appeared suddenly in midst of the disciples and caused them to have the fear that He was ghost. Jesus Christ should have been with them in the spiritual form prior to His sudden appearance in the midst of them to cause them to have the fear. The following are the extracts: Luke 24:33, “And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,” Luke 24:36-37, “And AS THEY THUS SPAKE, JESUS HIMSELF STOOD IN THE MIDST OFTHEM, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. BUT THEY WERE TERRIFIED AND AFFRIGHTED, AND SUPPOSED THAT THEY HAD SEEN A SPIRIT.”
UNIT OF GOD, JESUS CHRIST AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
Does a person invite the Holy Spirit as well as God into his body by praying merely to receive Jesus Christ as his Personal Saviour? John 14:10-12 spelt out the unity between God and Jesus. The following is the extract: John 14:10-12, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me,…Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me…” As the phrase, I am in the Father, and the Father in me, is mentioned in John 14:10-12, it implies togetherness between Jesus Christ and God and that they could never be separated. The phrase, I am in the Father and the Father is in me, in John 14:10-12 strongly opposes the possibility of the separation between God and Jesus and it also rejects the likeliness that God might not be in Jesus and vice versa. The same are supported by the following verses: John 8:29, “And he that sent me is with me…”; John 10:38, “…the Father is in me, and I in him.”; John 14:20, “…I am in my Father, and ye in me…”; John 16:32, “…I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” As proved above that God and Jesus Christ could never be separated, that implies that a person, that prays to receive Jesus Christ into his body, receives God into his body too.
The unity of God the Father, the son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit could be found in the following verses: John 17:22-23, “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one…”; John 17:21,”…thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us….”; 1 John 5:7-8, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, THE FATHER THE WORD, AND THE HOLY GHOST: and THESE ARE ONE. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” As the Holy Spirit, God and Jesus Christ are united into one and they can never be separated, that make it possible for one to mention that there is only one God even though there are three persons since none of them could be separated from each other and that the three have been viewed as one as a whole number.
As the Holy Spirit, God and the Holy Spirit could never be separated and they are united into one, a non-Christian, that prays to receive Jesus Christ into his body, receives the Holy Spirit and God simultaneously.



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Jonathan CHM

posted August 28, 2010 at 5:10 am


Does Acts 19:1-9 (Christians in Ephesus ) give a strong proof that believing attracts immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit?
Let’s meditate Acts 19:1-9:
Acts 19:1-9, “…at Corinth , Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus : and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
The phrase, finding certain disciples, in Acts 19:1 does not give any strong proof whether these disciples were Jesus’ disciples or John at the time of their dialogue. There were a number of possibilities that can be viewed for the phrase, certain disciples, as mentioned in Acts 19:1:
a) it could be that there were Jesus’ disciples and they did not know about the existence of the Holy Spirit and yet they did receive water baptism from John;
b) it could be that there were John’s disciples and yet lately believed and followed Jesus;
c) it could be that there were John’s disciples and had not believed in Jesus and yet lately followed Jesus:
d) it could be that there were neither Jesus’ nor John’s disciples, yet had just converted to disciples not long ago; or etc.
In view of the above possibilities, it is hard to jump into the conclusion using Acts 19:1 that these disciples were John’s disciples.
Whether these people were John’s disciples or not, were not significant. The main thing that needs to be highlighted is that these people should not be questioned, Acts 19:2, “..Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” This is by virtue of if these were John’s disciples and they had believed in Jesus, the Holy Spirit would have come immediately upon them at the time of their believes even though they only received John’s baptism and they did not know the Holy Spirit, with the assumption that believing attracts immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit. The reason is simply the knowledge that they acquired (whether they knew the Holy Spirit or whether they received only John’s baptism0 would not affect his salvation with the assumption that believing attracts immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit. As the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed, is mentioned in Acts 19:2, it gives an uncertainty that believing attracts immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit.
Some might argue that certain parts of the book of Acts were transitional period for the receiving of the Holy Spirit. However, the transitional period should have been ended at the time of Pentecost since John 16:7 mentions the receipt of the Holy Spirit was after the resurrection of Jesus.
Those people that insist not to request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit while they are on earth with the assumption that believing attracts immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, would regret eternally what if they have discovered their past knowledge was wrong and that Jesus would speak to them that He does not know Him at end time as mentioned in Matthew 7:23.
Disciples in current context. Acts 11:26, “(mentions that)…the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch .” As the phrase, the disciples, is mentioned in Acts 11:26 with the word, Christians, it implies that the word, disciple, and the word, Christian, can be interchangeable.



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Robert

posted September 30, 2010 at 11:08 pm


does jumping around from verse to verse enable the jumper to make whatever he or she is trying to convey sound like it’s coming straight from the lips of God. I think Fox News calls it editing.



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Jonathan CHM

posted April 8, 2011 at 1:25 am


Some commentators might use the following verses to oppose the use of sinner’s prayer with the excuse that the Holy Spirit should be with them simply by mentioning that they do confess that Jesus is the Son of God and their recognition about the resurrection of Jesus:

1 John 4:15, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”

Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Discuss.

At a glance, the phrase, Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, in 1 John 4:15 seems to imply that all those people, that confess Jesus as the Son of God, must have received the Holy Spirit. However, the following are the two distinctive cases from the Bible that have brought us to the attention that not all the people, that proclaim Jesus is the Son of God, have received the Holy Spirit:

a) Instances below that give us the implication that people could proclaim Jesus to be the Son of God even prior to the resurrection of Jesus:

i) Matthew 14:33, “Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, of a truth thou art the Son of God.”

ii) Matthew 27:54, “Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”

iii) Mark 15:39, “And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.”

iv) John 1:49, “Nathamael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the king of Israel.”

v) John 11:27, “She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”

The following are the extracts that prove that those people, that are mentioned in Matthew 14:33, 27:54; John 1:49, 11:27, and Mark 15:39, did not receive the Holy Spirit prior to the resurrection of Jesus:

i) John 7:39, “(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]: because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

ii) John 16:7, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”

Despite Matthew 14:33, 27:54; Mark 15:39; John 1:49 and John 11:27 were the events occurred prior to the day that Jesus was glorified and these people should not have received the Holy Spirit as mentioned in John 7:39 and 16:7, yet they could proclaim Jesus as the Son of God at the absence of the Holy Spirit. This gives the ultimate conclusion that those people, that could proclaim Jesus to be the Son of God in this modern society, do not give any strong proof that they have God to be dwelt within their bodies.

b) Instances from the Scripture to prove that even demons could comment that Jesus is the Son of God and yet God do not dwell within their bodies. The following are the extracts:

i) Matthew 8:29, “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?”

ii) Mark 3:11, “And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.”

iii) Luke 4:41, “And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuke them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.”

iv) Luke 8:28, “When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, what have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most High? I beseech thee, torment me not.”

From the above explanations and the extracts, these could easily arrive at the conclusion that it is irrational to determine whether a person has received the Holy Spirit by simply hearing him/her in proclaiming that Jesus is the Son of God.

As it is irrational to determine whether a person has received the Holy Spirit simply by hearing him/her in proclaiming that Jesus is the Son of God, does it imply that 1 John 4:15 is contradictory to Matthew 14:33, 27:54; John 1:49, 11:27, and Mark 15:39? No, it is irrational to jump into this conclusion what if the word, confess, in 1 John 4:15 should be interpreted with broader definition that it should be accompanied with action instead of restricting it to merely mouth-to-mouth confession. When the word, confess, in 1 John 4:15 has been interpreted with broader definition to include our sincere action towards God in treating and letting Jeus to be truly the Son of God to reign in our lives, we then would discover 1 John 4:15 does not contradict itself with other verses in the Bible. Or in other words, the person that confess that Jesus is the Son of God need to have high respect of Jesus and to allow Him to come into his/her life so as to take control of him/her.

James 2:19 provides the truth that the devils even believe in God and yet they tremble as a result of their faith without action. A person might proclaim that he/she believes in Jesus to be the Son of God and his/her Lord and yet God is interested whether his faith is accompanied with action through his/her willingness to accept Him to be his/her Personal Saviour and Lord. The following are the extracts from James 2:19-24 and these are self-explanatory:

James 2:19-24, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only



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Jonathan CHM

posted April 15, 2011 at 8:59 pm


Some commentators might strongly condemn sinner’s prayer by mentioning that this is not found anywhere in the Bible. Discuss.

Let’s look into all the factors that should contribute towards sinner’s prayer prior to looking into the matter above:

a) Repentance: Repentance is significant for non-Christians for their conversions. The intention to do away repentance among non-Christians would not cause those that persist in sinning without repentant heart, to be born again due to God regard not their prayer. The following are the extracts:

Psalms 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

Isaiah 1:15, “And ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.”

Isaiah 59:1-2, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

Nevertheless, non-Christians have to repent from sinning, such as, abandoning in worshipping idols, and etc. prior to their commencement of Sinner’s prayer or else their prayer would simply be in vain.

b) Confession of Sins: The introduction of confession of sins in sinner’s prayer among non-Christians would certainly direct their mind to the right path in acknowledging and confessing their sins before God for the claim of the promise of sin’s cleansing as spelt out below:

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The same is mentioned in Proverb 28:13, “(that) He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

Bearing in mind that iniquities are the barriers that cause non-Christians not to reach out to God since God regard not iniquities. The following are the extracts for detailed examination and analyses:

Psalms 5:4-5, “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee…thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”

Psalms 7:11, “…God is angry with the wicked every day.”

Isaiah 59:1-2, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

Proverbs 15:26, “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord…”

Proverbs 15:29, “The Lord is far from the wicked…”

Would this imply that the verses above contradict the phrase, For God so loved the world, in John 3:16? No, the verses above do not contradict the phrase, For God so loved the world, in John 3:16 provided that the word, world, in John 3:16 has to exclude evil deeds, disobedience to God and all kinds of iniquities. Without excluding iniquities from the definition of the word, world, the interpretation would turn up to be unjustifiable that God love people to commit iniquities, such as, stirring up violence, havoc and etc. in the society.

The confession of sins in sinner’s prayer enables non-Christian to express their iniquities towards God to ease the sins’ cleansing especially sins have caused them to be separated from God as mentioned in Isaiah 59:1-2 and that is why there is a need for them to confess their sins before God for sins’ cleansing for the claim of the promise as mentioned in 1 John 1:9, “(that) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Romans 4:7, “[saying], Blessed [are] they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”

What if non-Christians insist their perfection without sins, would their sins be forgiven? 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” As the phrase, the truth is not in us, is mentioned in 1 John 1:8 with the phrase, If we say that we have no sin, it implies that God’s truth is not with non-Christians if they insist their perfection without sins. As God’s truth is not with them if they insist they are without sins, there should not be any possibility that God would be with them or their sins could be forgiven. The same is mentioned in 1 John 1:10, “(that) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

The reason for all non-Christians need to express their sins towards God by confession through sinner’s prayer, has been spelt out as follows:

Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

Romans 5:18-19, “Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation;…For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,…”

c) Faith has to be exercised throughout sinner’s prayer. This is due to non-Christians would not expect to receive any from sinner’s prayer if they do not exercise faith throughout/after sinner’s prayer, such as, they do not believe their sins have been forgiven; they do not believe that the Holy Spirit has come into their bodies, and etc.; after sinner’s prayer. The following are the extracts:

James 1:6-8, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

d) Sinner’s prayer should also include forgiveness of sins of others. This is due to God demand non-Christians to forgive others prior to granting the forgiveness of their sins. The following are the supporting verses:

Matthew 6:14-15, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses; neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Mark 11:25-26, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

The Lord allow confession of sins to be included in prayer. The following are the extracts for proves:

Matthew 6:12, “(mentions that) And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

Luke 11:4, “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.”

Nevertheless, there is a preference to include the request of the forgiveness of sins for others during sinner’s prayer.

e) Request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit:

The following are the extracted verses that demand non-Christians to request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit:

John 4:10, “ Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”

John 6:32-34, “ Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.”

Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

Acts 19:2, “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.”

John 4:10, 6:32-34 and Luke 11:13 above are the spoken words from Jesus that direct non-Christians for the request of the Holy Spirit. Many commentators say that the request of the Holy Spirit should have ceased on the day of Pentecost. However, none of the verses in the Bible do mention the request of the Holy Spirit should have ceased after the Pentecost in Acts 2. What if the praying for the receipt of the Holy Spirit should not cease in reality and that the event in Acts 19 was not the transitional period, those people that refuse to pray for the receipt of the Holy Spirit will be in the doom and the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed?, in Acts 19:2 would turn up to be the warning among non-Christians for their earnest request of the receipt of the Holy Spirit.

e) To include acknowledging Jesus’ resurrection in sinner’s prayer: This is by virtue of Jesus’ resurrection is part of the plan for salvation. The following is the extract:

Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

After reading the above factors that have direct impact upon salvation. Now, let’s examine the book of Acts cautiously below for the reply that some commentators have brought out to do away sinner’s prayer with the excuse that it is not mentioned in the Bible:

1) Acts 6:6-7, “Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”

As the phrase, the disciples multiplied…greatly, is mentioned in Acts 6:7, it implies the great number of non-Christians were converted to Christianity. Nothing is mentioned in Acts 6:6-7 or elsewhere that these people did repent from sinning prior to their conversion. One must not be quick in jumping into the conclusion by using this event to support that non-Christians need not to repent in order to be born again or else he/she is simply adding words of assumption in which it is not stated in Acts 6;6-7. As nothing is mentioned in Acts 6:6-7 that they did repent from sin, there are two possibilities with regard to their conversion. First assumption is that they might have repented from sinning and yet it was not mentioned in Acts 6:6-7. Another alternative possibility is that they did not repent from sinning, such as, continuing in worshipping idols; creating havoc in the society; and etc. As repentance has to be sought prior to the conversion to Christianity, they must have repented from sin prior to receiving the Holy Spirit. Thus, the absence of the word, repentance, in Acts 6:6-7 does not imply that they did not repent from sins prior to receiving the Holy Spirit.

The same is for the request of Jesus to come into their lives. Neither Acts 6:6-7 have mentioned that these people did receive the Holy Spirit nor these verses have mentioned clearly that they did or did not request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit. The absence of the words whether they did or did not request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit does not imply that they did not request Jesus to come into their lives. The insisting that they did not ask Jesus to come into their lives even though it is not mentioned at all, has indeed added words of assumption in which it is not even stated in Acts 6:6-7. What if these people did ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit and yet it is not stated in Acts 6:6-7, the discouraging among non-Christians to pray for the receipt of the Holy Spirit would simply cause them not to be born again.

The same is for other factors, such as, confession of sins; acknowledge Jesus to die on the cross, are not even spelt out in the event of Acts 6:6-7. The absence of these factors does not imply that they did not do it.

In conclusion for Acts 6:6-7, despite the phrase, sinner’s prayer, is not mentioned in the book of Acts and yet the elements of the sinner’s prayer can be found here and there in the Bible. Even in the book of Acts, certain part of the event does mention part of it. However, the absence of the elements that should exercise prior to the receipt of the Holy Spirit in Acts 6:6-7, does not imply that they did not exercise it.

2) Acts 8:34-38, “And the eunuch answered Philips, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? Of himself, or of some other men? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; What doeth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot the stand still: and they went down into water, both Philip and the eunuch: and be baptized him.”

Meditate the verses above and you would discover nothing is mentioned in the paragraph above that the eunuch had repented from sin prior to his baptism. As nothing is mentioned that he did repent from sin, this event should not be used to conclude that non-Christians could sin continually without repentant heart in order to be saved.

Nothing is mentioned that the eunuch did receive the Holy Spirit except the word, baptism, does not imply that it is not significant to receive the Holy Spirit. As nothing is mentioned in Acts 9:38 that he did receive the Holy Spirit except the phrase, be baptized, the eunuch most likely should have received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:38 in which the phrase, be baptized, is mentioned. Thus, despite he confessed Jesus is the Son of God in Acts 8:37, yet he only received the Holy Spirit after his baptism in Acts 8:37. It is obvious that there is a gap (between the time that he confessed Jesus to be the Son of God in Acts 8:37 and the time that he received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:38) in which the Holy Spirit is not with him. It gives us the implication that confession that Jesus is the Son of God might not be accompanied with immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit.

The above explanation proves that the absence of the elements of sinner’s prayer in the book of Acts, does not imply the people in the past did not exercise them. What if they did repent from sins; confessed sins before God for the forgiveness of sins; acknowledged Jesus has been resurrected; and praying for the receipt of the Holy Spirit and yet they are not mentioned clearly in the book of Acts, or what if these should be the plan of God for salvation, the intention to do away sinner’s prayer could cause many to fall and not to be born again.

3) Acts 10:44-48, “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed him to tarry certain days.”

The phrase, they of the circumcision which believed, in Acts 10:45 undoubtedly refers to the Jews since they were circumcised. The phrase, the Holy Ghost fell on them which heard the word, in Acts 10:44 refers to the Gentiles that received the Holy Spirit and yet the word, heard, is mentioned instead of the word, believed. Nothing is mentioned in Acts 10:44 that they believed in Jesus except that they heard the word. The absence of the word, believed, in Acts 10:44 does not imply that the Gentiles did not believe in Jesus prior to the receiving of the Holy Spirit.

Nothing is mentioned in Acts 10:44-48 that the Gentiles did repent from sin, does not imply that Gentiles could continue in sinning without repentant heart prior to the receipt of the Holy Spirit. The phrase, as the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost, is mentioned in Acts 10:45 prior to the phrase, And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord, it implies that the receipt of the Holy Spirit could be before the baptism was performed.

The following are the extracts from other events in the book of Acts in which the word, repentance, is not mentioned and yet those non-Christians should have repented from sin:

Acts 8:12-17, “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself beloved also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and…who, they received the Holy Spirit…Then laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”

Acts 11:14-15, “Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.”

Acts 11:24, “For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.”

Acts 16:31-33, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spoke unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and his, straightway.” Again nothing is mentioned that these people did repent from sin and not even mentioning they did receive the Holy Spirit except the phrase, be baptized.

Some might argue that Acts 2:38 did mention the word, repent, to support that the Book of Acts encourages repentance. My query is why the word, repent, is not mentioned repeatedly in most of the events of the Book of Acts except Acts 2:38. As it is only mentioned in Acts 2:38 instead of in other events of the Book of Acts, it implies that the absence of the word, repent, in other parts of the Book of Acts, does not imply that non-Christians did not exercise it. The same is for the request of the receipt of the Holy Spirit. The absence of the phrase, to ask Jesus into our heart, in the book of Acts, does not imply that they did not exercise it.

From the above extracts and explanations, it could easily arrive at the conclusion that it is not justifiable to conclude that repentance is not necessary for the conversion of non-Christians just simply due to the absence of it in the book of Acts. The same is that it is irrational to oppose people to ask Jesus to come into their heart just because it is not stated in the Book of Acts. Similarly, no conclusion should be drawn out that confession of sins for non-Christians to God should be done away just simply with the excuse that it is not stated in the book of Acts.

Some commentators might suggest that believing leads to immediate forgiveness of sins and the receipt of the Holy Spirit. Discuss.

My personal conviction is that believing does not lead to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit and sins’ cleansing. Non-Christians that believe in Jesus have to be humble themselves before God to confess their sins before God to seek His forgiveness and the request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit.

For instance, if the doctrine, believing leads of immediate forgiveness of sins, is true, 1 John 1:9 would turn up to be in error for the following reasons:

a) Non-Christians needs not to confess their sins before God since God do not forgive their sins and their sins could not be forgiven unless they believe in Jesus instead of through confession of sins to God provided that the doctrine, believing leads to sins’ cleansing, is true.

b) Christians do not need to confess sins before God due to their believes have granted them the forgiveness of sins and there is no need for them to confess their sins to God provided that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate sins’ cleansing, is true.

The above shows that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate sins’ cleansing, has contradicted the fundamental truth in 1 John 1:9. As 1 John 1:9 contains any error, the doctrine, that believing leads to immediate sins’ cleansing, should be rejected and that there is a need to confess sins before God for sins’ cleansing. Thus, there is a need for non-Christians to confess their sins before God to seek His forgiveness and that is why sinner’s prayer must not be done away.

For instance, if the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, in Acts 19:2 would turn up to be in error for the following reasons:

a) If the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the disciples should not ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit before the Pentecost since the Holy Spirit would not descend upon them prior to the day that Jesus was glorified as mentioned in John 16:7. As the Holy Spirit would not descend upon the disciples prior to the Pentecost, the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, in Acts 19:2 should not be asked. This is by virtue of the Holy Spirit would descend automatically upon the disciples upon the day of Pentecost and that there is no need for them to ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit provided believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit.

b) If the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed, in Acts 19:2, should not be asked even after the day of Pentecost. This is by virtue of the Holy Spirit would descend automatically upon the disciples after their believing in Jesus provided that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true.

c) If the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed, in Acts 19:2 should not be asked among non-Christians. This is by virtue of non-Christians in this modern society need not to ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit since God come to them at the time of their belief provided that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true.

d) If the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed, in Acts 19:2, should not be asked among Christians. This is by virtue of Christians in this modern society should not ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit since their believing in Jesus has led to the immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit provided that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true.

As the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, has led to the contradiction of the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, in Acts 19:2, it implies that this doctrine should be rejected and that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, should not be established.

Some commentators might oppose sinner’s prayer with the excuse that the Scripture does not demand people to ask Jesus into their heart. Discuss.

The most obvious verses to show that the Bible does contain verses pertaining to asking Jesus into our heart:

Acts 8:15, “they were come down prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit…” The phrase, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, in Acts 8:15 implies that the people did ask Jesus into their heart.

Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” The phrase, [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him, in Luke 11:13 implies Jesus even mentioned the asking of the Holy Spirit into our heart.

The less obvious verses that give the hint in the Bible pertaining to asking Jesus into our heart:

John 4:10, “ Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” The phrase, living water, in John 4:15 should refer undoubtedly to eternal life. As the phrase, If thou knewest the gift of God…thou wouldest have asked of him, is mentioned in Acts 4:10 with the phrase, living water, it implies the asking of Jesus to receive the gift of God, that is the Holy Spirit, that leads to living water and that is eternal life. The word, asked, is mentioned in this verse.

John 6:32-34, “ Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.” The phrase, the true bread, in John 6:32 should refer to Jesus. As the phrase, Then said they unto him…give us this bread, is mentioned in Acts 6:34 with the phrase, true bread, in John 6:32, it implies that the disciples did ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 19:2, “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” The phrase, Have ye receive the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, in Acts 19:2 implies the possibility of the absence of the Holy Spirit among the people that believe in Jesus. Or else, there should not be any reason for Acts 19:2 to raise a query that, Have ye receive the Holy Ghost since ye believed? Instead, the verse should mention that the Holy Ghost is in you since ye believed. As the phrase, Have ye receive the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, is mentioned in Acts 19:2, non-Christians have to express to God for their desire to allow Jesus to come into their heart to be their Lord and Personal Saviour.



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Jonathan CHM

posted July 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm


Some commentators might argue that Peter had not seen the Holy Spirit fell upon the gentiles as He had on the Jews and that Jewish Christians never would have accepted the gentile Christians and these led them to pray for the Holy Spirit as mentioned in Acts 8:15. Discuss.

Let’s meditate Acts 8:5-17 carefully prior to tackling the query above:

Acts 8:5-6, “…PHILIP WENT DOWN TO THE CITY OF SAMARIA, AND PREACHED CHRIST UNTO THEM…” Acts 8:8-10, “…But there was a certain man, called Simon,… bewitched the people of Samaria,…saying, This man is the great power of God.”

Did the Samaria believe in Jesus after Acts 8:5, “…Philip (had)…preached Christ unto them…”? Yes, they did believe since Acts 8:12, “(mentions that)…THEY BELIEVED…concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of JESUS CHRIST…”

After Acts 8:12, “(Samaria had)…believed…(in) Jesus Christ”, did they follow up with water baptism? Yes, they did since in the latter part of Acts 8:12, “(it is mentioned that)…THEY WERE BAPTIZED, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN.”

Not only Samaria had been baptized, Acts 8:13, “…Simon himself believed also: and…(had been) baptized…”

What did the apostles do after knowing Samaria had Acts 8:12, “…believed (in)…Jesus Christ…(and) were baptized (with water baptism)…”? Acts 8:14-17, “…when the apostles which were at Jerusalem HEARD that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when THEY were come down, PRAYED FOR THEM, THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST.”

Did Samaria receive the Holy Spirit immediately after Acts 8:12, “…they (had) believed (in)…Jesus Christ…”? No, they did not receive the Holy Spirit at the time of their belief since Acts 8:14-17, “(mention that)…the apostles…heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they…c(a)me down, PRAYED FOR THEM, THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST.” Obviously there is a gap (between Acts 8:12 in which they had believed in Jesus and yet Acts 8:17 that they received the Holy Ghost) in which the Holy Spirit was not inside their bodies at the time of their belief. As Acts 8:14-17, “…the apostles… (came) down, (and) prayed for (Samaria) that they might receive the Holy Ghost” after Acts 8:12, “… they (had) believed… (in) Jesus Christ…”, it implies that believing does not lead to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit.

Did Samaria receive the Holy Spirit immediately after Acts 8:12, “…they…were baptized (with water baptism)…”? No, they did not receive the Holy Spirit immediately since Acts 8:14-17, “(mention that)…THEY…come down, PRAYED FOR THEM, THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST: (For as yet he WAS FALLEN UPON NONE OF THEM: ONLY THEY WERE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS.) …”

For instance, if the doctrine, that believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the people of Samaria should have received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:12. For instance, if the doctrine, that water baptism could direct immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the people of Samaria should have received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:12. As the people of Samaria did not receive the Holy Spirit until Acts 8:17, “…Peter and John…prayed for them…”, it implies the possible absence of the Holy Spirit at the time of belief.

Now, let’s tackle the question above that some commentators support that Samaria should be treated as gentile Christians and these led them to pray for the Holy Spirit:

Who were these Samaria? The following are the extracts from Strong Concordance and it could be located at: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4540&t=KJV

Samaria = “guardianship”
1)A TERRITORY IN PALESTINE, which had Samaria as its capital

The phrase, a territory in Palestine, is mentioned in this definition and yet in the ancient map of Israel, Palestine was located at the border of Israel and yet Samaria was classified as part of Israel.

As Samaria was part of Israel (1 Kings 16:29, 21:18, 22:51, 2 Kings 3:1, 3:6, 10:36, 13:1, 13:10 and 15:8) instead of to be considered as gentiles, it is erroneous to interpret Acts 8:5-17 to be the event that Peter had not seen the Holy Spirit fell upon the gentiles and that Jewish Christians did not accept them and these caused them to pray for the receipt of the Holy Spirit.

Nevertheless, the event in Acts 8:5-17 does provide the proof that believing does not lead to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit and that is why sinner’s prayer should be stressed.

Instance that Saul could proclaim that Jesus to be the Lord prior to receiving the Holy Spirit.

Let’s meditate Acts 9:1-18 with detailed analyses as follows:

Acts 9:1, “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,” Acts 9:4, “And HE FELL TO THE EARTH, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”

After falling down, did Saul question the Lord who was He? Yes he did question the Lord since Acts 9:5, “(mentions that)…he said, WHO ARE THOU, LORD? …”

What was the reply to Saul after questioning who was He? The Lord admitted that He was Jesus since Acts 9:5, “(mentions that)…the Lord said, I AM JESUS whom thou persecutest…”

Did Saul call Jesus to be the Lord after realizing that the One that he spoke to was none other than Jesus Himself as mentioned in Acts 9:5? Acts 9:6, “And he trembling and astonished said, LORD, WHAT WILT THOU HAVE ME TO DO? …”

If you would refer to the definition of the word, Lord, in Acts 9:6 from Strong Concordance, you would have discovered that its original meaning is identical to the word, Lord, in Romans 10:9 that is defined as allowing Jesus to take control of Saul’s life to be his Master. Or in other words, when Saul mentioned the word, Lord, in Acts 9:6, it implies his desire to have Jesus to take control of him to be his Master.

Could Saul have sight problem after opening his eyes? Acts 9:8, “And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.”

Did Saul receive the Holy Spirit when he called Jesus to be the Lord in Acts 9:6 after realizing that Jesus is Lord in Acts 9:5? No, he did not receive the Holy Spirit when he called Jesus to be the Lord in Acts 9:5 since Acts 9:17, “(mentions that)…Ananias…said, BROTHER SAUL, …that THOU MIGHTEST RECEIVE THY SIGHT, AND BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST” and Acts 9:18, “…immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.” Thus, despite Saul proclaim Jesus to be the Lord in Acts 9:6 after realizing that the One that he spoke to was none other than Jesus in Acts 9:5, yet he only received the Holy Spirit in Acts 9:18 since the phrase, there fell from his eyes as it had been scales…and was baptized, is mentioned then.

Nevertheless, there is an obvious gap (between Acts 9:6 in which he called Jesus to be the Lord and Acts 9:18 that the Holy Spirit came upon him) in which he believed in Jesus and yet the Holy Spirit was not with him, it implies that a person that calls Jesus to be his Lord might not necessarily have received the Holy Spirit.

What was the reason that the Holy Spirit was not with Saul even though he did proclaim Jesus to be his Lord in Acts 9:6 and that led him to be baptized with the Holy Spirit in Acts 9:18?

Let’s meditate James 2:17-19 for clarification:

James 2:17-19, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

As the phrase, faith…hath not works is dead, is mentioned in James 2:17, it implies that our confession to Jesus to be our Lord has to be accompanied with action or else our faith is in vain. As the word, Lord, in Romans 10:9, 10:13 and 1 Corinth 12:3 has been defined in the Strong Concordance as allowing Jesus to come and control the lives of non-Christians to be their Master, they have to follow with action to request the Holy Spirit to come into their lives and that is why there is a need for the request of the receipt of the Holy Spirit. We are told from the Scripture not to be the hearers of God’s words but be the doers.

James 2:19 mentions that even the devils believe and yet tremble. The reason is simply that the devils believe and yet they do not follow with action to receive Him as their Master.

The same is mentioned in Matthew 7:21, “(that) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven; but HE THAT DOETH the will of my father which is in heaven.” Non-Christians are urged to be the doers of the Scripture instead of hearers. When the Scripture demands non-Christians to call Jesus as the Lord, it demands them to allow Jesus to come into their lives to take control of them.

Despite Saul proclaimed Jesus to be his Lord in Acts 9:6, his action to receive Jesus Christ was in Acts 9:17-18 and that caused him to be converted then.

The less obvious event that proves that believing does not lead to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit is taken from Acts 8:27-39 about the conversion of the eunuch. The following is the analysis:

Acts 8:27-28, “…a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch…had come tg Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet”

What did Philip do when he met the eunuch? Acts 8:35, “…Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.”

When did Philip believe in Jesus as mentioned in Acts 8? Let’s Meditate Acts 8:36-37 below prior to tackling this question:

Acts 8:36, “… THE EUNUCH SAID, See, here is water; WHAT DOTH HINDER ME TO BE BAPTIZED?” Acts 8:37, “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD.”

Some might support that the eunuch believed in Jesus in Acts 8:37 since Acts 8:37, “(mentions that he).. answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” However, some might argue that it should be in Acts 8:36, “(since)…the eunuch said, …what doth hinder me to be baptized?” Their support to be in Acts 8:36 would be due to there should not be any justifiable reason for him to ask to be baptized if he did not believe in Jesus. In any of the above analyses, the eunuch should have started to believe in Jesus either in Acts 8:36 or in 8:37.

Did Acts 8 mention that he did receive the Holy Spirit after believing? No, it did not mention that, except the phrase, be baptized him, is mentioned in Acts 8:38. The following is the extract:

Acts 8:38, “And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.”

As nothing is mentioned whether the eunuch did receive the Holy Spirit except the phrase, he baptized him, in Acts 8:38, it might come to the conclusion that he only received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:38.

For instance, if he only received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:38, there is a gap of time in which the Holy Spirit should not be with him in the early part of Acts 8:38, “(that mentions that)…he commanded the chariot to stand still…” and he had not received the Holy Spirit until after the latter part of Acts 8:38 despite he had believed in Jesus in either Acts 8:36 or 8:37.



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Jonathan CHM

posted July 17, 2011 at 9:49 pm


Some commentators might use Luke 23:43 to support that one of the thieves did not request Jesus to accept him in paradise to support that this verse does not demand non-Christian to ask for the Holy Spirit. Discuss.

Prior to tackling this question, let’s meditate Matthew 27:44:

Matthew 27:44, “The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.”

As the phrase, cast the same in his teeth, is mentioned in Matthew 27:44, it implies that both the thieves did sin against the Lord.

Did one of the thieves repent from sin? Let’s meditate Luke 23:42-43 carefully below:

Luke 23:42-43, “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

Nothing is mentioned in Luke 23:42-43 that the thief did repent from sin and it should be there or else it would not be possible for him to inform Luke 23:42, “…Jesus (that), Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom…”

If you would refer the word, Lord, in Luke 23:42, you would have discovered that the definition of the word, Lord, in Luke 23:42 coincides the word, Lord, in Romans 10:9 that the thief directly approached Jesus and demanded Him to take control of his life to be his Master. As the phrase, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom, is mentioned in Luke 23:42, it implies that the thief did request Jesus to accept or in other words, to receive him in paradise. Or in other words, this thief did sincerely ask Jesus to come and take control of his life to be his Master and that caused Him to mention that he Luke 23:43, “…shalt be with (Him) in paradise.”



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