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Monday, September 5, 2016

Does the Thief on the Cross Prove Baptism is Not Essential?

Luke 23:39-43 - Jesus was crucified between two criminals (thieves). As the three of them were suspended, one thief ridiculed Jesus, but the other defended Him. Jesus promised this one would be in Paradise that day.

This saying of Jesus has become a center of controversy. Many believe Jesus saves people on the basis of "faith alone," so baptism is not essential to receive forgiveness of sins. When the subject is discussed, people commonly bring up the thief as someone who was saved without baptism. They conclude that if Jesus would save this man without baptism, He would also save us without baptism.

Let us consider further. What does this case teach us about the terms of forgiveness under the gospel?