Friday, September 04, 2009

Getting John 1:12 Right: Should You Invite Jesus Into Your Heart?

Jim Elliff covers the much understood phrase of "inviting Jesus into your heart". He notes:

John 1:11-13. A Look at the Verse in Context

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

What then is this verse, with its surrounding context, actually saying?

1. First, it declares that the world, and Jews in particular, were blind to Jesus.

2. Second, it teaches us that some people, regardless of the general blindness, do have the power (or actual right) to become children of God.

3. Third, it teaches that reception of Jesus must be qualified further.

4. Fourth, the child of God experiences something beyond (and I contend, before) his faith.

Where Does This Leave Us?

Here is what we should do:

1. We should forever bury the idea of “inviting Christ into the life.”

2. We should abandon the “praying the prayer” method for our appeal.

3. We should use the biblical terminology of “belief” in Christ.

4. We should also spend far more time talking about the awfulness of sin and the work of Christ for sinners.

If We Continue
Do not back down in your fervor, but use the right method. It stands to reason, even if numbers are smaller, that more true converts will come from good methodology. I know that God ultimately saves, and that He can use anything He wishes to do, but surely we are right to continually purify our evangelism for His glory.

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