[From moderator] This question is about the phrase 'ask Jesus into your heart' and whether it has any biblical basis. It is not about the meaning behind the phrase (receiving salvation through Jesus Christ). We ask that you stay on topic to focus on the phrase only. Thank you.
For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
I think Michael and Andrea's responses are two sides if the same coin. I agree with Andrea's theology, but I think Michael's response was misunderstood. I do not read his response as denying the trinity. I found his answer very helpful in how I will present the gospel in the future.
All the answers given are meaningful, and have some merit.
But I find it frustrating that Christians (those who have "asked Jesus into their hearts!" or however you want to say it) will spend hours debating the nuances of a spectacular divine action in our lives, when what those who are not "Born again" (another phrase we could debate) are desperately - eternally in need of the Redemption Jesus brought!
It is worth noting that not one of us was saved because we believed the correct doctrine. We were saved because we put our faith in Jesus.
One must realize that the "heart" that is affected is the spirit of a man. The soul is the mind, will and emotions which are not born again or transformed, but have to be trained according to the word of God. The body, the third part of man, is self-explanatory. The scripture refers to the three parts of man in the NT, and understanding that the spirit and the soul are not the same helps a lot. It needs to be understood that the spirit is the part of man that is indwelt by the spirit of God at salvation. We experience immediate awareness of God and that something has changed at salvation, but not our whole being. Heaven, however, is assured at this point. We have to keep being saved by renewing our mind, yielding our wills and training our emotions - hence, grow. Without understanding our parts properly, the scriptures would seem to contradict in their descriptions of salvation.
'kardia', the heart, in Greek is the seat of our desires and decisions - the affective center of our being.
17"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith."...