Humanity is saved by one plan given to us by God. That plan is as follows: Hear- Romans 10:17, BelieveJohn 8:24, Repentance- Luke 13:3, Confession of the Christ- Matthew 10:32 and Being Baptized- Romans 6:1-4. Remaining in that saved condition is based on how I live and reflect Christ- Revelation 2:10b and 2 Timothy 4:6-8.
However, through the pages of the Inspired Book known as the Bible, we read about one fellow we have assigned the incorrect idea as one saved without doing anything. You and I find him in Luke 23:39-43. We cannot even call him by his name but we are well aware of his interaction with the Christ. Many would think, if not say out right, “I want to be saved like the thief on the cross.” It is the majority of this group of people who would assume the following: “Since that thief was not baptized, then I can be saved without being baptized.” Is this line of thinking correct? Let’s explore this idea today.
- No one can prove the baptism or not of this thief. Mark 16:15- Gospel go into all the world, Matthew 3:5-6 – many unnamed were baptized, Mark 1:4-5 – John baptized many… Was this thief part of those unnamed? It is possible. This thief knew of Jesus as Christ and the Kingdom. It sounds like this thief, at least, was familiar with Jesus work on this Earth.
- The Old Testament Law was still in effect at the time Jesus and the thief were in conversation. Galatians 4:4- Lived / died under Old Law, Colossians 2:14-17 – Old Law removed AFTER Jesus’ death, Acts 2- thief died before the church was established, Galatians 3:13-18 – Salvation is not possible under the Old Testament… So many times, we think Jesus lived under the New Testament. Those living in Jesus’ time lived in the twilight of the Old Law. As a matter of fact, this thief died under the establishment of the Law of Moses.
- Jesus had ALL power on this Earth. Matthew 28:18-20 – All authority, Mark 2:10-11 – power to forgive, John 10:28 – power to give… When we see our Lord in the pages of inspiration, we are awe-inspired by His power. Seeing the miracles is stunning. He had more power than just healing. He had the power and ability to forgive the guilty of sin.
- Examples of New Testament Salvation. Acts 2- about 3,000 saved in one day, Acts 8- salvation sent to other continents, Acts 16- salvation offered to every culture… Men and women, after the Day of Pentecost and with the establishment of the church for which Jesus died, have the same plan given by God by which we are saved. None of them are saved like the Criminal on the cross. All of them are saved by the afore mentioned plan of God and that is the only way mankind is saved (Romans 2:11, 3:29-30) Be saved by the grace of God, through the sacrifice of the blood of Christ and by the obedience unto that known plan.