PROOF from THE THEOLOGY
OF the CROSS
   LUKE 23:39-43 (NASB)

(33) And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. (34} But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. {35} And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One." {36} And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, {37} and saying, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!" {38} Now there was also an inscription above Him, "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS." (39) And one of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, "Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!" {40} But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? {41} "And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." {42} And he was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!" {43} And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise." {44} And it was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, {45} the sun being obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. {46} And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, INTO THY HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT." And having said this, He breathed His last. {47} Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, "Certainly this man was innocent."
 

Introduction
Everybody has a theology. All theologies need to be tested at the cross. If a theological point does not hold true at the cross; it is not good theology. I want to share several points of theology that are proven at the cross.
 
 

 
1.    It Is Proven - God Is Good. v 34, 41 b 
John 3:16
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (NAS)

Satan's oldest trick is to cause one to question the goodness of God. Gen 3:5
5 "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (NAS)
 

Illustration:
Henry Blackaby's only daughter at 16 was diagnosed as having cancer, Henry called the family together ands said we will pray and ask God to heal her but whether He does or not has nothing to do with the goodness of God. God is good, and we affirm that in this time of need. Today his daughter is a journeyman missionary in Bosnia.

Application

It is Proven at the Cross God Is Good.
 
 
 

2.     It Is Proven - God Punishes Sin. v 34 & 46 

A.    Some say Sin is not a reality.
         1.    Christian Science Lady said " Sin is just mans struggle in an uphill
                climb."
                    a. You know the Christian Scientist Religion is like Grape Nuts
                        Cereal. Grape Nuts is neither grapes nor nuts.
                    b.    The Christian Scientist Religion is neither Christian nor
                            Science.

B.    On the Cross God is Punishing Sin.
          1.    Sin is so much a reality God's Son pays the price.

Application

It is Proven at the Cross God Is Good.
 
 
 

3.     It Is Proven - Jesus Is Virgin Born. 
"circumstantial evidence"

Illustration
Mary loved Jesus and she would not have allowed Him to suffer if she knew He was not the virgin born Son of God. She would have said come down, but she could not. She knew better than all the crowd this is the virgin born Son of God.

Application

It is Proven at the Cross - - Jesus is the Virgin Born Son of God.
 
 
 

4. It Is Proven - Jesus Lived A Sinless Life. v 34, 41 
"also circumstantial evidence"

A.    Jesus would not have suffered the pain if He were not the Sinless Son of
        God.
 

Illustration
The study of logic reveals fallacies to correct thinking. My professor in the University said you may have heard preachers hold up a Bible and say "this is the Word of God, how do we know it is the Word of God? It says it is the Word of God." Then he said " that is circular reasoning and doesn't prove anything." I did not know how to answer then but I do know.

If you find a yellow rock that looks like gold, how will you know for certain it is gold? You will let the gold tell you through a chemical evaluation. The gold will prove itself if it is indeed gold.

The scriptures will prove themselves to be the scriptures. I hold up the Bible and say this is the word of God because it says it is and has proven itself to be to Billions of people.

Application

Jesus proves on the cross He is the sinless Son of God.
 
 
 

5.     It Is Proven - Good Works Do Not Cause Salvation.  
v 33, 40-41 

A.    The term "Good Works" always after salvation.
            1.    Check this out in your Bible concordance.
            2.    The term "Good works" always assumes salvation first.

Don't go to an employer and request a pay check if you have not been employed.    Reward for works is a result of employment.

Mt. 7:23 ". . . I never knew you. . . "

Isa.64:6 "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags"

1 Cor. 3:13 some works of a Christian are "wood, hay, stubble"

Illustration
In my college days I worked in the engineering office of a manufacturing plant. I tried to witness to a man who believed in a works salvation. One day I ask him what kind of works do you do? He told me in a very proud way "I tend bar at the annual picnic."

Application

We laugh but any works we do with which we think will can our salvation make God laugh.
 
 
 

6.    It Is Proven - Baptism Does Not Cause Salvation. 
No river or baptistry at the Cross.

A.    Baptism portrays a burial.
You do not bury people to cause there death, but because they are dead.

You can be baptized in every river creek and stream until you know every tadpole by name and it won't save you..

Application

It is Proven at the Cross - - Baptism doesn't cause Salvation.
 
 
 
 

7.    It Is Proven - Church Membership Does Not Cause Salvation. 
At the Cross No church to join.

Illustration
Dr. Fred Fisher was one of my New Testament professors. On one occasion he began a class by asking everyone to identify them self and tell something about their family and future plans. One student who did not belong to a Baptist Church said "I plan to someday write a Systematic theology."

Dr Fisher said "son you have an impossible task because you first must have a systematic theology." The Bible teaches belonging to a particular church does not cause salvation.

Illustration
Dr Ray Roberts was a pastor in Kentucky. While their he had a lady from another church who would constantly try to upgrade her religion by trying to down grade the Baptist Faith.

On one occasion she met Dr Roberts at the Post Office and ask Dr Roberts what roads he had taken to get to the Post Office. He told her and then she related how interesting we took different roads but ariled at the same destination.

To which she wanted to apply different roads lead to salvation. Dr Roberts said "there is one glaring error in you argument, and it is when I die I don't want to go to the Post Office.

Application

It Is Proven - Church Membership Does Not Cause Salvation.
 
 
 
 

8.    It Is Proven - You Do Not Have To Clean Up Your Life. 

Illustration
I was visiting a new Christian for a follow up visit he had a friend with him and his friend asked "Why do you need God?" While I was preparing to answer this new Christian said "because you cant clean up act by yourself."

I had never heard that answer in a theological class but I think it is an excellent answer.

Illustration
Humor: The organization of a medical Clinic as you enter you see these signs over the doors.

Door 1 Medical - Psychological

Door 2 Surgery - Treatment

Door 3 Major - Minor

Door 4 In Patient - Out Patient

Door 5 Income Over 50, T - Income Under 50, t

He went into the door marked under 50.00 and wound up back out on street.
A friend asked did they help you? No but it's the most organized place I have ever seen.

Application

It doesn't matter how organized or cleaned up you life is, it takes the cross to bring salvation.

It Is Proven - Church Membership Does Not Cause Salvation.
 
 
 
 

9.    It Is Proven - A Person Can Be Saved On Their Death Bed.
v 42-43
{42} And he was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!" {43} And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."

A.    This is a peculiar death bed.

Jesus said to this man "Today you shall be with me". . . . Jesus recognized his plea as a call for salvation. It was not worded as you are I would tell someone to word their prayer but it got the desired results.
 

Illustration
On one occasion I led a lady to the Lord who had been in a terrible car accident. She was in the hospital, and in the spinal cord injury section. She was on an Oscillating bed and I could only talk to her as she ocellated towards me. A very unusual soul winning opportunity. But she was saved.

Application

It Is Proven - There is a death bed Salvation.
 
 
 

10.    It Is Proven - There Is An Instantaneous Salvation. v 43 
"Today you will be with me . . . "

Illustration
I had a history professor who asked me " you believe in an instantaneous salvation don't you" at that time I did not know what he meant. So I asked him to explain and then told him yes I do. He said "I do not believe anything changes in an instant.

Then one day her came into class and related I guess you know the entire political scene change in a n instant last night as L. B. Johnson said ""I will not seek nor will I accept the nomination for the office of President."

I reminded him after class what he had said. I also told him I still believed in an instantaneous salvation.

Application

It Is Proven - There is an Instantaneous Salvation..
 
 
 

11.    It Is Proven - The Vilest of sinners can be saved. v 40-41 
{40} But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Do you not even fear God, since you are  under the same sentence of condemnation? {41} "And we indeed justly, for we are receiving  what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong."

A.    The thieves on the Cross were vile sinners.
 

Illustration
A Pastor in Ohio preached a sermon for the foulest sinner he had ever met. The pastor's 9 year old son came forward and said "Dad you were sure preaching to me. We all need to see our sin that way

Illustration
A little boy in England was found crying because he was lost. A policeman took him to the station, and they gather around him trying to help him locate his home. Some one mentioned the huge cross at West Minster Aby and the boy said "if you take me to the cross I can find my own way home from there.

Application

I have tried to take you to the Cross. You can find your way home from there.
 
 

Song the way of the cross:
I must need go home by the way of the cross,
There's no other way but this;
I shall ne'er get sight of the gates of light,
If the way of the cross I miss.
The way of the cross leads home,
The way of the cross leads home;
It is sweet to know as I onward go,
The way of the cross leads home.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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