Just a little talk with Jesus
Over the years I have had several people comment on the song mentioned in the title of this study. They have asked if it is scriptural to pray (talk) to Jesus. As a result of such an inquiry several years ago, I did an extensive study on this matter.
In the July, 1995 issue of Seek the Old Paths is an article by Doug Hoff titled, “Just A Little Talk With Jesus.” In this article he objects to singing this song in worship. I quote from his article - “What are some of the problems with Just A Little Talk With Jesus? First, this song teaches salvation by prayer alone. Second, this song incorrectly urges people to pray to Jesus directly.” Because of the misunderstandings about this song and the teaching of it - I will present the results of my Biblical study on this matter.
The article says that this song teaches salvation by prayer alone because it says that we were lost in sin but Jesus took us in and that “just a little talk with Jesus made me whole.”
Notice the words to the first verse and the scriptures for each phrase:
I once was lost in sin Romans 3:23; 1 John 5:19
Jesus took me in Revelation 22:17; Matthew 11:28-30
Light from heaven filled my soul Psalm 119:105; 2 Corinthians 4:4
Bathed my heart in love 2 Corinthians 5:14
Wrote my name above Revelation 13:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27
Talk with Jesus made me whole Romans 10:13; Acts 2:21
I once was lost in sin - - All have sinned (Romans 3:23) and all men are
in need of salvation. The whole world lies in wickedness. (1 John 5:19)
Jesus took me in - - The central theme of the gospel is that salvation is
open and available to all. Jesus stands at the door and waits for us to
respond. Whosoever has the desire and willingness to obey can be saved. Jesus
will take us in, accept us, and save us. (Matthew 11:28-30; Revelation 3:20;
Light from heaven filled my soul - - I understand that the light from
heaven is the “light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
This person has studied the Bible. The have been taught, and have an
understanding of the gospel plan of salvation. (Psalm 119:105)
Bathed my heart in love - - It is essential that one understand the gospel
before one can appreciate the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. When we learn
of the great sacrifice, we will love Jesus because of his death for us. This
love for Christ will compel (“constrain” in the KJV) us to obey his teachings.
(2 Corinthians 5:14) When we love Jesus we will obey his commands. (John
Wrote my name above - - All those who obey the commands of Jesus,
including baptism, have their names written in heaven. All who do not have
their names written in the book of life will be lost. (Revelation 20:15) All
whose names are written in this book will enter the bliss of heaven.
Talk with Jesus made me whole - - (See the conclusion below for additional comments.) Romans 10:13 1 Corinthians 1:2 Acts 2:21 (from Joel 2:28) Acts 9:14
Does this song teach salvation by prayer alone? I reject the notion. Do the verses mentioned in #6 teach salvation by prayer alone? No. They do teach that faith and dependence upon Jesus’ blood for salvation is essential. To argue that this song teaches prayer alone is the same faulty argument made by many denominational people about “Faith Only”, “Works Only” and “Grace Only”. Just because a verse teaches that we are saved by faith does not mean that we are saved by “faith only.” Just because a song teaches us to talk to Jesus does not mean that it is teaching salvation by prayer alone.
The problem with this statement is that it ASSUMES that prayer to Jesus is wrong. Does this song urge people to pray to Jesus directly? YES! Is such teaching “incorrect” according to the Bible? NO!
Consider, study and understand the teachings and implications of the following scriptures:
John 20:28 “My Lord and my God.”
Jesus is God (deity) and can be called God and worshipped as God.
NOTE: There is a difference in Jesus being God (deity) and the doctrine of “Jesus Only”. The Holy Spirit is God. Jesus is God. The Father is God. Prayer, praise and worship must be addressed to God. Such worship can be directed toward any of the three persons of deity (the Godhead).
Acts 7:59 “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
This is the only time that Jesus was “standing” at the right hand of God.
All other occasions, he was seated.
Stephen addressed his prayer to Jesus.
Matthew 28:9-10 “They worshipped him.”
Jesus can be worshipped.
Jesus did not rebuke them. He told them to go tell the apostles to go to Galilee where they could see (worship) him.
Paul prayed to “the Lord” three times to have this thing be removed.
The Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for thee, my strength is made perfect in weakness”
Paul’s conclusion - I will “glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Paul prayed to Christ and Christ answered him.
Revelation 5:9 “Sung a new song” to the Lamb of God.
Revelation 22:20 – They prayed, “Come, Lord Jesus”.
This was a common prayer of the early church.
See number 9 below.
Hebrews 1:8 (from Psalm 45:6) “Thy throne, O God”
We are to sing psalms (scripture set to music).
Romans 10:13 “Call upon the name of the Lord”
1Corinthians 16:22 “Maranatha.”
This word means, “Come, Lord Jesus. Come now. Come quickly.”
This was a common prayer of the early Christians.
They prayed to Jesus for his soon return.
Hebrews 1:6 “Let all the angels worship him.”
Even angels worship Jesus.
We were made lower than the angels. (Ps. 8:5)
I do not believe that prayer or praise addressed to Jesus violates any passage of scripture. People worshipped Jesus after his resurrection. Angels worshipped Jesus at his birth. Early Christians addressed Jesus in prayers. Part of the plan of salvation includes calling upon the name of the Lord.
Argument #3: Think about the Consequences.
If the song discussed here is wrong - so are the following songs in our songbook:
2 At his feet I bow, - Take me Jesus
3 Lord, I give myself to thee
1 At the Master’s feet
5 Hold thou thy cross - O Lord, abide with me
1 I must tell Jesus all of my trials
ch. Jesus can help me, Jesus alone
Tell it to Jesus alone
1 My faith looks up to thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior Divine
Now hear me while I pray, Take all my sins away
1 Jesus meek and gentle - hear thy children’s cry
3 Draw us, holy Jesus, to the realms above
1 Only in Thee, O savior mine
1 O to be like Thee! Blessed Redeemer - Jesus, they perfect likeness
Savior, breath an evening blessing
Savior, grant me rest and peace
Savior, lead me lest I stray
Savior, I look to thee, Yes, thee alone
Savior, more than life to me, I am clinging close to Thee
Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need thy tenderest care
Savior, teach me day by day
1 Savior, thy dying love
At thy blest mercy seat, pleading for me - Jesus to thee
1 More love to thee, O Christ - now hear the prayer I make
2 This all my prayer shall be, More love, O Christ, to Thee
1 Jesus, lover of my soul
2 Thou, O Christ, art all I want
1 There’s a garden where Jesus is waiting - garden of prayer
ch. There my Savior awaits and opens the gates
O Master, Let me walk with thee
1 I give thee back the life I owe
2 Then I’ll wait with Jesus till he hear my prayer
ch. O Jesus, blest Redeemer - Hold us, who wait before thee
1 In the hour of trial, Jesus plead for me
1 Fairest Lord Jesus, - Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor
2 Kneeling to him I pray
3 O Savior, precious savior, my heart is at thy feet
3 More purity give me, - More, Savior, like thee
My Jesus, I love thee
NOTE: This is just a sample of the songs that would be eliminated from our songbooks if we were to remove all references of prayer, direct speech with Jesus, or worship addressed to Jesus.
The song Just A Little Talk With Jesus is scriptural.
This song may be sung without violation of Bible teaching.
Prayer must be addressed to GOD (deity, the Godhead).
Salvation is not by prayer alone.
Praise addressed to Jesus is valid and scriptural.
Vine says - Mediator <1,,3316,mesites> lit., "a go-between" (from mesos, "middle," and eimi, "to go"), is used in two ways in the NT, (a) "one who mediates" between two parties with a view to producing peace, as in 1Ti_2:5, though more than mere "mediatorship" is in view, for the salvation of men necessitated that the Mediator should Himself posses the nature and attributes of Him towards whom He acts, and should likewise participate in the nature of those for whom He acts (sin apart); only by being possessed both of deity and humanity could He comprehend the claims of the one and the needs of the other; further, the claims and the needs could be met only by One who, Himself being proved sinless, would offer Himself an expiatory sacrifice on behalf of men; (b) "one who acts as a guarantee" so as to secure something which otherwise would not be obtained. Thus in Heb_8:6; Heb_9:15; Heb_12:24 Christ is the Surety of "the better covenant," "the new covenant," guaranteeing its terms for His people.
Vine says – Intercessions <A-1,Noun,1783,enteuxis>
primarily denotes "a lighting upon, meeting with" (akin to B); then, "a
conversation;" hence, "a petition," a meaning frequent in the papyri; it is a
technical term for approaching a king, and so for approaching God in
"intercession;" it is rendered "prayer" in 1Ti_4:5; in the plural in
1Ti_2:1 (i.e., seeking the presence and hearing of God on behalf of
<B-1,Verb,1793,entunchano> primarily "to fall in with, meet with in order to converse;" then, "to make petition," especially "to make intercession, plead with a person," either for or against others; (a) against, Act_25:24, "made suit to (me)," RV [AV, "have dealt with (me)"], i.e., against Paul; in Rom_11:2, of Elijah in "pleading" with God, RV (AV, "maketh intercession to"), against Israel; (b) for, in Rom_8:27, of the intercessory work of the Holy Spirit for the saints; Rom_8:34, of the similar intercessory work of Christ; so Heb_7:25.
<B-2,Verb,5241,huperentunchano> "to make a petition" or "intercede on behalf of another" (huper, "on behalf of," and No. 1), is used in Rom_8:26 of the work of the Holy Spirit in making "intercession" (see No. 1, Rom_8:27).
Greek word – “parakletos” – Paraclete –
4 times in John about the Holy Spirit (14:16,26; 15:26; 16:7
Once in 1 John 2:1 about Jesus
Example of one – Acts 24:1
This will be a separate study coming soon in this class. We use terms incorrectly.
God = the Father, Jehovah, Creator, Almighty, Eternal One
Jesus = the Son, Christ, Savior, Lord, Mediator
Holy Spirit = Spirit, Comforter, Intercessor
Jesus is also Creator, Almighty, God, Father, Intercessor, Eternal