Sinner's Prayer? That's Not For Me - I'm Not a Sinner!
"Sinner" is a word that gets a bad rap these days - and well it should. Unfortunately, the bad rap it is getting is for the wrong reasons. Confronted with our shortcomings, we are quick to defend ourselves with words like, "I'm not a sinner! I don't go around sinning! I've never murdered anyone or anything like that!" The problem is, we don't really know what the word sin means. We think it only applies to some despicable act that repulses "church people" who want to hang big scarlet letters around our necks. But sin simply means to miss the mark; to fall short of the goal. The fact is, we are all sinners, for there is no one, save Christ alone, who has lived a life that did not in some way fall short of the perfection God requires. We all deserve to pay the penalty for that sin, which is to spend eternity in hell.
Sinner's Prayer - What the Bible Says About Sin
Sin, according to the Bible, is any action that violates the law given by God in the Ten Commandments. The law was given by God to show us what it means to live a life deserving of God's love. It was also given to show us that none of us can live that kind of life. God knew that in advance, and that is why He sent His Son Jesus to be that perfect life for us. Jesus, God in human flesh, voluntarily laid aside His God-hood to connect with us, to show us He understands us and to give us a way to be reconciled to the Father, since none of us can keep the law to its letter. "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
Some say that sin is two letters, "s" and "n", with "I" in the middle. We elevate ourselves, and certainly we live in a time when that thinking is being promoted. Sin may be something we can't be free of, but the good news is we can be free of its penalty. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23)
Sinner's Prayer - Become a Sinner Saved by Grace!
What's the key to the Sinner's Prayer? As long as we are content to live in sin, the Bible says we are separated from God. That condition may seem fine for a while, but it ultimately leads to misery and then to eternal separation from God. "There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death." (Proverbs 16:25). The good news is that God Himself has made a way for us to be reconciled to Him, and He has done this through His Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:6-15).
What about you? Are you content to live for yourself, get the most toys, and die anyway? Or do you want a life of purpose and hope? God, the One who created you, has a purpose for your life and wants to give you a new beginning. If you are ready to admit your need for a clean slate in life, the God of second chances is waiting to give it to you. All you have to do is start with the Sinner's Prayer.
Sinner's Prayer - Recognizing the Need
The "Sinner's Prayer" is a term that describes the words spoken by a person when he or she has recognized their sin and their need for a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It goes something like this:
- “Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.”
- Get baptized as commanded by Christ.
- Tell someone else about your new faith in Christ.
- Spend time with God each day. It does not have to be a long period of time. Just develop the daily habit of praying to Him and reading His Word. Ask God to increase your faith and your understanding of the Bible.
- Seek fellowship with other followers of Jesus. Develop a group of believing friends to answer your questions and support you.
- Find a local church where you can worship God.
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus
Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus
I still have questions