Saturday, October 15, 2011

Salvation in the Old Testament

For a while now, I've been subscribed to Wretched on YouTube.  Because of that they recommended that I subscribe to Way of the Master.  That's great because I subscribed right after the 180 release and Way of the Master has this show called On the Box.  You see Tony Miano, Ray Comfort, and other dudes talking about street ministry, street preaching, tracts, how to answer tough questions from atheists or trolls, and I do get good encouragement and tips from these folks.  I personally would never go out and preach in a street, start questioning random people at the mall, or even hand out tracts, though I do have a good plan on Halloween that I'll talk about later.  I do like their answers to questions and that they answer questions form viewers.  I personally wouldn't mind hitting abortion apologists with a two-by-four myself, though they've never done that. 

On one episode I watched yesterday, someone asked how people got saved in the Old Testament before Christ came.  One guy answered but I wasn't impressed with his answer.  Here's the episode:

 He answers about halfway through the video and I do recommend this show, but the answer isn't wrong, but it's not the best answer either.

Here's my answer to the question about salvation in the Old Testament: God still showed the people Jesus and they were saved through believing. 

Abraham is most on my mind lately because of my teaching at church.  In Genesis 22, God asks him to take Isaac to Mt. Moriah and sacrifice him as a burnt offering.  Abraham does it.  He's moving to slay Isaac, and then God stops him (actually the Angel of the Lord, aka, Jesus in the OT).  He says to not slay Isaac, but he gives Abraham a lamb to sacrifice instead.  This is a play-by-play of what we deserve: death, what God did for us: substituted a lamb, aka Jesus, and we get off free.  Abraham and Isaac believed, so God credited them with righteousness (he says that in chapter 15, but it applies here.)

If God saved anyone in the OT, it by showing them the promise of Christ, and they believed.  The first people he saved were Adam and Eve themselves.  They sinned, God prophesied Christ in 3:15, threw them out of the garden, and then killed animals for them to wear as clothes.  They would not approach God without blood.  They also taught Cain and Abel the need to bring a blood sacrifice.  Abel obeyed and became the first martyr for the Lord.  Cain brought only fruit, and God would not accept it.  Cain is everyone who tries to get to God on his own merit and his own rules, which only amount to dirty rags, aka used tampons.  Cain ended up damned because he would not repent and let Jesus be his Lord.

You see this all over the Old Testament.  Noah had to enter God's provision of the Ark to escape the flood.  Moses and Israel passed through the Red Sea.  Aaron and his folks had to take sacrifices to the tabernacle both for their own sins and the people's sins.  David purchased Araunah's threshold, also on Mt. Moriah, to build the temple and stop God from killing the people.  All until Jesus came and sacrificed himself once for all time and now people could believe in him explicitly.  So in both Old and New Testament, God didn't save anyone unless he moved them to believe in Jesus's sacrifice for their sins.

1 comment:

  1. Hebrew children in the Old Testament were born into God's covenant, both male and female. Circumcision was the sign of this covenant for boys, but the sign was not what saved them. Faith saved them. Rejecting the sign, circumcision, for boys, either by the parents or later as an adult himself, was a sign of a lack of true faith, and therefore the child was "cut off" from God's promises as clearly stated in Genesis chapter 17:

    "Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

    What was the purpose of this covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? God tells us in the beginning of this chapter of Genesis:

    "And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you."

    This covenant wasn't just to establish a Jewish national identity or a promise of the inheritance of the land of Caanan, as some evangelicals want you to believe. In this covenant, God promises to be their God. Does God say here that he will be their God only if they make a "decision for God" when they are old enough to have the intelligence and maturity to decide for themselves? No! They are born into the covenant!

    If Jewish children grew up trusting in God and lived by faith, they then received eternal life when they died. If when they grew up, they rejected God, turned their back on God, and lived a life of willful sin, when they died, they suffered eternal damnation. Salvation was theirs to LOSE. There is no record anywhere in the Bible that Jewish children were required to make a one time "decision for God" upon reaching an "Age of Accountability" in order to be saved.

    Therefore Jewish infants who died, even before circumcision, were saved.

    The same is true today. Christian children are born into the covenant. They are saved by faith. It is not the act of baptism that saves, it is faith. The refusal to be baptized is a sign of a lack of true faith and may result in the child being "cut off" from God's promise of eternal life, to suffer eternal damnation, as happened with the unfaithful Hebrew in the OT.

    Christ said, "He that believes and is baptized will be saved, but he that does not believe will be damned."

    It is not the lack of baptism that damns, it is the lack of faith that damns.

    Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals
    An orthodox Lutheran blog