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"Accept Jesus into your heart"

Posted by ESC on August 31, 2003

In Reply to: "Accept Jesus into your heart" posted by Warren Johnson on August 31, 2003

: Who coined this phrase and when?

Short answer: I don't know. Maybe someone can come up with an old, old sermon that has "accept Jesus" in it.

It is a general concept in the born-again religion that I grew up in and around. So I am familiar with the phrase but don't know who said it first. It means don't just intellectually believe in Christ but believe with your heart, your inner being. I looked in "Growing Up Born Again" by Patricia Klein & others, but didn't see a reference to that phrase. There was a hymn by Harry D. Clarke:

"Into my heart,
Into my heart,
Come into my heart,
Lord Jesus. . ."

There's a lot of "heart imagery" in the Bible. See Romans 10:9
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
(Whole Chapter: Romans 10 In context: Romans 10:8-10)

The heart has long been thought of as the seat of emotions. Here some research results from an earlier question about the heart as a Valentine symbol.

"The heart symbol has so many meanings and has been around for thousands of years, but why has it become such a popular sign? Its popularity most probably stems from the romantic view that early cultures had of the heart. The heart to them was not simply a mechanical pump but the center of all thought and emotion.", 2003.

"WHY DO WE THINK OF THE EMOTIONS AS BEING CENTERED IN THE HEART? The emotions are centered in the brain of course. But when we experience a powerful emotion - fear, anger, grief, love - adrenaline pours into the blood, increases the blood pressure and accelerates the heart. So it makes perfect sense to think the heart controls emotion. Otherwise when we say the Pledge of Allegiance, we'd have to put our hand on our forehead." From "Why Things Are: Answers to Every Essential Question in Life" by Joel Achenbach, Ballantine Books, New York, 1991.

I also remember a painting that was in a lot of churches -- Jesus is knocking at a door with a heart symbol on it. If I'm remembering right.