I’ve been preaching on baptism at Church these last few weeks (come back here on Sunday and you’ll be able to read my sermon transcripts) and I’ve learned so much.
As I’ve been preaching on baptism, in the states the Souther Baptists have been talking about the sinner’s prayer and what role it plays in the conversion experience. I found an interesting blog last week that brings these two; baptism and the sinner’s prayer, into the lime light. Frank Viola, like my self as I’ve gone on this baptism journey, believes that the sinner’s prayer has taken the place of baptism. Frank writes,
In our day, the ‘sinner’s prayer’ has replaced the role of water baptism as the initial confession of faith. Unbelievers are told, ‘Say this prayer after me, accept Jesus as your personal Savior, and you will be saved.’ But nowhere in all the New Testament do we find any person being led to the Lord by a sinner’s prayer.
Instead what we do find is people coming to faith and being baptised. As I read through the New Testament it almost appears as if baptism and confession are almost one in the same. And at least in my Christian experience and a number of others, so it seems, the two are quite far apart.
What is your experience of baptism and the sinners prayer? In your experience has conversion and baptism been the same event or separated by a large period of time? Do we even need baptism as part of our Christian experience? Let me know what you’re thinking. Oh and make sure you read the full Frank Viola blog here.