Another Response By Michelle To Tony’s Article

Michelle makes a second response to the recent "Doctrine Matters" message (Sept 10) that proves water baptism is necessary to salvation:

was the thief on the cross baptized?

Michelle – Your question comes up frequently in the controversy over whether or not water baptism is necessary to salvation. Put your thinking cap on with me for a moment …

Don’t you believe a person has to believe in the resurrection of Christ (Romans 10:9) to be saved in this present New Testament dispensation? The thief couldn’t have done that since he lived and died before Jesus’ resurrection. That should clue us in to the fact that the thief and others who are described in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John must not have been bound by the same law we are bound by.

The truth is the thief on the cross didn’t need to be baptized for basically the same reason Moses and a host of other Old Testament children of God were not baptized, that is, the New Testament law had not come into effect yet – Hebrews 9:15-17 ("And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament … For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth"). So the thief on the cross does not provide an example of New Testament salvation. He lived while the Old Testament law was still in effect.

Remember these facts:

· The thief was forgiven before Jesus died, and Jesus’ death is when the old law was nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14).

· The thief on the cross died before the “great commission” of Mark 16:16 was ever given, and so of course he wouldn’t be amenable to the water baptism that the great commission requires.

· And according to Luke 24:47 – new covenant preaching and remission were to begin “at Jerusalem.” That would be a reference to the first Pentecost after Jesus’ death (Acts 2), many days after the thief died and was taken to paradise.

I Peter 3:21 says "baptism doth also now save us" – it is impossible to make it any clearer than that.

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