Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How Were People Saved in the Old Testament?

From man’s point of view we see the Scriptures unfold a step-by-step process until the gospel is reached as the goal. But from God’s point of view we know that the coming of Christ to live and to die for sinners was the pre-determined factor even before God made the world. We must not think of God trying first one plan and then another until he came up with the perfect way of salvation. The gospel was pre-ordained so that at the exact and perfect time God sent forth his Son into the world.

In the meantime, until that perfect ‘fulness of time’ should be reached, God graciously provided a progressive revelation of the Christ event. These prefigurements of the gospel had two purposes. First, this progressive revelation led man gently to the full light of truth. Secondly, it provided the means whereby the Old Testament believer embraced the gospel before it was fully revealed. The Old Testament believer who believed the promises of God concerning the shadow was thus enabled to grasp the reality. It was by Christ that the saints of Israel were saved, for such is the unity of the successive stages of revelation that, by embracing the shadow, the believer embraced the reality. Only in this way can we account for the ‘unity expressions’ of the New Testament which speak of Old Testament believers as hearing the gospel, seeing Christ, or hoping for a heavenly Kingdom. 
- Graeme Goldsworthy, Gospel and Kingdom, 125-126.

(HT:  Yancey)

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