How were the O.T. people saved?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Mike0, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. Mike0

    Mike0
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    I'm not at home so I don't have the exact quote but reading in my SS lesson for next week about the law, the writer says something like this

    "THe blood of Christ was the way Gentiles outside of the Jewish heritage or promise of Abraham could come to salvation through Jesus"

    I wish I had my book here to quote it exact but this is pretty close.
    Now if anyone is reading from the same lesson please correct me but is he saying that the Jews were saved by another means besides Christ?

    Mike
     
  2. Tim

    Tim
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    He'd better NOT be saying that.

    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  3. Michael Estes

    Michael Estes
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    The N.T. teaches that the only Way to salvation is through faith in God through Jesus Christ followed immediately by our sincere efforts to live the Christian life. Jesus said,"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by me." The Bible also teaches that if one was to live a perfectly sinless life and obey all the requirements of the O.T. Laws, then he would be righteous in the sight of God, thus earning his way into heaven. This sounds kind of like a contradiction at a a glance. The answer to this puzzle is this: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." And again: "There is no one righteous, no not one." You'll find that the Bible teaches that indeed there are two ways to get to Heaven. One through faith in Jesus, the other through living a sinless life. We are not capable of living a sinless life (only Jesus is). Therefore that door is closed to us. It is imposssible, and indeed impassible, for you and I to work our way into Heaven through our own merit. We'll always fall short. But be happy, friend, for we have another Door to salvation, one that we CAN pass through, and that is by our faith in the man Jesus, or, more accurately, by God's mercy towards us all; for we could not have faith if it weren't for His mercy coming first.
     
  4. Mike0

    Mike0
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    You say:
    "The Bible also teaches that if one was to live a perfectly sinless life and obey all the requirements of the O.T. Laws, then he would be righteous in the sight of God, thus earning his way into heaven."
    Did not Paul obey the requirements of the law?

    The law can not or never could save us, could it?
    I thought the purpose of the law was to condemn us in our own eyes to show his people the need of the savior? Therefore the OT Jews needed Christ also didn't they?
    Mike
     
  5. superdave

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    Paul said as far as the law was concerned he was blameless. "A Pharisee of the Pharisees" He also called himself the chief of sinners.

    The Law shows our lack of holiness.

    The only way OT believers could be saved from the wrath of God, was by practicing the rituals of the law in recongnition that they were merely to point out the sinfulness of man, and to foreshadow the final and complete propitiation for sin by the Messiah, who we know to be Jesus Christ.

    They were looking forward to the final payment for their sins, which is why most I have heard believe that they were not taken to Heaven until Christ's death, when he led captivity captive. A picture of parading the conquered enemy through the streets after a victory. Christ had completed their justification. Sin and death had been defeated by his sinless life, and substitutionary death. That is the key to Salvation throughout the history of the world, the law has no ability to justify, only to point out weakness.
     
  6. aefting

    aefting
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    Maybe you didn't mean to say it this way but OT believers were saved because they *believed* not because they worked (or practiced the rituals of the law). Salvation is by grace through faith in both the OT an NT. Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness.

    Andy
     
  7. Sola-Scriptura

    Sola-Scriptura
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    Remember, before the Law was given man still was sinful by nature in Adam. The Law was to bring this depravity clearly out into the open and expose the sin in all. Sin was always there so perfection was never possible by lawkeeping. This was the whole reason for the Virgin birth of Christ. The only ones to have a proper starting point and ability to give perfect obedience were the first Adam and the second Adam.
    Galatians 3:20
    Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.
    21Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
     
  8. John Wells

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    Not to start a heated “dispensationalists are subversive Communists” debate, but I think at least that part of their view is hard to argue with. I think this gets to the heart of the thread originator’s question.
     
  9. aefting

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    I consider myself to be a dispensationalist but I would state these things a bit differently. I believe the object of faith in every age is Christ or, more specifically, what God has revealed in that age about Christ/Messiah. God's revelation is progressive, so Adam and Eve knew less about the Messiah than Abraham, and Abraham knew less than David, and David less than Isaiah. Each, though, had to beleive the promises of God as they related to the Messiah in order to be saved.

    Andy
     
  10. Mike0

    Mike0
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    I have been a part of the dispensational system for years now and didn't even know it was called that until recently but I am going to have to reconsider my menbership if Baptist are saying that there is another way to be saved or enter into heaven other than believing in Christ as Lord.
    So if I'm getting this correct Baptist believe that God offered a way of salvation in each dispensation?
    I thought that most if not all in the O.T. understood that there will be one in the future which will be the ultimate sacrifice and it was belief in the furture Messiah which saved them.


    Mike
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    I, too, am a historic dispensationist and have always accepted the position that "without faith it is impossible to please God".

    By His grace, God gives faith. Man uses it to believe what God has revealed.

    You and I today have the joy of knowing MUCH MORE than say Job or Josiah did in OT times. But we have the human responsibility to have faith.

    Salvation is salvation is salvation. Always by God's grace. Always by faith. From Adam to Bob! :cool:
     
  12. gb93433

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    Mike O, I know there are some who believe that. But I don't see one shred of evidence from the Bible to support the idea that there is more than one way of salvation.

    I don't see most Baptists believing more than one way of salvation.

    Baptist range from hyper-fundamentalist to rather liberal. Not all of us agree.
     
  13. John Wells

    John Wells
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    Mike,
    I wouldn't call it "a different way of salvation." It's salvation based on faith in what has been revealed. It would be pure conjecture to say that Abraham or Job (examples among many) had the vision of a Messiah to come. Read Hebrews 11 (Heros of Faith). You will not find even a hint that righteousness was credited to any of these examples based on looking ahead to the Messiah. They were credited as righteous because:

    All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. (Hebrews 11:13)
     
  14. Helen

    Helen
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    Please note that Job said,
    I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.
    And after my skin has been destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I will see God;
    I myself will see him with my own eyes -- I, and not another.
    How my heart yearns within me!

    Job 19:25-27

    Job knew that there was a Redeemer. From Isaiah we know that that Redeemer is God. This was known. Job's quote also shows that he knew about the resurrection and also that he would get a new body.

    They knew a lot more than we give them credit for!

    And believing in this Redeemer-God WAS believing in Jesus Christ, who is God. As was already quoted, Abraham believed, and it was credited to him as righteousness. There is only one way we can become righteous, and that is through Christ.
     
  15. Gunther

    Gunther
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    Paul argues strongly in Romans 4 that salvation has always been by faith in God apart from works.

    His examples are Abraham (pre-law) and David (law).
     
  16. Mike0

    Mike0
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    Helen I agree with you that they new more than we think they did.

    GB, I don't yet see the evidence either.


    Dr. Bob you say "Salvation is salvation is salvation. Always by God's grace. Always by faith. From Adam to Bob"
    I think you are saying salvation by more than one way. I agree by God's grace alone reguardless of which dispensation you lived but not without the blood of Christ in any generation.
    I just can't grasp the idea of righteousness apart from the Christ.
    If it were just belief in a particular revelation at the time, or dispensation, then why so many? Why keep changing the rules?

    John, you say:"You will not find even a hint that righteousness was credited to any of these examples based on looking ahead to the Messiah. They were credited as righteous because:
    I'll have to read again, could be I have presuppositions concerning this.

    Maybe it will come to me.

    Mike
     
  17. Helen

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    In Revelation 13:8, we read that Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation [or creation, depending on your translation] of the world.

    That means that His atoning sacrifice and shed blood were counted as FACT from before Adam, but worked out in TIME somewhere between 30 and 33 A.D. Thus all who are saved are saved because of the atoning sacrifice of Christ the Redeemer, and are righteous only because of Him, any time, any place, any culture in the world.

    So, has each person known enough? Yes. Waiting for God on earth, a Savior, a Redeemer, has been part of every known culture and religion from the earliest times on. It is often very hidden in later mythologies and legends, but the more I read, the more I am starting to understand that no man was ever left without a witness of some kind from God Himself.

    A great many religions postulate that the Redeemer was, in some way, one of their own gods or goddesses. The Greeks spread them around with their deities constantly coming to earth and assuming human forms! The Motilone Indians of Colombia resisted all efforts to explain Christianity to them until they realized that this Jesus was the very visitation from the Creatior God their stories told them would happen some day, and that man would be rescued through Him. A famous story is Richardson's "Peace Child."

    Always there was a way to trust the Creator God to save. How much did they have to know? Only enough to throw themselves on the Promise of God -- THAT God. And He knew their hearts. Jesus is the Promise fulfilled.

    Here are a couple of interesting things to note in the OT:

    In Genesis 4:1, Eve says that she has gotten (or begotten) a man from the Lord. She knew the Promise from Genesis 3:15, that the woman's seed would crush the head of the serpent who had deceived her. And here was her first child, from the Lord she said. There is possible evidence in the phrasing that the thought this might be the Messiah! How wrong she was, when he turned out to be the first murderer! One interesting thought occurs to me, though -- if she did indeed think he might be the Promised Savior, then how would she have raised him? Spoiled silly? Possibly.... That's just a thought, not a theology!

    Now go to Noah -- a preacher of righteousness. And who or what is righteousness? Only Jesus Christ! He knew the Promise and believed it.

    The story of Abraham presents two times when we see evidence of the explicitness of the knowledge of the Promise of God. The first precedes God's covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15. Abraham is told to go out and RECOUNT or TELL THE STORY of the stars (the verb is NOT to 'count'). In an article I co-wrote a number of years ago, we explored this concept:
    http://www.ldolphin.org/zodiac/index.html

    If you don't mind, take the time to go through it. I think the research is solid, and no, it is NOT 'astrology.' It is something that predates the occultic use of the stars now. In Psalm 19, we read the heavens declare the glory of God. The glory of God is not twinkling stars. The glory of God is expressed in Christ Himself (Hebrews 1:3). There was something about Christ in the heavens, and the ancients knew about it. It is not needed now, and so has been badly perverted (indeed, reading the OT and other sources, we can see it was perverted from long ago -- but you cannot pervert something that does not start out as truth and straight...).

    There is another point in the Abraham story which catches one's attention if one is reading close enough to notice it. Keep in mind that Abraham has now received the promise from God that from HIS offspring the Messiah will come. Now, look at something Abraham says when he takes Isaac to the mountain to sacrifice him:

    To his servants who go with them, he says, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy g over there. WE will worship and then WE will come back to you."

    WE will come back to you!

    Did Abraham think perhaps Isaac was the Promised One?

    It's a possibility.

    Job knew his Redeemer lived.

    David knew there was an Anointed One whom God Himself would install as King and who would rule over the entire earth (Psalm 2). David knew that "All the ends of the earth will remmeber and turn to the Lord" (Psalm 22:27).

    Agur knew that the Redeemer was God's Son (Prov. 30:3-4).

    Isaiah knew that God Himself was the Redeemer -- multiple verses testify to this.

    Over and over and over again we see the evidence that the knowledge of the Promised Messiah was clear and unambiguous. He was God. He would be a man as well. He would redeem the people. Faith was required and works counted for nothing as God would do it all. And yet God would force no one to believe or refuse anyone who wanted the truth access to the Truth: "Come, let us reason together..." He beckons in Isaiah 1. Why? So that sins stained red would become pure, gone, white.

    In Jeremiah we read "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, and where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls."

    And later Jesus says, "Come to me all you who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest...."

    They knew. From long ago they knew. And, just like us, they could choose to believe or go their own ways. No sentient adult has ever been without that choice.
     
  18. Mike0

    Mike0
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    Helen,
    Many thanks for the confirmation.
    Mike
     
  19. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    We need to be careful projecting NT revelation back on the OT. While I agree that all righteous people have been declared righteous on the basis of Christ, we have not warrant for suggesting that OT believers "believed on Christ" for salvation. There is no acts 16:31 type verse in teh OT. They were responsible for responding in faith to the revelation that they had. Thus, they were saved by faith, but the content of the revelation believed is certainly different. To say that they knew of a redeemer is one thing; To say that they believed on Christ is quite another. Let's be careful not to say more than Scripture does about this.
     
  20. John Wells

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    Pulling from my original quote from D.L. Moody: "The basis of salvation in every age is the death of Christ; the requirement for salvation in every age is faith; the object of faith in every age is God; the content of faith changes in the various dispensations."

    I think that aligns very well with what Helen so eloquently presented:

    "The basis of salvation in every age is the death of Christ" - Helen's Rev 13:8 reference and explanation totally agree.

    "the requirement for salvation in every age is faith" AND "the object of faith in every age is God" - Helen said, "Always there was a way to trust the Creator God to save. How much did they have to know? Only enough to throw themselves on the Promise of God."

    But as D.L. and Larry said, the context of the believer's understanding of Jesus, the Messiah, was limited at best, and non-existant in many cases.
     

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