What about the Thief on the CROSS ?
Many in the religious world have asked a questions when it comes to water immersion (baptism) as a part of the plan of salvation, what about the thief on the cross? In this article we will examine several bible passages in order to understand and know what the will of the Lord is!
The passage of scripture is found in Luke 23:39-43
And one of the malefactors who were hanged railed at him, saying, If you are Christ, save yourself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Do you not fear God, seeing you are in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man has done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto you, Today shall you be with me in paradise.
Let me first state that there is no doubt as to whether or not the malefactor was saved, he was. The question is can I be saved the same way as he?
Jesus lived under the law of Moses (Mt 5:17-18, Mt 8:4), this is a very significant point for several reasons. He did what no one had done and that is keep the law of Moses perfect. By doing this He was able to do away with the law, nailing it to the cross (Col 2:13-14, Rom 10:4, Gal 3:13).
You and I my friend do not live under the law of Moses but the law of Christ (Gal 6:2). The thief on the cross however did live under the law of Moses. Jesus was the only person living under the law of Moses who could forgive sins. Jesus physically talked to the thief and told him today you will be with me in paradise.
Friends this is an isolated incident. Those who where living under the law of Moses during the time of John the immerser where to be baptized for the remission of there sins per Mark 1:4. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. This forgiveness of sins was predicated on Jesus the Christ fulfilling his ministry and ultimately dying on the tree (Acts 19:4).
Also let us look at Luke 7:29-30 And all the people that heard him, and the tax collectors, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
The law of Christ did not go into effect until after His accession into heaven. Let us now examine Hebrews 9:15-17
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new covenant, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they who are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a will is, there must also of necessity be the death of the maker. For a will is in force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the maker lives.
Most understand how a will works, it does not go into effect until the person who wrote the will dies. While the person lives he/she can change the will as they see fit. When the person dies the will is final.
After Jesus resurrection and before His ascension He commanded His disciples to teach certain things and instructs those who would follow after Him to teach certain things also so. He also would give them a measure of the Holy Spirit and He (H.S.) would speak the mind of Christ (Luke 24:46-49, Acts 1:1-3, John 14:26)
Mark 16:15-16 And he said unto them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be condemned.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Luke 24:46-49 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it was fit for Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you are endued with power from on high.
Now let us take the scriptures and reason (Isa. 1:18).
- We cannot say that the thief was not baptized for he might have been of John.
- We don’t live under the old testament anymore, hence the name “OLD”.
- To try to use the “Thief” in terms of salvation is just like using Noah and the Ark! God told Noah specifically to build an ark. That my friend has nothing to do today with our salvation.
- Jesus the author of our faith has given commands and one of those is baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38, Mk 16:15-16). Will you reject God not being baptized?
- If we try to look to the old testament for salvation we have fallen from grace (Gal 5:4)!
Friends it is my hearts desire and prayer to God that you may know the will of God. Satan is likened unto a roaring lion ‘”seeking” who he may devour. He is a liar and the truth is not in him! He appears as an angel of light, but he is not that at all!
Please study and if you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to call or email me. Also if you would like to know what those who where being added to the Lord’s church where doing in the 1st century and what you must do today call or email me.
Until then I wish you all Godspeed.