Is the phrase or concept anywhere in the Bible?
ESV - 6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.
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To 'accept Christ' is a short-hand summary of coming to have faith, of 'believing in our heart' that Jesus is Lord, and turning from sin to follow Him as Savior. To accept is to 'consent to receive a thing offered', or to 'believe and come to recognize a position as valid or correct'. Faith is 'to be persuaded or come to trust that something is true' - that is, to come to believe a position is valid and correct. Faith also allows us to receive a thing offered, such as Salvation and the promises of God. In both these ways, our coming to faith fits in well with the simple phrase 'accept Christ'. The principle can be found in many passages of scripture: "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name." Jn 1:12 The word 'received' here is the Greek lambánō, to "lay hold by aggressively (actively) accepting what is available (offered.)" https://biblehub.com/greek/2983.htm "For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Thess 5:9 The word 'obtain' here is peripoiésis, to acquire by one's efforts or to earn. Yet we know we do not 'earn' salvation by work or any effort of man, so it must be referring to our obtaining salvation by faith in Christ. (Rom 1:17, Eph 2:8-9. Tit 3:4-5, II Tim 1:9, Gal 3:22-24, etc.) Faith is the persuasion or 'acceptance' that something is true. "But the Scripture pronounces all things confined by sin, so that by faith in Jesus Christ, the promise might be granted to those who believe." Gal 3:22 Here again, we see that the promise is only given to those who believe in Christ. We must 'accept Christ'; have faith; before the Promises are granted to us. "Now, however, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed;...moreover the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ toward all those believing.." Rom 3:21-23 Here again, only a person with abiding faith receives the righteousness of God. "...Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. " I John 5:9-10 When we place faith in Christ we 'accept' the testimony God has revealed in Christ is true. "...So then, those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham the believer." Gal 3:8-9 We must be 'of faith' to be blessed. But how do we become 'of faith?' Rom 10 goes into detail: "...The word is near you;...”that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message? Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." Becoming one 'of faith', then, means one must hear and then heed the Good News that Christ died for our sins that we might be reconciled to God. [https://ebible.com/questions/4496-what-does-it-mean-to-have-faith-in-jesus] The simplicity and beauty of the gospel is that fallen, sinful man cannot save himself, but by accepting the good news of the Gospel, by faith in Christ, then God will declare us righteous and grant Salvation!
"Got questions" has, as usual, done a good job with their answer to this question. I wish to add a simpler one. John 14:6 quotes Jesus saying "I am the Way, The Truth and The Life. No one comes to the Father except through me." What you are accepting is" the Truth". That Jesus was the Son of God and willingly died for your sins. And there is no other Way for your sins to be forgiven.
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on his name; John 1:13 Who were born, not of blood, nor the will of man, but of God. It is receiving Jesus as our savior that saves us as He has joined His spirit to our spirit and we are given His perfect righteousness which is the only righteousness God will accept. We are born into the family of God by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. We are the sons and daughters of God by Him who saved us by His mercy and grace. When we receive Jesus as our savior we are united together with Christ, He in us and us in Him. Who ever has Jesus has everlasting life. The means of salvation is faith, but those who believe were chose by God before the foundation of the world to be saved. If God be for us, who can be against us.
In Colossians 2:6-7 below, Paul makes mention that Colossian Christians have received Christ Jesus as their Lord. After mentioning the fact of their acceptance of Christ Jesus as their Lord, he exhorts them to keep living in union with him, to be rooted and built up in him, to be established in the faith taught in the gospel, and to abound in thanksgiving. 6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving (Col 2:6-7, ESV).
Romans 10:9 says "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." By virtue of declaring this, hopefully, we are confessing it to be true. Therefore, accepting CHRIST JESUS as LORD.
Why is 'accepting Christ' mentioned in evangelism when it is not in the Bible? The words we use have meaning and even convey a specific meaning of our time. Our words can and most often do create a slippery slope, which may not be the intent. Substituting the word "accept" for "believing" we may then move to a new choice of words to substitute "ask Jesus into your heart". This is saying to someone that believing or accepting certain truths saves them. The first thing we have to look at is that believing or accepting saves no one : “You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe — and they shudder.” James 2:19 HCSB. (But the demons are not saved). Since we are considering word choice, biblical dictionaries do not list the word 'believe' but defer to the word "Faith". The following verses use the word 'faith', but let's substitute the word believe or accept for faith: Now (believing, accepting) is the substantiation of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). For by grace you have been saved through (believing, accepting), and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9) But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his (believing, accepting) is accounted for righteousness. (Romans 4:5) There are words we use that attempt to convey a meaning beyond our understanding; i.e. the word Trinity. The word Trinity is not found in scripture; however, the concept is in scripture: Father, Son and Holy Spirit or all referred to as God, but scripture also says there is but one God. In regards to believing or accepting, neither saves; but only "Faith" and it is not something we produce. “But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man (but of God).” John 1:12-13 HCSB “The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” Luke 17:5 HCSB The words "altar call" are also not found in scripture and this is not to say that an "altar call" is bad or wrong. But Invitations such as Charles Spurgeon gave directs men to Christ and not to aisles as today: Scripture invites (calls) men to Christ. The altar call has become the climax where stanzas of hymns are sung, during which time all kinds of appeals (and perhaps manipulation?) are made for the sinner to walk the aisle. The clear impression is given to the sinner that his eternal destiny hangs on this movement of his feet and his emotional feelings. We should be concerned with our choice of words as words convey meaning. We see a progression from "altar call" to "accepting Jesus" to "ask Jesus into your heart" to "I have decided to follow Jesus" teachings of the "Word of Faith Movement". All this falls in line with our "time." This is pure and simple pragmatism, whatever works in an attempt to sell Jesus, rather than obedience to preach the Word and leave salvation to Him who Calls. Unfortunately, today many denominations - churches considered "Doctrine" a Four Letter Word, and pick and choose what to teach or what's important because it might "Offend".
Many respondents have shown that "Accepting Christ" is beautifully biblical, and so is "Receiving" Christ. We can both receive and accept Christ. We must both receive and accept Christ to be born again, and we must be born again before we can demonstrate that we indeed received and accepted Him. WE RECEIVE THE GIFT: CHRIST JESUS IS THE GIFT OF GOD AND SALVATION FOR MANKIND Some receive this gift while most reject. Paul reminded the believers (those who had accepted the gift) at Ephesus: "You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God's gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own." (2:8) WE ACCEPT THE CHRIST: CHRIST JESUS IS GOD AND THE ONLY WAY TO GOD When Paul told the believers at Colossae, "You have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord. Now keep on following Him and let Him be the foundation for your life." -- (Col 2:6-7) He was defining an acceptance of the Jesus described in chapter 1:15-20 If it has been a while since you read this hymn-like affirmation of the real Jesus Christ, take a moment and be re-inspired about the Jesus gift who "was before all else, and by Him everything is held together." Another good reason to read this passage often is to remember our roots. They are in such a Christ who, in His exactness to God, "created everything in heaven and on earth, everything seen and unseen." (15-16) May our gospel presentation always include the acceptance of who Christ is and the reception of His gift of sacrifice. Mr. Houdmann certainly spoke the truth in love here.
The name Christ is the greek version of the name Messiah. If I "accept Christ" I am doing 3 things: 1. I agree that a jewish teacher called Jesus who claimed to be God in the body of a man was not mad or bad, but spoke the truth. 2. I accept his sacrificial suffering and death was instead of my just desserts. He gives me His white cloak of righteousness and He receives the justice I deserved for my rebel heart and actions 3. I accept my new relationship because Jesus has invited me into his family, his Father is now my father, His constant presence as a friend (even when I want to hide and nobody is watching). I die to the old self as I study my new friend and lover, listen daily for the quiet prompting of God within me. Thats the promise Jesus makes if we agree abd accept that he is the Creator God
The Bible records in the book of John 1:12..."but as many as receive Him, to them gave He power to be the sons of God, even to them that 'believe on His name"... One responder said 'receiving' means 'accepting'. And accepting Him (Christ) is what is preached. To be called a 'son' of God means the person has accepted/received Christ(Him). So, accepting Him is scriptural. Thank you.
There are about 61 verses that deal with this subject of Christ the key to salvation. The most direct is Romans 10: 9-10. It points out that Jesus is the Son of God and is based on Knowing and confessing this fact produced eternal life. There are a number of incidents in scripture of the Old Testament that points directly at Christ as the tool of God for our salvation. The principle is noted in the Bible under Daniel chapter two as a piece of a mountain that came and destroyed the image noted in Daniel chapter 2. Also not that the promise of the Messiah appearing in Daniel has no name but will appear in about 482 years from the time of the prophecy to Daniel noted in Chapter 9 to 11 points out the prophecy they are in that will begin the ending in when the one appears and be resurrected.
The exact term 'accepting Christ' is not in Scripture. Nowhere in Scripture are we as Christians instructed to 'just accept Christ', we are instructed to obey Him and His commands. The terms 'accepting Christ' or 'asking Jesus into your heart' are relatively new in relation to the history of Christ's church, having been coined by man.
For me, when the phrase "accept Christ" is used, it causes all kinds of theological problems. I try to stay away from using unclear terminology and just use the long version (read the verses). When this phrase is used in the circles I have been around, it is used to denote the moment of salvation. What I find off is that when the folk in Acts, after having been preached to, asked what they needed to do, the answer was simple. "Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and for all who are afar off, for all whom the Lord our God will call." That is pretty cut and dry. There is never a time when an unsaved person asked about salvation that they were told to just accept Christ and that was 'all there was to it' as I have witnessed. One account that may seem similar would be found in Acts 16:30, the Jailer's conversion. The only thing I would like to point out is that they were told to believe in the Lord Jesus, more preaching was done to all and then they were all baptized. I think it's safe to say that baptism was mentioned because if not, they probably would not have made haste to do it. The only other point I want to highlight would be the two working together, believing and baptism. Another point that I think should be mentioned is that the book of Romans was written to the Church. We all know the Church is made up of those who are already saved and the verses that are usually taken out of context are not dealing with the specific question of how to be saved (asked by the unsaved) but rather are dealing with teaching the Church a point of doctrine and/or lifestyle.
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