Origin of “Personal Savior” & The Idea of Having a “Personal Relationship” with Christ

Frank Viola | 1/12/2019 | Staff
rubydrummer (Posted by) Level 3
Today, I want to talk about this business of having a “personal Savior” and a “personal relationship” with the Lord. Actually, I’ve already spoken on this subject. Here it is.

As stated previously, the sinner’s prayer eventually replaced the biblical role of water baptism. Though it is touted as gospel today, this prayer developed only recently. D. L. Moody was the first to employ it.

Moody - Model - Prayer - Coworkers - Usage

Moody used this “model” of prayer when training his evangelistic coworkers. But it did not reach popular usage until the 1950s with Billy Graham’s Peace with God tract and later with Campus Crusade for Christ’s Four Spiritual Laws. There is nothing particularly wrong with it. Certainly, God will respond to the heartfelt prayers of any individual who reaches out to Him in faith. However, it should not replace water baptism as the outward instrument for conversion-initiation.

The phrase personal Savior is yet another recent innovation that grew out of the ethos of nineteenth-century American revivalism. It originated in the mid-1800s to be exact. But it grew to popular parlance by Charles Fuller (1887–1968). Fuller literally used the phrase thousands of times in his incredibly popular Old Fashioned Revival Hour radio program that aired from 1937 to 1968. His program reached from North America to every spot on the globe. At the time...
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