How were Old Testament Saints Saved?
The Bible Answer Man
Many people falsely assume that only New Testament believers are saved by grace whereas Old Testament believers were saved by their obedience to the law of Moses and not by grace. The truth is that both the Old and New Testaments clearly teach that everyone who is saved, throughout all history, is saved the same way: by grace, through faith, on account of Christ alone.
In fact, the New Testament writers argue their case largely by appealing to the Old Testament Scriptures themselves. First, after spending the bulk of three chapters to prove that both Jews and Gentiles are unrighteous, quoting extensively from the Old Testament (Rom. 1-3), the apostle Paul concludes that no one will be declared righteous by observing the law (Rom. 3:20).
Furthermore, Paul points to Abraham, the father of the Jews who lived long before Moses, as his prime test case to prove that salvation comes through faith apart from works that we perform. Paul writes, "If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about–but not before God. What does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness' " (Rom. 4:2-3; cf. Gen. 15:6; Gal. 3:6-9).
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