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Summary: This is the 2nd sermon in the Easter Series "The Three Crosses".

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Sunday Morning April 13, 2003

Bel Aire Baptist Church

Series: The Three Crosses [Easter Series]#2

DEATH TO SIN

Luke 23:40-43

Introduction:

1. When we think of Calvary, we only think of the cross of Christ. We must remember there were three crosses at Calvary. There are three great truths about death and sin to be seen here. On each cross was a man who died in a different way toward sin. Two of these crosses represent one of two ways in which you will choose to die in relation to sin. Last week we saw there on Calvary a cross representing every person who chooses not to come to Christ. This morning we see a cross representing every person who chooses to die to sin rather than choosing to die in sin.

2. This is the cross of the thief who did not reject Jesus. He chose to die to sin.

3. How does one die to sin? How is a person forgiven? How is a person saved?

Death to sin comes when a person...

Admits

Luke 23:40-41 (MSG)

But the other one made him shut up: "Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him- he did nothing to deserve this."

1. It’s simple; you must be honest with God. God knows you are a sinner and that the penalty for sin is eternal death. God also knows that the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus. If you want this gift you first must admit that you are a sinner. Some may be asking, "What is sin?" Sin is simply doing anything that God would not approve of.

2. If you are a person that doesn’t believe that you have ever sinned, let me ask you a couple of quick questions.

«Have you ever told a lie? Even if it was just a little fabrication, it counts as a lie. If you have that makes you a liar. You may be thinking, "It was only a little lie". How many lies does it take to be a liar? 1

«Have you ever thought about someone in a sexual manner? Jesus said that if you thought it that is as bad as doing it. If you have ever had a thought like this that makes you an adulterer.

«We could continue on and on with this line of questioning. If you have ever sinned even one time (and the Bible says that everyone has sinned), then you stand guilty before God.

3. You may be hung up on the fact that you are such a terrible sinner that you don’t deserve God’s forgiveness; but that is not true. When Jesus died for sin, He died for all of sin. You may also think that since you have done a lot of good things that those good things erase the bad, but that is not true because just one sin makes you dirty and you cannot enter into God’s presence dirty. The Bible says that even on your best day that you are nasty and filthy in comparison to God. Are you willing to admit that you are a sinner and need to be rescued from death? If so, you have taken the first major step in experiencing death to sin.

Death to sin comes when a person...

Believes

Luke 23:40-41 (MSG)

But the other one made him shut up: "Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him- he did nothing to deserve this."

1. This thief was saying, "I believe in this man Jesus". After seeing how Christ was abused, the thief was compelled to believe that Christ was all that He claimed to be.

2. Belief accepts Christ at face value. The thief did not understand everything about Christ or the Bible, but he did understand that he was a sinner. He came to Jesus just as he was. Don’t wait until you know everything about Christ or you can change and be better. Come to Jesus just like you are, and then He will begin to help you change.

3. The Bible also tells us what we need to believe in order to be saved. Understand that this isn’t a "head" belief, but a belief in the heart. The Bible says that even the demons believe that Jesus is the Son of God and they tremble. The Bible says that we must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, lived a perfect life, died on a cross for the sins of the world, and arose on the third day.

Death to sin comes when a person...

Confesses

Luke 23:42-43 (MSG)

Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom."

He said, "Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise."

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