Sunday, June 24, 2012

Final Copy - SBC Resolution on "Sinner's Prayer"

Following is the final version of the Resolution on the "Sinner’s Prayer" as voted on and passed by the SBC.


WHEREAS, The Gospel of Jesus Christ offers full forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God to anyone who repents of sin and trusts in Christ; and

WHEREAS, This same Gospel commands all persons everywhere to believe this Gospel and receive Christ as Savior and Lord (Mark 1:15; John 1:12; 6:25–52; Acts 17:30); and

WHEREAS, The Scriptures give examples of persons from diverse backgrounds who cried out for mercy and were heard by God (Luke 18:13; Acts 16:29–30); and

WHEREAS, The Scriptures also give numerous examples of persons who verbally affirmed Gospel truths but who did not personally know Jesus in a saving relationship (Luke 22:47–48; John 2:23–25; 1 Corinthians 10:1–5); and

WHEREAS, Empty religion and formalism, of whatever kind, apart from personal relationship with Christ, cannot wash away sin or transform a heart (Matthew 7:21; 15:8; John 3:3); and

WHEREAS, The Bible speaks of salvation as including both a confession with the mouth that Jesus is Lord and a belief in the heart that God has raised Him from the dead (Matthew 16:16; Romans 10:9–10); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 19–20, 2012, reaffirm our Gospel conviction that repentance from sin and personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are necessary for salvation (Acts 20:20–21); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm that repentance and faith involve a crying out for mercy and a calling on the Lord (Romans 10:13), often identified as a “sinner’s prayer,” as a biblical expression of repentance and faith; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a “sinner’s prayer” is not an incantation that results in salvation merely by its recitation and should never be manipulatively employed or utilized apart from a clear articulation of the Gospel (Matthew 6:7; 15:7–9); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we promote any and all biblical means of urging sinners to call on the name of the Lord in a prayer of repentance and faith; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we call on Southern Baptists everywhere to continue to carry out the Great Commission in North America and around the world, so that sinners everywhere, of every tribe, tongue, and language, may cry out, “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).


Though there was strong opposition to this Resolution by a number of Calvinists (aka Reformed, Doctrines of Grace, etc.), Baptist Press reported it passed by an estimated 80% vote.

This Resolution, as is often the case, was reworded / rewritten by the Resolutions Committee. The above is the version that was actually presented to the SBC and voted in the affirmative by them.

Update (11-26-2012): Peter Lumpkins and Rick Patrick have reported that Dr. Eric Hankins’ original resolution on the Sinner’s Prayer was adopted by four state SBC conventions: Tennesse, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana. Click for the original Sinner's Prayer Resolution offered by Hankins.    
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 24, AD 2012

Other Articles:
A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation
Saved By The Sinner's Prayer
The Roman Road of Salvation
Other articles in lower right margin.

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