Saturday, June 16, 2012

SBC Resolution on the "Sinner's Prayer"

WHEREAS, God desires for every person to be saved and has made salvation available for any person who hears the Gospel (John 3:16; Romans 10:14-17; 1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 2:2); and

WHEREAS, A free response to the Holy Spirit’s drawing through the Gospel is both possible and necessary in order for anyone to be born again (John 3:1-16; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 10:11-13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13); and

WHEREAS, Prayer is God’s gracious means through which any person can communicate with Him and is everywhere in Scripture commanded and commended for every matter and every person (2 Chronicles 7:14; Matthew 7:7-11; Mark 11:17; Philippians 4:6); and

WHEREAS, Praying to God to express repentance for sins, to acknowledge Christ as Lord, and to ask for forgiveness and salvation is modeled in the Bible (Acts 2:37-38; Romans 10:9-10); and

WHEREAS, While there is no one uniform wording found in Scripture or in the churches for a “Sinner’s Prayer,” the prayer of repentance and faith, acknowledging salvation through Christ alone and expressing complete surrender to His Lordship, is the biblical means by which any person can turn from sin and self, place his faith in Christ, and find forgiveness and eternal life (Luke 18:9-14, 23:39-43); and

WHEREAS, It is biblically appropriate to help a sinner in calling on the Lord for salvation and to speak of Christ’s response to such a prayer as “entering a sinner’s heart and life” (John 14:23; Acts 2:37-40; 16:29-30; Romans 10:11-17; Ephesians 3:17); and

WHEREAS, 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; 28:18-20); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in New Orleans, LA, June 19-20, 2012, commend the use of a “Sinner’s Prayer” as a biblically sound and spiritually significant component of the evangelistic task of the church; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage all Christians to enthusiastically and intentionally proclaim the Gospel to sinners everywhere, being prepared to give them the reason for the hope we have in Christ (I Peter 3:15), and being prepared to lead them to confess faith in Christ (Romans 10:9), including praying to receive Him as Savior and Lord (John 1:12).

-by Dr. Eric Hankins, pastor of First Baptist Church, Oxford, Mississippi. Eric Hankins is one of the first signers of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.” 
Hankins will also be nominated as 2nd Vice-President of the Southern Baptist Convention.
This Resolution on the "Sinner’s Prayer" has been submitted for a vote at next week’s Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana.
News of this resolution was reported in The Christian Index, Baptist Press, and the resolution published at

UPDATE:  See the final version of this Resolution that was voted and approved by the SBC here:
Final Copy - SBC Resolution on "Sinner's Prayer"

UPDATE (11-26-2012): Peter Lumpkins and Rick Patrick have reported that Dr. Eric Hankins’ original resolution on the Sinner’s Prayer (the one printed above) was adopted by four state SBC conventions: Tennesse, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana.  -David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, June 16, AD 2012.

Other Articles:
Saved By The Sinner's Prayer
The Roman Road of Salvation
Other articles in lower right margin.


  1. David,
    Perhaps the title of this entry should be "PROPOSED SBC Resolution on the Sinner's Prayer" since the one that was passed hardly resembles this one?

  2. ABClay,
    You will notice the proposed Resolution was clearly posted as having been put up on June 16, 2012, and ended up being voted on June 20, 2012. I did say in the above post, “This Resolution on the "Sinner’s Prayer" has been submitted for a vote at next week’s Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana.”

    You are right. Submitted Resolutions are often reworded by the Resolutions Committee, as was this Resolution. I find it more than a little interesting that even after it was reworded there was still strong opposition from Calvinists to the new Resolution on the Sinner’s Prayer. I think BP reported the vote was about 80% to 20% in favor.

    When I have a chance, I’ll post the final, voted and approved edition of the Resolution on the Sinner’s Prayer.
    David R. Brumbelow

  3. David, I mistakenly put my comment on this posting about the sinner's prayer on your posting about your book "Ancient Wine And The Bible." Your book is good, but I meant to say this "Sinner's prayer" posting is good. On the humorous side, w/o quotation marks, your other posting would say Lifeway is now selling Ancient wine and the Bible. That would cause a controversy!


What do you think?