How Were People Saved Before Jesus?
Faith Alone in Christ Alone
As Christians, we believe that we are saved by the grace of God, through faith in the Savior (Jesus Christ); it’s faith alone, in Christ alone. Salvation then, is dependent on something that God has done for us rather than something that we do for ourselves. We know that our good works simply cannot save us, and we also recognize that Jesus did everything that needs to be done for us; He died on the cross to pay the price for our sin. From the Christian worldview, God not only exists, but He has done something to save us and all He requires is that we place our faith in Jesus for our salvation. But what about all those people who lived and died before Jesus was ever born? If faith in Jesus is required, how could they be saved prior to his appearance? Well, those who lived before Jesus were saved in exactly the same way that you and I are saved; by the grace of God and through their faith in the Savior! Those who lived before Jesus understood grace and they placed their faith in a coming Redeemer…
They Understood Grace
These early believers loved God and wanted to live with him forever. They listened closely to the words of God as they were revealed by the prophets and the scripture. As a result, they understood the nature of grace. David, for example, wrote about God’s forgiveness and grace:
How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit! When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"; and You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.
David was fully aware of the nature of God’s free gift of salvation, and Paul makes this clear to us when he describes the knowledge that David had in this regard…
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