Many of the evangelicals I grew up with were horrified at the idea of magic and witchcraft, all the while promoting the biggest magic spell ever, known to many simply as “The Sinner’s Prayer.”
This magical incantation, when spoken out loud (and truly believed), is supposed to somehow change the location that we end up in after we die from hell to heaven. Not only that, but speaking (and believing) this spell aloud is supposed to also spiritually transform the speaker into a better person, or a “new creation.”
Of course there are some Christians who have realized that “The Sinner’s Prayer” is not actually spelled out anywhere in the Bible and they will tell you that it’s not the prayer that transforms your spirit and alters your afterlife itinerary, but rather it’s the accepting of Jesus to save you that does the trick. The problem is that this still makes salvation into a transaction between you and God. Even if it’s just a small transaction, a transaction it remains if there is something — anything — that you have to do to “get right with God.” Unfortunately a transactional salvation is not salvation by grace, it’s salvation by work, even if that work is simply choosing to trust Jesus.
So with all that in mind, how exactly is one saved apart from some sort of transaction? Well, I’ll get to that in an upcoming post.