Common in christianity is the false notion that, through some transcendent power given to man, when a person follows a particular set of rituals, whether it be making a decision, praying a “sinner’s prayer,” or “accepting” Christ into some bodily organ, the magic authority that comes with following the rites allows the person to direct the Father to save him—to place His Holy Spirit within him by the purported power he is temporarily granted.
Now, understand, such thinking is unscriptural, like much of what is taught in christianity, but this false belief alone is responsible for billions of people thinking they stand in righteousness, when all they stand in is religion—the traditions of men. See: Matthew 7:21-23, the true end of the counterfeit of the faith that was invented after the apostles had died, and which was called “christianity.”
So many christians claim that, at the moment a person believes, makes a decision, or “accepts Christ into his heart” (which is wholly unscriptural), he immediately has the Holy Spirit. But, Yahoshua the Messiah said of some in Luke 8:13, “Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they BELIEVE for a while, and in time of temptation [testing] fall away.” How is this possible, if man’s belief immediately gives him the Holy Spirit? Did Messiah lie? Was He confused?
It is a mixture of arrogance and ignorance in man to claim that, at the direction of a mere human, the Almighty must comply. It is the absurd emotionalism of the counterfeit that places the power of salvation into the hands of man, and preaches that coming forward and praying a prayer is what eternally saves a person. Again, such people are who we see in Matthew 7:21-23.
It is man’s part to believe in Yahoshua the Messiah and confess Him before others. That is what makes him ABLE to be saved (“shall be saved” is a future condition). Identifying with the Passover is the preparation to being made unleavened, or righteous—what makes one ABLE to be justified. The false salvation preached from so many pulpits claims that merely making oneself ABLE to be saved IS salvation. It stops at the brazen altar and laver in the way of the tabernacle (a picture of the bride receiving the covenant), and never enters the Holy of Holies.
It is a form of godliness, but it denies the power therein (2 Timothy 3:5).
One who has repented of unbelief (which is to believe) must be tried (the “temptation” referred to in Luke 8:13). It is necessary for one’s belief to be tested, which is what James 1 is all about—the time of endurance between believing and receiving the covenant. Anyone who claims that such endurance (testing, trying, proving) is not a requisite part of the path TO salvation likely has never received salvation, but believes in a counterfeit of it.
For more information: Between Belief and Salvation