Is the Sinner’s Prayer the Gospel?

When people are given the impression that they are saved by praying, we can easily forget that it is the Spirit who gives us the faith to desire , much less to pray for, God’s mercy.  The focus shifts from the gospel itself, through which the Spirit gives us faith, to the act of faith itself.

The most important criticism of this definition of the gospel is that it is not found in Scripture.  No one is called in the New Testament to pray “the sinner’s prayer,” by asking Jesus to come into his or her heart.  God’s judgment is announced all people; the gospel is proclaimed as Christ’s fulfillment of the Scriptures and many, convicted of their sins and the Good News of salvation in Christ, believe, are baptized and are thereby added to the church.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 92

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