Central Baptist Church
Monday, March 18, 2019

Morning Worship Sermon

Luke 23:39-43
Luke 23:39-43 -  “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40  But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41  And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42  And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
          I want you to look at this scene with me and I want us to see two things :
1.  The horror of rejecting Christ
2.  The beauty of salvation
          Matthew and Mark both tell us that when they were first crucified, both thieves were mocking Christ along with the crowd. 
Matthew 27:41-44 "Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 
42  He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. 43  He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. 44  The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth."

          Then as the hours wore on one of the thieves cried out, “If your who people say you are, if you are the Christ, save yourself and me!”
          The other thief though as he gazed into the face of our Lord was smitten in his heart and he cried to Jesus :
Luke 23:39“Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 -  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
          “Grace” -  Undeserved acceptance and love received from another.  Grace is especially the characteristic attitude of God in providing salvation for sinners.
          For Christians, the word "grace" is virtually synonymous with the gospel of God's gift of unmerited salvation in Jesus Christ.
1.  God planned this thief's salvation
          There’s not a person in this room who ever planned to be saved.  On the contrary, you were at enmity with God, but :
Ephesians 4:1“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:”
Ephesians 2:4-5 "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)"
          Here we plainly see that we were dead in our sins and a dead man can do absolutely nothing! 
          It was God who planned our salvation and He :
2.  God provided his salvation
John 1:1,14 -  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14  And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 
Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of  blood is no remission."
I Peter 1:19 "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"
          No other sacrifice was sufficient, only the sinless Son of God!
3.  God made this man want salvation
          He had no :
Moral life
          He was a criminal!  A thief and maybe even a murderer.

Life of service
          No :  religion
                   good works
          But the Holy Spirit began to deal with his heart through conviction and when he prayed, he :
1.  Realized his condition
Romans 3:23 -  “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
          This man gazed into the face of Jesus and saw the glory of God and saw himself as he really was a sinner, lost, and hell bound.
2.  He realized his helplessness
          He suddenly saw that he could not save himself!
Isaiah 64:6 -  “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Ephesians 2:9 -  “Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
3.  He saw the perfection of Jesus
I Peter 1:19 -  “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”
          After Pilate had examined our Lord Jesus Christ carefully all he could say was :  “I find no fault in Him!”
4.  Then he recognized Christ’s Divinity
John 3:16 -  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 14:8-9 -  “Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.  9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
Matthew 15:39 "And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God."
5.  Then he saw Jesus as a King
Revelation 19:16 -  “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
          He is not a king, He is the King!
          He is not a lord, He is the Lord!
6.  Then the man saw Jesus as Savior
John 1:29 -  “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
7.  Then the man expressed belief in future life
          “Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”
John 14:1-6 -  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and   receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5  Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
8.  And lastly he exercised repentance and faith and was saved!
Luke 13:3 -  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Romans 10:13 -  “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
          The thief had a chance in the last hours of his life for salvation.
          He took it!
          You have a chance today - will you take it?