Accepting Jesus As Your Personal Savior

I wonder when this phrase started. Maybe with Finney? It’s not in the Bible. I realize the word Trinity also isn’t in the Bible and it’s a foundation of orthodox faith. But God makes us acceptable to Him, not the other way around. I believe salvation is wholly a work of God and isn’t based on our “acceptance” of Him. I even think in some definitions of the word, it’s offensive, but I know that most people don’t mean it that way.

John 1:12 GW
he gave the right to become God’s children to everyone who believed in him.

And even the faith to believe is a gift from God.

Ephesians 2:8 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

We need to repent and work out our salvation.

Acts 17:30
God overlooked the times when people didn’t know any better. But now he commands everyone everywhere to turn to him and change the way they think and act.

Philippians 2:12
My dear friends, you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I’m absent. In the same way continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

I think this article is pretty good: Accept Jesus?

I hate cliches and catch phrases. I spent three plus years going through the New Testament with the help of commentaries and read through the Old Testament just to see what’s in the Bible and what’s not, what’s true teaching and what’s not. Most of the extra-Biblical sayings we Evangelicals hear aren’t Biblical, or not quite. Some of them are. I wish people would just use what’s said in the Bible or say in their own words what’s Biblical. But I’ve been learning how Biblically illiterate most are. I would have to include myself in that category to some degree until the last few years (though still lacking), although having some Scripture memorized really helped. I’ve had to put myself through catechism, because I never got it anywhere else. A sermon hear and there isn’t going to do it.

Search the Scriptures to see if what people say is in them.

Acts 17:11
The people of Berea were more open-minded than the people of Thessalonica. They were very willing to receive God’s message, and every day they carefully examined the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was true.

What do you think?

Also see: To Love Him Is To Know Him

7 Responses to “Accepting Jesus As Your Personal Savior”


  1. 1 Gary Zimmerli

    John MacArthur tells of his first trip to Russia after the fall of Communism, how he was impressed that the believers referred to repenting, rather than accepting Jesus. I think we in America could learn from that. I like to use the phrases, “repented of my sins” and “turned in faith to Jesus”.

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    Gary that’s really good. I’ll have to remember that.
    Jeff

  3. 3 Aimee Byrd

    I grew up saturated with these phrases, to the point that I did think they were Scripture. Trying to explain the fault behind this particular phrase to some of my family members is akin to false teaching. They cling to this phrase faithfully, and look at me as someone who is convoluted by too much knowledge.
    Also, I think there is a connection with this post and your “I surrender all” post. They are both man-centered. We don’t surrender all as we should. I wish the hymn went something like, “You bore it all, even when I didn’t want to give it to you.” 🙂

  4. 4 Eric

    Like repenting, another word we don’t hear as much any more is conversion. We used to speak about being converted. I’ve never cared much for “accepting Jesus.”

  5. 5 Scripture Zealot

    Aimee, I didn’t realize how man-centerd I Surrender All is until I just read all of the lyrics again. I doubt anyone would want to change the words but yours are good.

    I’m afraid to talk about how silly these sayings are, but in our Bible study you hear them all the time. They are well meaning of course. I wonder if mentioning some things in prayer would be tactless. Like saying, “We praise you for doing what it took to make us acceptable to you and loving us first as opposed to us accepting you.”

    ‘Being converted’ is something that God does to us as opposed to what we do to ‘start the process’. I like it.
    Jeff

  6. 6 Gordon

    Here’s a list of other sayings that some think are in the Bible:
    http://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/sayings.cfm

  7. 7 Scripture Zealot

    Fantastic. Thank you.
    Jeff

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