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Is Christ your "personal Lord and Savior?"

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  • Is Christ your "personal Lord and Savior?"

    We've all heard it. The end of the sermon comes and the invitation to accept Jesus as your "personal Lord and savior" is made. But where does this idea come from? Where in the New Testament does it say Jesus is our personal Lord and savior apart from His church? When we're baptized, we're baptized into His body; and His body is made up of all believers.

    I understand we're all accountable to God as individuals. But is Christ my personal savior apart from the rest of His Church? I'm afraid this truth is getting lost amidst all the "personal savior" propaganda.
    Love is patient, love is kind; it does not envy, it does not boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

  • #2
    Since God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35) all who will be saved will be saved by the same standard, that being God's word that teaches God's plan of salvation and not any other man-made plan. So there can be no salvation outside of God's standard, no individual personal plan of salvation that varies from one person to another. Those who are Christians are to walk by the "same rule" and mind the "same thing" (Phil 3:16). The NT is ONE body of information that teaches "ONE faith" (Eph 4:5). Jesus called that one body of information "truth" (Jn 17:17) and the nature of truth is it is very narrow and never condtradicts itself. There is no plethora of contradicting faithS where each person individually shops for a faith he thinks is a good personal fit for himself.

    The only sense I can think of one having a "personal" relationship with Christ is through one's personal study of God's word, personal application of that word to one's life and one's personal requests to God in prayer.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by pdun459 View Post
      We've all heard it. The end of the sermon comes and the invitation to accept Jesus as your "personal Lord and savior" is made. But where does this idea come from? Where in the New Testament does it say Jesus is our personal Lord and savior apart from His church? When we're baptized, we're baptized into His body; and His body is made up of all believers.

      I understand we're all accountable to God as individuals. But is Christ my personal savior apart from the rest of His Church? I'm afraid this truth is getting lost amidst all the "personal savior" propaganda.
      It's something that has also struck me as a bit odd as well. I wonder if it partially stems from the highly individualistic societies we live in.
      Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
      Ecc 7:10

      John777 exists to me only in quoted form.


      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ernest T Bass View Post
        Since God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35) all who will be saved will be saved by the same standard, that being God's word that teaches God's plan of salvation and not any other man-made plan. So there can be no salvation outside of God's standard, no individual personal plan of salvation that varies from one person to another. Those who are Christians are to walk by the "same rule" and mind the "same thing" (Phil 3:16). The NT is ONE body of information that teaches "ONE faith" (Eph 4:5). Jesus called that one body of information "truth" (Jn 17:17) and the nature of truth is it is very narrow and never condtradicts itself. There is no plethora of contradicting faithS where each person individually shops for a faith he thinks is a good personal fit for himself.

        The only sense I can think of one having a "personal" relationship with Christ is through one's personal study of God's word, personal application of that word to one's life and one's personal requests to God in prayer.
        All I can say is +1.
        Love is patient, love is kind; it does not envy, it does not boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by teddyv View Post

          It's something that has also struck me as a bit odd as well. I wonder if it partially stems from the highly individualistic societies we live in.
          I think you're right. It's a case of the tail wagging the dog.
          Love is patient, love is kind; it does not envy, it does not boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

          Comment


          • #6
            Like a lot of things in churches today, its a Biblical concept at face value, but has lost meaning and become a cliche in practice. It's extremely important that we teach not only that Jesus is the savior of the Church but also you as an individual. And that your personal forgiveness and submission to Christ is something that may not apply to the person next to you. The letters to the churches in Revelation for example, not only appeal to the church body, but also to the person.

            The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. (Rev. 3)
            To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life. (Rev. 2)
            The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death. (Rev. 2)
            To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. (Rev. 2)

            So preaching "personal Lord and Savior" should be based on this, that God extends these gifts to whoever He wills and whoever conquers (believes in the Son and repents). Christ did not just die for the collective, but He also died as your personal substitute for your personal sins that you yourself committed. And the gift of life is given to you personally according to God's grace towards you as an individual, not just the world at large. That God is merciful towards YOU and provided a way to the Father through the Son.

            Unfortunately, what churches have turned this into is something that sounds like God "chasing after people" or "begging" them to accept Him. Or that God is your sidekick, or magic amulet that you get to put on if you come to the altar and say a quick prayer lead by a stranger. The idea of a personal Lord and Savior is one that should elevate the Lord rather than yourself. It is personal in the sense that God loves you personally, but you personally must also submit to His authority and worthiness above yourself.

            The other extreme is to neglect mentioning the personal aspects, and cause people to stumble in the idea that church itself is what saves or worse that God is only interested in world salvation in the macro sense.
            「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
            撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by pdun459 View Post
              We've all heard it. The end of the sermon comes and the invitation to accept Jesus as your "personal Lord and savior" is made. But where does this idea come from? Where in the New Testament does it say Jesus is our personal Lord and savior apart from His church? When we're baptized, we're baptized into His body; and His body is made up of all believers.

              I understand we're all accountable to God as individuals. But is Christ my personal savior apart from the rest of His Church? I'm afraid this truth is getting lost amidst all the "personal savior" propaganda.
              The thought is that there is no other vicar or intercessor. Thus, I do not have to go to the "Church" to be saved. I do not have to be voted on, interceded for as in a Priest making reconciliation for me, or manage my relationship with God through my church. Note that this is extremely important to Protestantism which objected to the Pope of the Catholic Church being the one and only "Vicar of Christ" for His Church on Earth. In Catholicism, one has to manage their relationship to their church in their understanding of the Scripture, personal comportment, etc. to gain access to the Sacraments. The Catholic church could refuse Communion to you for a number of reasons and thus you would be cut off from Christ. This IS NOT a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

              When Jesus Christ is our "personal" Savior, this speaks to our direct access to God. For Protestantism, this even goes towards our understanding of Scripture which is quite evident in these forums with our own "personal" views of what Scripture teaches. Even so, we are "Children of God" directly and we may offer our prayers directly to God and have our conversation daily and even continually with Him through our standing with our personal Savior Jesus Christ. He paid the price for my privilege.

              God has a lot invested in us and would have all humanity to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. I have no problem with invitations which when done well largely confirm the Gospel of Jesus Christ and gives opportunity for something special to occur. It doesn't have to work that way, but I'm fine with it and don't think it is "out of touch" with God's intentions. We see this in Paul's preaching where he presents the Gospel and some either believe or maybe want to hear more at a later time.

              Watchinginawe

              I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Aviyah View Post
                Like a lot of things in churches today, its a Biblical concept at face value, but has lost meaning and become a cliche in practice. It's extremely important that we teach not only that Jesus is the savior of the Church but also you as an individual. And that your personal forgiveness and submission to Christ is something that may not apply to the person next to you. The letters to the churches in Revelation for example, not only appeal to the church body, but also to the person.

                The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. (Rev. 3)
                To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life. (Rev. 2)
                The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death. (Rev. 2)
                To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. (Rev. 2)

                So preaching "personal Lord and Savior" should be based on this, that God extends these gifts to whoever He wills and whoever conquers (believes in the Son and repents). Christ did not just die for the collective, but He also died as your personal substitute for your personal sins that you yourself committed. And the gift of life is given to you personally according to God's grace towards you as an individual, not just the world at large. That God is merciful towards YOU and provided a way to the Father through the Son.

                Unfortunately, what churches have turned this into is something that sounds like God "chasing after people" or "begging" them to accept Him. Or that God is your sidekick, or magic amulet that you get to put on if you come to the altar and say a quick prayer lead by a stranger. The idea of a personal Lord and Savior is one that should elevate the Lord rather than yourself. It is personal in the sense that God loves you personally, but you personally must also submit to His authority and worthiness above yourself.

                The other extreme is to neglect mentioning the personal aspects, and cause people to stumble in the idea that church itself is what saves or worse that God is only interested in world salvation in the macro sense.
                Good post, thanks.
                Love is patient, love is kind; it does not envy, it does not boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by watchinginawe View Post

                  The thought is that there is no other vicar or intercessor. Thus, I do not have to go to the "Church" to be saved. I do not have to be voted on, interceded for as in a Priest making reconciliation for me, or manage my relationship with God through my church. Note that this is extremely important to Protestantism which objected to the Pope of the Catholic Church being the one and only "Vicar of Christ" for His Church on Earth. In Catholicism, one has to manage their relationship to their church in their understanding of the Scripture, personal comportment, etc. to gain access to the Sacraments. The Catholic church could refuse Communion to you for a number of reasons and thus you would be cut off from Christ. This IS NOT a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
                  This is a good point, but just because of the abuses of one so-called church we can't dismiss the importance of the role of the church for the believer.

                  "For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith. For just as in one body we have many members, and not all the members serve the same function, so we who are many are one body in Christ, and individually we are members who belong to one another."—Romans 12:3-5

                  "So now there are many members, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I do not need you,' nor in turn can the head say to the foot, 'I do not need you.' On the contrary, those members that seem to be weaker are essential, and those members we consider less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our unpresentable members are clothed with dignity, but our presentable members do not need this. Instead, God has blended together the body, giving greater honor to the lesser member, so that there may be no division in the body, but the members may have mutual concern for one another. If one member suffers, everyone suffers with it. If a member is honored, all rejoice with it."—1 Corinthians 12:20-26.

                  "For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether Jews or Greeks or slaves or free, we were all made to drink of the one Spirit."—1 Corinthians 12:13.

                  "Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of the water by the word, so that he may present the church to himself as glorious—not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless."—Ephesians 5:25-27.

                  Christ is coming again for His church, not any one individual. The "personal Lord and Savior" cliche tends to give a person the wrong idea right out of the gate.

                  Originally posted by watchinginawe View Post
                  When Jesus Christ is our "personal" Savior, this speaks to our direct access to God. For Protestantism, this even goes towards our understanding of Scripture which is quite evident in these forums with our own "personal" views of what Scripture teaches. Even so, we are "Children of God" directly and we may offer our prayers directly to God and have our conversation daily and even continually with Him through our standing with our personal Savior Jesus Christ. He paid the price for my privilege.
                  I can see that.

                  Love is patient, love is kind; it does not envy, it does not boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pdun459 View Post
                    This is a good point, but just because of the abuses of one so-called church we can't dismiss the importance of the role of the church for the believer.
                    ...
                    Christ is coming again for His church, not any one individual. The "personal Lord and Savior" cliche tends to give a person the wrong idea right out of the gate.
                    Likewise, we can't dismiss the personal witness given each individual which also binds us corporately. Christ is coming again for every individual of His Church.

                    I guess I don't fully understand your objection to the idea of personal. Do you also object to the thought of a "born again believer"? Being "born again" is a deeply personal experience. It doesn't do me any good for someone else to say that I am saved or a member of the "Church". If I don't have that personal witness, then I haven't been born again. To that end, when one is "born again", Jesus very much seems to be our "personal Lord and Savior", right? At least as salvation goes in experience and in Scripture, it doesn't seem to be a corporate thing.

                    I used to think that every Christian had a "conversion" experience, but over the years I came to know so many other solid Christians who just "believed all their lives" or were "Christians for as long as they could remember". But in talking with them and getting to know them they also held a deeply personal conviction and witness of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

                    Here is one other kind of word play thing. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Jesus is my personal Lord and Savior. If you are OK with the former, then I can agree with that. I think it would be mostly a semantical difference between the two but maybe putting it that way helps me to see your objection.
                    Watchinginawe

                    I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal.2:20

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by watchinginawe View Post

                        Here is one other kind of word play thing. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Jesus is my personal Lord and Savior.
                        Jesus is my Lord and Savior is better in my opinion. When you add "personal" to it, it makes it sound like He's you own personal butler or something.

                        Being a member of Christ's church (His body, not a local church; though that's important too) makes you accountable to Him; if He's your "personal" Savior that makes Him accountable to you.
                        Love is patient, love is kind; it does not envy, it does not boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pdun459 View Post

                          Jesus is my Lord and Savior is better in my opinion. When you add "personal" to it, it makes it sound like He's you own personal butler or something.

                          Being a member of Christ's church (His body, not a local church; though that's important too) makes you accountable to Him; if He's your "personal" Savior that makes Him accountable to you.
                          God is my Daddy (this is what Abba means (Rom 8:15)). God is daddy to all in the Church. Not some impersonal, far off, unreachable King on a throne. He is personal to each of us. We can sit on His knee as it were, and cuddle into His loving arms. That is what I take "personal savior" to mean.

                          Yes, this phraseology can be taken inappropriately, but that does not make the phraseology wrong. Jesus is our personal savior, just as the Father is our personal Daddy.

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