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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Luke 23:39-43

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Intro: That Jesus was crucified between two thieves is no fluke of history. A part of the pre-determined plan of God for Isaiah inspired by the Holy Spirit said, "And He will be numbered with the transgressors in His death."
A. Was it to demonstrate to what depths God was willing to descend to save man?
1. Born in a stable surrounded by animals.
2. Died on a cross surrounded by thieves.
3. Phil. 2.
B. Was it to show the sovereignty of God in salvation?
1. Two men equally close to death.
2. Two men equally close to Christ.
3. One reviles and one repents.
4. Look at the obstacles he had to overcome.
a. The alienation from his friend.
b. The alienation of the crowd.
c. He had very little Word to stand on.
1. The sign above the cross - "King of the Jews."
2. Yet he believed.
d. He believed at a time when the disciples were doubting, "We had hoped."
e. Though Jesus was dying, He somehow believed He was entering into His Kingdom. "When you come into your Kingdom."
5. What this man believed.
a. In the future judgment of God fear God?"
b. In his own sinful state. "We indeed justly, for we receive the due reward for our deeds."
c. In the coming Kingdom of Christ "When.."
6. What this man received.
a. The comforting words of Jesus, "Today thou shalt be with Me in paradise."
b. Simply believing in Jesus He was saved.
1. No baptism in water.
2. No sacraments.
3. No works, simple faith.
4. The validity of death-bed conversions.
7. Some mistakenly see God as anxious to damn. He is far more desirous to save.
a. He said, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked."
b. "God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come."
c. He will save you at the slightest request.
1. "God be merciful to me a sinner."
2. "Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom."
C. Was God wanting one final witness to the innocence of His Son?
1. Judas returned the money saying, "I have betrayed innocent blood."
2. Pilate said, "I find no fault in Him."
3. The thief said, "He has done nothing amiss."
D. I believe the Father was cushioning this cruel blow man was inflicting on His Son.
1. Why was He dying?
a. So He could save to the uttermost.
b. Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross despising the shame.
1. He despised this outrage
2. He was humiliated by this shame.
3. Yet He endured it so He could know the joy of bringing repentant lost thieves into the Kingdom.
2. Here the Father allowed Him the first taste of the future joy of redeeming the lost.
E. That Jesus can save a lost thief should bring you comfort.
1. You say, "I am not a thief."
2. I am not so sure.
Sermon Notes for Luke 23:38 ← Prior Section
Sermon Notes for Luke 23:39-45 Next Section →
Sermon Notes for Mark 1:40 ← Prior Book
Sermon Notes for John 1:1 Next Book →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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