The “I have prayed the prayer” test!
So, you have prayed the prayer? You know, the prayer at the close of some gospel tract or the prayer that some “preacher” told you to pray. Maybe the “preacher” told you to ask Jesus into your heart. Or, maybe he said repeat this prayer after me and you will be saved. After you prayed some kind of prayer you were then told, “You now have eternal life and no one can ever take that away from you no matter what!” You know, no matter how you live your life, no matter that you don’t pray, no matter that you don’t read your Bible, no matter that you don’t live for God. After all, you’ve prayed the prayer. Is that what you’re trusting in? A prayer you prayed? I hope not!
If, and I do say IF. If you are trusting in a prayer you prayed to save you are trusting in the wrong thing! Prayer has never saved anyone! Christ ALONE saves! Maybe you have prayed a prayer. Maybe you are really saved. If you are trusting in Christ and nothing else and he has changed your life then you have be saved in spite of your prayer not because of it. BUT, if you say you have been saved, and your life has not been changed then there is something vitally wrong with your “salvation experience”. No matter what a “preacher” has told you about your prayer.
Where in the Bible is a sinner ever told to, “ask Jesus into your heart” or “pray the sinners prayer” anyway? Where? I’ll tell you where – no where! That right, NO WHERE! You see, in the word of God, men are not confronted with a prayer they must pray they are confronted with God’s Holy Law, their wicked Sin, and God’s ONLY remedy for lawbreaking sinners.
Have you ever been confronted with your sin? Are you really a child of God? Do you really have eternal life? Let’s see: Have you every told a lie (be honest)? Have you ever stolen something (even something small)? Have you ever taken God’s name in vain? What is your answer? If you have ever lied, stolen anything, our taken God’s name in vain then you are a lying, thieving, blasphemer!
Remember the Ten Commandments? Of course you do, because the work of the Law is written in your heart and your conscience bears witness to that fact (Romans 2:15). You know that taking the Lord’s name in vain, and stealing, and lying is WRONG (Exodus 20:3-17)! You know they are wrong, not just because you say they are wrong. They are wrong because God’s Law says they’re wrong - Dead wrong! “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23) and “… sin is the transgression of the law.” (I John 3:4).
Have you ever lusted about someone? Jesus said, “…whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) Have you ever hated some one in your heart? Jesus considers this murder (Matthew 5:21-22). If you have ever lusted or hated a person without cause you are an adulterer and murderer at heart. So you have asked Jesus to come into your heart? Why would Jesus want to come into your filthy wicked heart anyway? Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” You don’t need to asked Jesus into your heart! What you need is a new heart!
Your heart is not good! You stand condemned as a law breaker before a Holy God! You have violated His Law! As the Holy Judge of all the earth, God has already given his verdict – He says you are “condemned already” (John 3:18). He says, “…all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6), and “…your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). This should trouble you!
God is Just! He has never and will never overlook sin! He has never and will never overlook YOUR sin! It matters not that you “say” – even in a prayer. God knows how you really are – He knows your heart! And, you MUST face your sins. You must be punished for your sins or you must have some one that God will accept take your punishment. If you do not have a substitute, this too should trouble you!
Lawbreaker, are you troubled? Worried? Depressed? Concerned? Guilty? Broken hearted? Good! But, those feelings are not even good enough to save you! However, if you do feel that way, then I have good news for you! God graciously sent His only begotten Son the Lord Jesus Christ into this world to suffer, bleed, and die in the place of guilty, helpless, condemned sinners. Jesus is God’s gracious provision of a satisfactory substitute!
It is God’s demands that must be met! Your wicked heart and life cannot meet God’s demands. God satisfied His own inflexible justice by mercifully sending His beloved Son to die in the place of guilty sinners. Notice what the scripture says, “…Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” It is God who is “just” and “righteous”! So just and so righteous that He will not let one sin slip by. So just and so righteous that if a person is to find God’s favor at His bar of Justice their sins must be paid for! So just and so righteous, that God put on Christ’s account all the sins of all those who come to faith in Christ. And, having put on Christ those sins, God there and then punished Christ for all the sins of all of His people.
You see, Jesus did not die for His own sin, because He did not have any. I Peter 2:22 says, concerning Jesus that He, “…did no sin...” Truly Jesus Christ was and is “…holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners…” (Hebrews 7:26). Jesus did not die for His sins. He died because the sins of all of his people were put to his account. He died as a substitute in the place of sinners. In doing so, Jesus satisfied the just demands of the God’s Holy Law for all those he died for.
It was Jesus, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…” ( I Peter 2:24). It is in Jesus that, “…we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:14). It was, “…while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). Jesus did not come to save good people! Jesus was sent and came to save bad people! Sinners! Guilty, helpless, condemned sinners! “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (I Timothy 1:15)
But that is not all! After Jesus paid in full the sin debt of His people, He then arose from the grave to prove that He has completely cleared our guilty standing before God. Romans 4:25 say concerning Christ that He, “…was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” The resurrection of Jesus Christ is proof that God has accepted the sacrifice of Christ in the place of guilty sinners. Jesus cried aloud concerning his work of redemption when he died on the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30). On the third day after His death and burial, God proved that He had accepted the sacrifice of His Son by raising Him from the Dead.
Salvation is not in a “prayer” you pray, it’s not “asking Jesus to come into your heart”, it’s not believing in a “time” you believed. It’s not even our faith that saves us. The object of our faith is WHO saves us. Salvation is in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ! What are you trusting in for your salvation? Or better yet, WHO are you trusting in! God has made full provision for guilty, condemned, heartbroken sinners. Repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will enjoy “FULL PARDON”!
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” (Acts ) Believe ON Him and NOTHING else! I’m not saying believe in your faith. I am saying as Paul said, “Believe ON the Lord Jesus Christ”! Trust in him and NOTHING ELSE! Nothing else will do!
“He that believeth ON him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John ). “He that believeth ON the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)
If you are now trusting in the FINISHED WORK of the Lord Jesus Christ and NOTHING ELSE you will know that God has forgiven you of your sin debt, and you will know that you have received full pardon, and your life will be changed forever!
As a pardoned sinner you are a new creature, with new desires, and a new direction for your life. All true Christians are new creatures because II Corinthians says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Not old things “are passing away”, but they “are passed away”. The new things are not “becoming new” they “are new”. If you are truly saved you are new! The Holy Spirit has given you new life – eternal life! You have a new Lord – not self, but the Lord Jesus Christ! You have a new mind – the mind of Christ! You have new thoughts about God! Thoughts of gratitude! Thoughts of honor! Thoughts of love!
As a pardoned sinner, you now have new desires – a new heart. You now desire to live for Jesus who died for you. It will be His love for you that constrains you to live for him. Out of gratitude for Him taking your place as a condemned sinner you will want to serve Him and obey Him more and more day by day. “For the love of Christ constraineth us… that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (II Corinthians 5:14-15)
As a pardoned sinner you will be going in a new direction. Before you lived as you pleased, and did what you wanted to do, but now you will start living “unto him which died for you, and rose again for you”.
Jesus “…gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14). May you serve, love, and obey Jesus, not in order to obtain eternal life, but because He paid your sin debt in full. If you are saved, really saved, you will! As a pardoned sinner, Christ’s love for you expressed on the cross will move you to love, honor, serve, and obey Him – If it doesn’t then your not pardoned!