Oneness Pentecostals And The Thief

by E.L. Anglin

Many times I've heard Oneness Pentecostal theologians minimize the exchange between Jesus and the thief on the cross. To do so they preach the exact opposite of truth.

Here's the text:

Luke 23:40-43
"But the other criminal protested, "Don't you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn't done anything wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom."

And Jesus replied, "I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise."

Jesus forgave the thief, and promised him paradise, even though the thief had not offered the restitution the Old Testament law required. In that moment, as one age gave way to another, the power of grace was displayed. Jesus fulfilled what the thief could not.

Water/Spirit proponents teach that all of the redemption, forgiveness, mercy and grace housed within the stories of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John ended at the cross.

They ignore every command of Jesus to believe, and every promise of eternal life He attached to belief. They mangle John 3:5 and ignore John 3:16. In their minds salvation is now bound to formulas, plans and rituals. Certain steps must be accomplished in order to earn salvation.

So the truth is conflated: The Old Testament is grace, the New Testament, law. The message is that Jesus died to institute rituals instead of abolish them.

We must understand, however, that salvation is not that cut and dried. Grace was evident in the Old Testament, the principles of the Law in the New Testament. God is not restricted by dispensations.

Salvation is not a math equation.
There is no formula. No steps. No plan.

Heaven's gate is not controlled by legalists.

Jesus saves.

Only Jesus.


This writing is the copyright of E.L. Anglin and is reprinted on this site by permission. View all of his available articles here.


Page added July 2, 2015

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