Galatians 3:2 "Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing of faith?"
Paul's thetorical question is obvious. The Galatians had received the Spirit when they were saved ( Rom. 8:9, 1 Cor.12:13, 1 John 3:24, 4:13). not through keeping the Law, but "through saving faith granted when hearing the gospel" (Rom. 10:17). Yet they were made alive to Christ in order for them to even seek God. Faith is granted, Not everyone gets it. It does not come by works of the law, but by grace (Eph. 2:1-10). "If we believe in our hearts (before making the commitment) that God raised Him from the dead we shall be saved" (Rom. 10:9,10) Faith has to be granted, (Phil. 1:29, 2 Tim. 2:25,26).
---Mark_V. on 5/12/11|
I asked about receiving the Spirit because Galatians 3:2 makes it clear that we receive the Spirit when we believe the gospel.
regardless of how little time elapses, there is a sequence - either prayer then belief, or belief then prayer.
If a man believes the gospel, then says a "prayer of salvation" afterwards, then it wasn't a prayer of salvation. He would have been "saved" before saying the prayer, when he believed. right?
But if he says a prayer first, then believes, then the prayer didn't work anyway because he still wouldn't be "saved" until he believes the gospel.
one would come before the other and the sinner's prayer is rendered useless.
---James_L on 5/11/11|
Thanks for your answer James L.
You asked: "did these people you know receive the Spirit before they said the sinner's prayer, or after?" A good question. Another option is of course they may have received the Spirit when they said the prayer. Every case is different, I believe some before, some after, not sure exactly how I can judge that. Fruit I've seen grown in their life's takes time.
I will add that I have also seen people pray the "sinners prayer" and then walk away and have nothing to do with God.
---christina on 5/11/11|
Christina, great points you gave when you said:
"Just wondering, why did you pray it? Perhaps it was ineffective because you prayed in unbelief, or with wrong motives"
When a person confesses his sins againts God, it is not so that God knows what he has done, He already knows. Confession is for our own souls. Only those individuals who understands and sees his rebellion will do that. What that does is humble us before Christ. Indicating we already, not only understand, but also believe by faith we were wrong, and we feel like repenting. If we do not feel that remorse or believe by faith, a person will not humble before Christ. And as we know unbelievers don't have that faith, the reason they are called unbelievers.
---Mark_V. on 5/11/11|
\\Just wondering, why did you pray it?\\
---Christina on 5/10/11
That's a very good question, Christina.
I believed the lie that says "If YOU do this, God will let you into heaven"
That is, after all, the sinner's prayer pitch. "If you do this..."
I remember when I was six years old, I heard the biggest lie ever told in a church:
"You can't get to heaven on your mom's salvation or your dad's salvation. No one can get you there but you."
I was deceived by a well-meaning pastor.
You bring up a good point about praying a sinner's prayer after receiving the gospel.
did these people you know receive the Spirit before they said the sinner's prayer, or after?
---James_L on 5/10/11|
James_L"I prayed this ineffective prayer hundreds of times without even knowing anything about the gospel."
Just wondering, why did you pray it? Perhaps it was ineffective because you prayed in unbelief, or with wrong motives. I know of people praying the sinners prayer after receiving the gospel, and believe that they were/are truly saved. They began a relationship with Jesus, have grown in the faith and knowledge of our Lord-their lives have been transformed from darkness unto light. It's not the prayer that saves, only Jesus Christ can do that, but it can be used as a tool, as some have said.
---Christina on 5/10/11|
JamesL ---//I prayed this ineffective prayer hundreds of times without even knowing
anything about the gospel//
It's not the prayer that was wrong, but the people who did not make sure that you understood what you were praying... they were the ones at fault.
---Donna66 on 5/9/11|
Mima's prayer of salvation is merely a tool used in helping people who aren't saved and don't know how to pray for forgiveness,to pray for God to forgive them. God gives tools to all those who serve him and the tools he gives fits the "hand" of the person ministering. Romans 14:4 Every servant stands or falls to his own Master,and only that Master has a right to judge him on how he does it. I would equate the offering of two quarters to the Widows two small copper coins in Luke 21:2,she who had little gave much,that is special to remember,obedience to God and giving all one can to God's work.
---Darlene_1 on 5/9/11|
He is God but he is not the man upstairs.
---shira3877 on 4/7/11|
Shira, It is a name of HE is powerful i am not, He is wise I am not, HE is in control I am not etc. you don't like it oh well.
---Scott on 4/6/11|
Scott, who is the man upstairs? I have heard that statement before. I didn't know there was a man upstairs. My God is God.
---shira3877 on 4/5/11|
I got my information from scripture:
"But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!" (Galatians 1:8)
Compare Mima's "gospel" (pray this prayer) with scripture. Can you find any of the sermons of the apostles in which people were instructed to say a "prayer of salvation"? I prayed this ineffective prayer hundreds of times without even knowing anything about the gospel.
Compare Mima's Christ with scripture.
"since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same...Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things" (Heb 2:14-17)
---James_L on 4/4/11|
"Men of God don't have a different Christ and a different gospel"
And ... you got your information from where? No one on here said that.
---Elder on 4/3/11|
\\What I saw was a saint of God giving an offering to a man of God.\\
Men of God don't have a different Christ and a different gospel
---James_L on 4/3/11|
"\\One-time after talking to me a lady gave me two quarters with this statement. Here is my offering. I have never forgotten this as it really really touched my heart.\\
I know you think you're a little bit special spiritually, mima, but maybe she was trying to get rid of y ou."
What I saw was a saint of God giving an offering to a man of God.
This had nothing to do with Mima but the action of another saint. How could you miss that?
---Elder on 4/2/11|
\\One-time after talking to me a lady gave me two quarters with this statement. Here is my offering. I have never forgotten this as it really really touched my heart.\\
I know you think you're a little bit special spiritually, mima, but maybe she was trying to get rid of y ou.
---Cluny on 3/31/11|
People have always believed they can buy their way into heaven by giving and doting on their pastor(leaders). This is very sad and an unecessary waste of time and money. You would do better to take this money and flush it down the commode. This will not earn you a place in heaven,my blind friend.The pastor will accept this money and gifts but it will only make him/her richer and richer and it won't do a thing for you, but make you poorer and poorer. This does not please or glorify God, in any way. I am sure the pastor(leaders) appreciate people like this. The more gullible and easily deceived you are, the richer they become. So, sad.
When pastors and churches know clearly this is gambling money.I think they should turn it down.
---Robyn on 3/30/11|
A few years back I used to go to nursing homes and talk to the people about salvation. One-time after talking to me a lady gave me two quarters with this statement. Here is my offering. I have never forgotten this as it really really touched my heart.
---mima on 2/11/11|
My question would be why did the person by the lottery ticket. Is buying a lottery ticket an idol or addiction. I would not accept the money. However, if you buy one for fun and win you better give over 10% to the church because you did not win it by yourself and thank the MAN upstairs.
---Scott on 2/10/11|
there was an old preacher in kentucky named Clarence Walker. He preached against alcohol and moonshining. One sunday morning a man put a ten dollor bill in the preachers coat pocket and told the preacherit was made selling moon the night before.Instead of being upset or rejecting it, the pastor pushed it deeper in his pocket and told the man, "The devil had it long enough now it's Gods."
---Harold on 1/25/11|
Sometimes the answer isn't that simple. In NZ, shops and bars can have gambling machines provided a large percentage is put back into the community. So "Pub Charities" have emerged that fund many other charities in their work. But in taking this money they have institutionalised gambling and wherever these machines are, there is a higher incidence of crime. Furthermore, ministries that take this money have less incentive to engage with their Christian communities, communicating what they do and allowing Christians to participate in their work through material and prayer support.
---Genghis7777 on 1/24/11|
It depends on what the church had to do to obtain the money. If the gambler gave it to the church in the right and legal way. The church could accept it.
---Robyn on 10/22/07|
God's people can use it just as the devil's people use it.
---shira on 10/22/07|
We had that offered to our church once and we took it but gave it to the food bank. We didn't like the idea of where and how it came to us but at least it ended up in the right place. We wouldn't use it in the general fund to pay the bills at church.
---john on 3/8/07|
Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.exzucuh
---Exzucuh on 3/30/06|
If our church was giving money, from a gambler, we would help out the congragation, and put some back in the church to put shingles/gravel, etc. If we were giving a car, we would give it to the person in our church who needs it the most. People can give us the devils money, we'll take it and bless it and it will turn into the Lord's money.
---Rebecca_D on 2/25/06|
I love John's answer to this question!!!
---mima on 2/25/06|
My opinion is that money is a neutral entity. It's intent and purpose is determined by the hands presently holding it ... not by where it has been in the past. I think the Christian organization should rejoice that they have acquired money that the devil was trying to use to cause harm because they now have the ability to use it for good.
---DoryLory on 1/28/06|
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I would have to look at the spirit in which the car/money was given. Is Gambling a sin, anymore than drinking or smoking or cussing?
Now if the car/money was stolen then the church has no right to it.
---NurseRobert on 1/28/06|