Friday, March 14 2008
Today, I wold like to discuss the thief on the cross...
The thief on the cross becomes a pawn in doctrinal debates and he has no bearing on our salvation. The Bible must be taken in context and as Paul wrote...
2Timothy 2:15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I realize that I use that scripture regularly, but it is an important Biblical principle that we must fully understand.
Let us look at the scripture...
Luke 23:39And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
Luke 23:40But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
Luke 23:41And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
Luke 23:42And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
Luke 23:43And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Yes, Jesus did tell the malefactor that he would indeed be in paradise with him that day, but let us look at when the thief lived and died. We have a clue a couple of scriptures after verse 43...
Luke 23:45And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
We know the veil to represent a separation of the presence of God and the children of Israel and when it was rent it symbolized that all men could enter the presence of God. Simply, the thief on the cross was under the law that God gave Moses. We now live under grace.
We know that Jesus resurrected and went to find the disciples. It is then that they were instructed to fulfill the prophecy of John 3...
John 3:3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:4Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
John 3:5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
John 3:6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
The thief on the cross was not born of water and Spirit, but the disciples were instructed after the death of Jesus (and the thief) to...
Acts 1:4And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
Acts 1:5For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Acts 1:6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Acts 1:7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Acts 1:8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
The Holy Ghost did come upon them...
Acts 2:1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Acts 2:2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Acts 2:3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Acts 2:4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The chronology of the Bible does not support that the thief somehow can be used to support a salvation doctrine today. He lived and died under the same law as Moses, Joshua, David and Daniel. Today, we must do as the apostles preached throughout the book of Acts...
Acts 2:38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (born of water), and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (born of Spirit).