THE THIEF ON THE CROSS

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Was the thief saved without being baptized? If so, does it contradict what Jesus said a few days later in His great commission: “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.” The thief asked to be remembered when Jesus would come into His kingdom. Most disciples, and probably the thief also, thought Jesus would set up an earthly kingdom (Mt 20:20f; Acts 1:6). He wanted to come down from the cross with Jesus (read Mt 27:40-42; Mk 15:30). It is probable that the thief had been baptized (Mk 1:4-5; Mt 3:5-6), along with the multitudes who were baptized by John preaching “baptism for forgiveness of sins.” We do not know, and it does not matter. Jesus forgave sins on different conditions or no condition when He lived (palsied man, Mk 2:1-12; woman at Simon’s house, Lk 7:36-50; adulterous woman, Jn 8:2-11; thief, Lk 23:32-43). Some may not have had faith! Jesus had power to forgive on any or no condition while He lived. However, when He died, His will went into effect and only those who meet the terms of His last will and testament are qualified for the benefit of forgiveness. See Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Gal 3:26-27. Ask for fuller study about the thief.

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