OT Salvation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by J. Jump, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. J. Jump

    J. Jump
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    How were people saved during the OT let's say 50 years before Jesus' birth?
     
  2. Mr.M

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    By believing the gospel message as revealed to them at that time. From Adam onward salvation has always been faith in the gospel as revealed by God.
     
    #2 Mr.M, Aug 4, 2007
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  3. pinoybaptist

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    thru the blood of the Lamb of glory slain from before the foundation of the world.

    the same blood spilled at Calvary, here in time, by the same Lamb from eternity who put on the form of a servant to take away the sins of the world.
     
  4. skypair

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    By way of answer, let's consider the two:

    OT: Faith in God and in His eternal kingdom to come (much as we look for the rapture).

    NT: Faith in God and that His Son died for our sins so the we could be included in His eternal kingdom.

    In both cases, the SOUL trusted in God and the SPIRIT awaited regeneration.

    In the OT, the regeneration is resurrection to the earthly kingdom they sought.

    In the NT, we are regenerated/resurrected (Paul calls it being "translated into the kingdom of His dear Son," Col 1:13) into Christ's kingdom.

    skypair
     
  5. TCGreek

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    Abraham is the prototype of the saved (Rom 4; Gal 3).
     
  6. Charles Meadows

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    Is this topic meant to address whether or not these were saved exterior to Christ's direct work?

    This is an interesting question - and one that was argued extensively in reformed circles of old.

    Those who, like John Calvin, saw covenant as an important aspect of God's redemptive plan would tend to say that the whole OT looks forward to Christ and as such Abraham was specifically saved by Christ's death.

    Others (like Arminius and Amyraut) would argue that the OT saints attained salvation by obeying and trusting God for salvation.

    So the question seems to be whether or not there is one covenant of grace - or has God dealt differently (according to His good pleasure) with with each generation?

    In the end it is somewhat of a moot question since Christ was and is the finisher of all faith. But this has been a significant point of difference for a great deal of scholars.
     
  7. TCGreek

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    What do the Scriptures say?
     
  8. Charles Meadows

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    What do the scriptures say?

    A great deal.

    I am neither a "dispensationalist" nor do I consider my self a "covenantalist" as most would define these terms.

    I think the scriptural synopsis is that Christ's atonement must be considered God's only means for salvation. I would agree with those (some dispensationalists, some medieval nominalists) who say that God could have saved us any way He wanted (that is, He was not bound by a covenant) - but the fact of the matter is that He did choose - and that choice was Calvary. This is reflected in Jesus' statement that Abraham looked for His day and saw it.
     
  9. J. Jump

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    Basically while there has not been a great deal of detail I think we are all in agreement that OT and NT folks are saved the same way as we are and that is by God's grace through faith apart from works.

    Now the question is what were they asked to believe in. There we have answers from the blood of The Lamb to faith in His coming kingdom.

    I think if the OT understood the death and shed blood of The Lamb that it was understood through the sacrifices they preformed as a type of that which was coming.

    Therefore since the nation continued year in and year out to slay the pascal lambs how can we say that Christ came to a spiritually dead people with a message of everlasting spiritual life?

    For example we have no indication that what Mary's parents believed for everlasting life was any different than what Mary had to believe for everlasting life. Mary was "saved" (possessed everlasting life) before Jesus was ever born.

    Therefore the gospel of the kingdom that Christ came preaching had to be something different than what Mary already had.

    The same would go for the disciples. There are at least a few of them that were disciples of John the Baptist, who no doubt was saved. And these men that were his disciples were no doubt saved.

    Yet people still try to get us to understand that Jesus was delivering a message of everlasting life to even these people.

    I have said this in the past and I will continue to say that understanding the salvation of the OT is CRITICAL to understanding the gospel accounts and the ministry of Jesus.

    With that understanding there is no way that we can say contextually that Jesus was preaching a message of everlasting life, because the people He was preaching to already possessed this life. His message was a message of a "need" in their lives.
     
  10. TCGreek

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    Faith in God has always been the staple of Justification, and that's why Scripture presents Abraham as the prototype (Rom 4; Gal 3).
     
  11. Charles Meadows

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    Faith in God has always been the staple of Justification, and that's why Scripture presents Abraham as the prototype (Rom 4; Gal 3).

    OK.

    But what is the question then?

    I cannot imagine that anyone would dare argue that righteousness in the OT came through the Sinai covenant. Justification is/was by faith in the OT as well as the NT. I was thinking that the question was more along the lines of faith in whom. Were OT saints justified by faith in God or by faith in Christ (as in Abraham being glad to see Jesus' day)?
     
  12. TCGreek

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    1. Faith in God.

    2. It would be a kind of an anachronism to think that OT saints exercised faith in Christ.

    3. The mediation of Christ and the Holy Spirit is to bring us to God (Eph.2:18; 1 Pet.3:18).

    *** Edited.
     
    #12 TCGreek, Aug 4, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2007
  13. Charles Meadows

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    1. Faith in God.

    Obviously they did have this. But to what extent did Christ's work mediate their salvation


    2. It would a kind of an anachronism to think that OT saints exercised faith in God.

    Did you mean to say it would be an anachronism to say faith in Christ here? This is a thorny issue. John Calvin himself has been criticized by many subsequent writers for "blurring" the distinction between the two testaments based on his insistence on Christ as mediator for all those who are saved.


    3. The mediation of Christ and the Holy Spirit is to bring us to God (Eph.2:18; 1 Pet.3:18).

    But is there salvation without specific faith in Christ? And if there is then how can we refute universalism? I find in Calvin (and in this case agree with!) an attribution of OT saints' salvation to faith directed towards Christ and not just God in general. This does not mean that they had specific knowledge of Him - but was not yet the forgiveness of their sins related directly to Christ's atonement?
     
  14. Mr.M

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    By believing the gospel message as revealed to them at that time. From Adam onward salvation has always been faith in the gospel as revealed by God.

    And if one is too lazy to study the Bible which is available in ample form to discover the nature of the revelation by God to man regarding the gospel at various times then in truth they aren't really interested in the answer when it is right in front of them.

    Again, the question was: "How were people saved during the OT let's say 50 years before Jesus' birth?"

    And again the answer is: By believing the gospel message as revealed to them at that time. From Adam onward salvation has always been faith in the gospel as revealed by God.
     
  15. TCGreek

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    1. Thanks for the correction on point 2: should be "Faith in Christ."

    2. "An attribution of OT saints' salvation to faith directed towards Christ and not just God in general," how do you prove this from Scripture?

    3. But I would venture that the sacrificial systems/altars are quite instructive at this point, for they pointed to the Lamb of God.
     
  16. TCGreek

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    1. Paul says, "And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed" (Gal.3:8, ESV, emphasis mine).

    a. Paul says the gospel/good news preached to Abraham was "In you shall all the nations be blessed."

    b. What about "In you shall all the nations be blessed" makes it the gospel/good news to Abraham?

    2. Both Peter and Paul interpret all this to be referring to the Christ (Acts 3:19-26; Gal 3:16). This is amazing!
     
  17. Charles Meadows

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    TC,

    Some preliminary assumptions are in order I think.

    1. As I see it salvation by faith is a given. There is no reason a Christian would argue that OT salvation was works based.

    2. The law was described by Paul, in some instances, in very negative terms. Galatians does not depict the law as helpful or instructive. My own opinion here is close to that of Andrew Das or Scott Hafemann in terms of the OT "covenant" being beneficial but that its Sinaitic distribution it was spoiled before it was ever enacted. As in #1 salvation must come from faith.

    As for the question of OT faith in "Christ" or "God" I agree that this is blurry. It is anachronistic to say that the OT saints had any specific knowledge of Jesus. But I think we must distinguish that their salvation is due to the work of Christ and not simply God reckoning their faith as righteousness. As far as scriptural citations I would look to John 8:56-57 and Eph 1:10-11 for starters. God did count their faith as a good thing as He does ours - but it is only through Christ's atonement that we make it to heaven.

    As I said before God could have done it differently - He could have a different means for salvation in every "dispensation". But He didn't do it that way. If He did then Jesus is not the climax of history but rather another part of it.
     
  18. Mr.M

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    "In you all nations shall be blessed" refers to the Israel being the guardians of the gospel and those commissioned to disseminate it during the age of Israel. It is not meant to be understood that it was a phrase people went around saying or that simply by believing "In you all nations shall be blessed" was representative of the gospel message but again, refers to the fact that from Abraham, the genesis of Israel, was the people charged with the responsibility of the gospel as is the church and its believers today.
     
  19. TCGreek

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    1. Galatians depicts the Law as helpful to expose sin and a need for a Savior (Gal 3:19-25). Isn't this the obvious import of this passage?

    2. We have the privilege of looking back after the fact of the Cross and the NT writers reflections, if you will, of the Patriarchs and the Covenant people.

    3. Whether we can run the golden thread as not to undermine the Atonement of Christ, is a tall order.
     
  20. TCGreek

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    That doesn't seem to be what Paul is saying in Gal 3:8.
     

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