I had a conversation with a friend a few years ago who was all excited and making the statement that she was on cloud 9 and had good reason to be that way. She stated since she had attended a revival service at a large local church and was filled with excitement and now that she is saved that she now would no longer have any issues in her life. She stated that she thinks she has no worries since she said a short prayer that she thinks was called a sinner’s prayer. I was really hopeful as she had not been leading a very godly life that she would finally turn her life around. I had lost touch with her for several years and recently found out that she has since left her children and husband for a life that is even less godly that it was before including drugs, alcohol and a sex addiction. What happened? How could this be when she is thinking she is a child of the Living God? Let’s dive into the Word of God to find out.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Romans 13:13-14 (NASB)
13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.
14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
Ephesians 5:3-5 (NASB)
3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
As you can plainly see there is and will be a noticeable change in our behaviors. It is not just something we say but it is a changed life. There must be a changed life. That is the way we will know if someone is saved, a changed life.
James 2:18-26 (NASB)
18 But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."
19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?
22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;
23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS," and he was called the friend of God.
24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
As you can see if one is truly saved then his works will be evidence of that salvation
Back to the example of my former friend, there was no changes toward holiness only the opposite. She was totally convinced that she was saved as she said the sinner’s prayer. This is possibly the worst thing we can ever allow someone to think. It is never the prayer that saves but a repentant changed heart and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
In conclusion, we must show fruit or good works if we are saved. Saying a prayer without a changed life is essentially saying that we can be saved without doing business with The Creator of the Universe
Next month we will look further into this phenomenon of saying the sinner’s prayer and trusting it as salvation without a changed heart
In His Holiness,