Ask to Receive or Believe to Receive?

To see something fresh and new from the Word of God is always special and it happened again today. And I must share it with you. It seems to me that Paul provides the clearest commentary on Romans 10:9-13 that I have every read in 2 Corinthians 4:13.

 Here is Romans 10:9-13: 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 From these verses some suggest and teach that words must be articulated (by all physically able) to get saved. This group requires and leads people to pray a prayer of salvation to seal the deal or finalize the transaction and Romans 10:9-13 is quoted as the proof text for the necessity of praying a prayer of salvation. Verse 13 is used over and over again to emphasize the importance of praying words. Verse 9 and 10 are used to show the importance of confessing words.

 But in 2 Corinthians 4:13 Paul provides great clarity in help all understand what precedes what. Does Jesus come into my heart because I ask him to? Or am I articulating words of faith because Jesus has come in my heart? There is a difference. One is more Biblical than the other, but which one?

Paul says, in 2 Corinthians 4:13: We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Paul shows us the order: 1) We having the same spirit of faith > 2) believe > 3) therefore we speak. Notice Paul does not say: 1) We having spoken or asked or prayed > 2) therefore we believe and 3) subsequently receive the spirit of faith.

 In his previous letter to the church at Corinth Paul wrote: Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (1 Cor 12:3).  Once again, Paul makes it clear that one does not declare (in prayer or any other form of communication) that Jesus is Lord outside a work of the Holy Spirit.

 We do not pray to receive Jesus. We believe to receive. John 1:12 (AV) “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name”[emphasis mine]. Let’s make it perfectly and abundantly clear. We do not accept Jesus. He accepts us. There is no doubt you have heard the question, “Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?” Scott Brown writes: “Sadly, our churches are filled with young people who have "walked an aisle," but who have never really understood the full breadth of the gospel message. For them, the gospel has been trivialized and reduced to simply ‘accepting Christ.’” (

 That is NOT the right question. The correct question is: “Have you believed in your heart that Jesus is Lord for the forgiveness of your sins?” Consider this: There isn’t one example of language in the New Testament that suggests we accept Him. What then do we do? Believers are characterized as people who have turned to God and trusted in Christ’s finished penal substitutionary atoning work of Calvary for their personal salvation from the penalty and power of sin.

 They, we, believe the gospel.