2/17/2011

What Are 6 Evidences That You Are A Christian (Luke 23:39-43)

How would you know whether or not you are a Christian? How can you help others know if they are Christians?

Based on the account of the criminal hung next to Jesus, we find 6 evidences that he became a Christian at the last possible moment by the work of the Holy Spirit.

  1. He feared God. He said, "Don't you fear God?" (Luke 23:40) Fearing God is to honor God as God. Fearing God is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Prov 1:7, 9:10).
  2. He had a sense of his sin before God. For the first time in his life, he did not blame others and took personal responsibility. He said, "We are being punished justly for we are getting what our deeds deserve" (Luke 23:41).
  3. He saw God in sinless Jesus. He said, "...this man has done nothing wrong" (Luke 23:41). Death reveals what a man truly is, because he has no more reason to pretend. In his excruciating death, Jesus revealed his sinless perfection.
  4. He saw Jesus as his Substitute, as his vicarious sacrifice (2 Cor 5:21). Though Jesus did nothing wrong, he was punished by God (for my sins).
  5. He had (shameless) faith in Jesus. Though he committed horrible crimes deserving death, he believed in Jesus' power to save him, in spite of himself. He said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom" (Luke 23:42). He understood that salvation was entirely undeserved, that it was by grace alone, by faith alone, and not by any good works (Eph 2:8,9; Gal 2:16).
  6. He longed for paradise, the kingdom of God. According to his faith, Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).

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