An Evangelical Baptist friend and I once had a fairly long argument about being saved by “receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior.” That was his phrase, and I’m sure it’s very familiar to you. And he was saying that’s all there is to it, and I was saying no it isn’t! Eventually I pulled out my trump card for this argument. To anyone who thinks that if you say some prayer one time, nothing after that matters when it comes to salvation, I could choose from dozens of contrary Scriptures, but my favorite is this one from Matthew 25. You can’t read this and not know that our actions, our works, have something to do with our salvation.
In this case, though, my friend was unfazed by my Biblical trump card. He said, “Well, of course. Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior isn’t just something you say. It’s what you do that determines whether He’s your Lord. His Lordship has to make a difference in your life, or it’s just an empty word.” Um… oh. I was surprised and definitely humbled to discover, so far into our conversation, that I’d totally misunderstood what my friend had been saying. Once we cleared up my bad assumption, we couldn’t really find any real disagreement between us. Knowing us, we probably started arguing about Mary instead!