Can you really give your life to Yeshua (Jesus)? This is a big question in today’s modern immediate gratification society. While walking as a worldly person I was told that I NEEDED to say the sinners prayer. There are many versions of it. Some contain scripture and some don’t. The concept is that you (repent of your sins) however many just say “I repent of my sins” never feeling pain, or guilt, or sadness for committing them, and many don’t know how to Biblically Repent, but feel if they say “repent” that’s good enough. Not to mention in that moment, they don’t know how many, type, or all the sins they committed.
The other half is (Pledging their life to Christ). This is making a vow, however it’s entering into a contract that many do not understand the terms of. Just in pledging your life to Christ, you are stating that you by your own free will, are making Jesus (Yeshua) your Master. Many however never grasp this, and after taking this vow they unknowingly or knowingly violate it.
For me when I “gave my life” as a worldly person who was mean, hateful, took the Lords name in vain all the time, worshipped the dollar bill, social and worldly status, elevating myself over others, while ignoring those around me, I……… I said “I repent of my sins and give my life to Jesus”. There was much more wording and context naturally. I remember I was looking for something new, to change me, or instant different me. That never happened in that instant way however. Also I was not immune to having to do some work. We will explain that in a moment.
I remember three months into saying the sinners prayer almost daily (as every sermon I watched from the site I followed gave the offering to say it) I was still taking the Lords name in vain. Using it as a cuss word because that was how I lived. I remember balling and saying, “I’ll never be right with Jesus, and deserve to die because my heart must be dark”. I kept trying to “give my life” but really the change wasn’t there. Or to me didn’t feel like it. Where was this magical Christian transformation?
This is the thing, I feel people “give their life” seeking a snap of the fingers newness that doesn’t just happen because of one important statement I need to make here. This WILL cause people to wince and try calling me a false teacher. Hold your breath….
YOU CANNOT GIVE YOUR LIFE TO CHRIST!!!
WAIT!!!!! Let me explain before judging me or labeling me. Let’s break this down for a bit. Who are you? You are not a god, you are not all powerful. You are made of dust and spirit. Adam brought sin into the world and you are born into this sinful world. Your flesh has the cancer of sin. Once here on earth you are far from God. You walk in this sin filled place as a sinner if or until conversion. We can agree there right? It doesn’t matter how “good” you think you are, or if you are better then the murderer in your town, you still are a sinner in need of a savior right? Going to church, tithing, praying, reading your bible, non of that can save you… right? Not even Keeping Torah… right?
Hopefully we still agree. Before I lose you let’s start piecing this all together. Ok, we know we are a sinner, needing Messiah. Let’s look at Paul’s conversion. We know that Paul was (Saul of Tarsus) prior to his conversion. We know Saul was a Jews Jew. He was a Pharisee trained under Gamaliel (a top Rabbi in the Sanhedrin). This man was very religious. He was keeping Torah perfectly. He was also a Roman citizen. But let’s keep looking at the Jewish side for this discussion. Once the “cult” of “the way” or Yeshua (Jesus) walked His ministry we see His claims brought anger from the most devout religious people.
We know that Saul was so devout that he asked the High Priest for a letter giving him the power to destroy these “Christians”. The high priest granted it, so this meant Saul was “somebody” not just religious, but elite in some sense. Armed with the writ he set out and began his reign of persecution. Under the authority of the High Priest, Saul thought he was doing the right thing. Persecuting the blasphemers. Little did he know that saying you’re the Son of God is only blasphemy is you’re a mere man. Yeshua was what He claimed however.
Let’s see now, Sauls conversion.
“As he was traveling, approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” “Who are You, Lord?” Saul said. “I am Yeshua (Jesus)—whom you are persecuting. But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”” Acts 9:3-6
Saul didn’t have to say the sinners prayer. Yet something did happen. What about the disciples, let’s take two accounts from them.
“Now as Yeshua (Jesus) was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter and Andrew his brother. They were casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.” Matthew 4:18-20
These guys never said the sinners prayer. They were asked to “follow” Yeshua. In Acts 9 Yeshua asked Saul to “do something” and we read from above it was to go to the nearby town, we know that Saul did this by continuing to read the whole chapter.
“Saul got up from the ground—but opening his eyes, he could see nothing. They led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.” Acts 9:8
Yeshua gave Saul Instructions and Saul followed Yeshua’s Instructions. Let’s look at the last account we will use from the disciples,
“As Yeshua (Jesus) was passing by from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. He said to him, “Follow Me.” And he got up and followed Him.” Matthew 9:9
Being a “tax collector” was an Affront to the Jews. It was like betraying ones people. Generally the tax collectors were not righteous men. But we see also here that Yeshua asks Matthew to “follow Him” not say the sinners prayer.
Let’s now get into the heart of my statement that “you cannot give your life to Jesus”.
I will defend my position by saying you CAN give your life to Yeshua, but NOT like Christianity says saying the sinners prayer. Let’s talk why making a vow to Christ doesn’t automatically mean you’re getting a conversion. Then what “giving your life” actually means.
We make the prayer “Lord, I am a sinner. I need you as my savior. I repent of my sins. I give my life to you. I cannot do this on my own. I give you all that I am, please help me to follow you, amen”. Or something along those lines, as there are many ways to do this. Saying “I repent of my sins”, not knowing them or when and where you sinned is impossible to feel grieved, sad, and pained by. It’s like confessing to a murder you never committed. You don’t know all the details so it’s impossible to be convicted. It’s impossible to be convicted on sin you don’t grasp, or know of.
The Law (Torah, Instruction, 316, 10, or 2 Commands) exposes that sin you did to you as actual sin. Without the law, or believing Yeshua (Jesus) voided it, it voids any work it can do to bring you your conversion. This is why so many go on to say “I’m done with ____” (the sin they do), only to keep repeating it. One can unfortunately say the sinners prayer, without receiving a conversion. Also a conversion can come later (as in my case).
The thing that is NEEDED is repentance of your sins, but again without the Law you have nothing to repent from. This vow is then truly empty and useless, unless you feel the pain of your sin and repent of it.
Have you noticed anything from the verses above?
Yeshua said “Follow Me”!!!!!!
Saul had to follow and obey Yeshua to gain his sight back and be named Paul. The tax collector stopped collecting tax, and also stopped cheating people. The fishermen turned and walked in the footsteps of Messiah. He told sinners to “go and sin no more”, and everybody even today to receive the Kingdom instead of the second death must, MUST follow Yeshua (Jesus).
For three, four, or five months I saw no change in me. I had said the sinners prayer with all my heart, tears in my eyes, broken spirited, and even desiring to die. As many times as I saw the ministries videos, went to church, read the Bible, and so on I saw no real change. Satan during this time comes in and pushed back saying “see even God don’t love you or he would make you new”. It’s easy to hear the devil during this time.
I believed Jesus, the cross, that the sinners prayer now made me part of the “saved crowd”, yet nothing new was happening.
The disciples, and everybody that walked with Messiah did just that, they had to be obedient and walk. Saying “I give my life to Jesus” without changing your life, asking Jesus to do the work all for you… that is NOT the agent of change. If Saul had to trust and do what Jesus said, what makes you think you are any different?
To be “in Yeshua (Jesus)” doesn’t mean saying the sinners prayer. It actually means investing by your actions not your mouth.
““For there is no good tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again does a rotten tree produce good fruit.” Luke 6:43
What does following Yeshua and loving Him look like?
“For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”” Matthew 12:50
What is the Will of His Father? It is the same as His Will. Let’s look.
YAWEH (The Father)
““So you are to keep My mitzvot (Commandments) and do them. I am ADONAI.” Leviticus 22:31
Yeshua (Jesus, The Son)
““If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15
Both Father and Son express what Gods Will is for us. It’s the same viewpoint. To be obedient.
We know that Yeshua condemns the Pharisees for their expression of religiousness yet they failed to live it out. They couldn’t put it into practice themselves. More like, they didn’t want to. They enjoyed their sins too much. We know we are called to be living sacrifices to the Lord our God. We know that we are called to FOLLOW Messiah yet, the modern church teaches us to just know Messiah existed and died for us. We know Following means being obedient to Gods Commands. This brings us to the point.
I had spent about three to five months declaring my life to Jesus and nothing had come. However, within that time I started to change. I invested in the RELATIONSHIP even though no change had come yet. I lived daily in effort to stop doing what I knew was against God, and then one day after falling asleep after work I…. had an encounter with Yeshua (Jesus) in a dream which woke me up literally. In my dream there was Yeshua, saying “you will be my minister”. I said “show me how”, and I was lead to an online seminary. I would become an ordained minister. The conversion took place. Not because I prayed a prayer, but because He Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) chose me.
REAL CONVERSIONS HAVE MESSIAH as the catalyst. False conversions are done by our own will, own mouth, and own way.
The thing to remember is God doesn’t need us, we NEED HIM. What gives us the right to believe that we are special and elevate ourself above the Most High? I’m trying to say that we can chose Yeshua everyday for all time, yet if He doesn’t choose us…. we don’t get conversion.
We cannot chose Yeshua like picking up a carton of milk from the supermarket. Like picking a “god” among many other “gods”. No that is a bad tree trying to yield good fruit. It’s just not productive or possible.
It IS important to declare your life for Yeshua, but it’s far more important that your faith (belief and trust) show that you are “abiding in Him” and that comes from being truly born again.
The truly born again are those who use the Law to convict themselves, expose their sins to themselves, work to change serving our King instead of looking like it, they become it. Born again isn’t a thought process, it’s not going to a worship place once a week, it’s not looking the part of religious. It’s not wearing crosses, crucifixes, stars of David, or saying “I’m Christian or Messianic”. It’s not the things you post or write on social media even. None of these things are proof you are born again. They are merely signs of a change.
To know you’re born again is easy, look at how you live your life as a person. Do you blend in, look and behave like the world? Or are you set apart, live biblically, and behave differently then the world? If you are born again, you stop your sin as it’s exposed to you, you become all about the things of God and not about the things of world. There is a visible change sure, but inside you… you are that new person.
“Giving your life” isn’t about your words, it’s about your actions. It’s about obedience. It’s about following. It’s about biblical living. It’s about standing up, standing out, and representing our Messiah and His Father, their Word, Following the Holy Spirit, and being born again and set apart.
To do anything else is merely hypocrisy and living as a Pharisee.
You cannot “give your life” to Jesus without a life of obedience. No speech, or words can take the place of being a living sacrifice.
That’s the first reasoning behind my statement. The second is equally important. You cannot give your life to Yeshua (Jesus), because He already has it, owns it at the highest price of all. His Blood and Life. To think of this deeply for a moment leads one to grasp something many ignore, cannot see, or cannot grasp. Yeshua died on that cross, was resurrected to be the atonement of you sin. You cannot offer any blood to cover your sins. In that moment Yeshua (Jesus) purchased humanity. Can you buy a product at the store, pay the price and it is yours? Yes!!! You don’t pay for something, bring it home, then declare yourself the owner before it is used or consumed. That’s silly, once something is owned it belongs to who buys it. Just like the fact Yeshua paid for our sin. We serve Him not the other way around. This is why Paul says he is a slave to his Master…. Christ.
The disciples knew this analogy. They became obedient to Yeshua. Followed Him, because He bought their freedom. You cannot give your life to Yeshua, He already has it. Once you seek Him, you align yourself to Him. He sees this, your desire to be obedient. He then reaches out and offers you conversion, that conversion from Yeshua…. that is the clause of salvation in the contract between God and man. This born again moment, conversion is not because you said any words at all, it’s all due to His offering it to you. Yeshua has to choose you, not the other way around. Look at how many people come out of the world into religion. Then look at how many are not chosen. Look at how many sit religiously in churches, yet miss Gods Commands feeling the Son voided then. Again they had to be called out. By Messiah not man.
Pledging my life to Christ didn’t give me conversion. Conversion only ONLY came when I was ready to Follow Him. Only then did the real change come and I learn what Born Again was really about.
Choosing Messiah (Christ) is great, setting your life to Adonai’s ways wonderful. However has Yeshua (Jesus) chosen you? Have you had conversion? Are you born again?
If you are born again, yeah you will still make mistakes, but the majority of how you live your life looks nothing like the old ways did, you died to your old sinful ways, and you now walk obediently following Yeshua not just knowing of the price He paid, but really walking it out.
I hope this helps explain why I said what I did. “You cannot give your sinful self as an offering to the Most Holy God. He has to give it to you”.
Shalom and God Bless