How Were Old Testament People Saved?

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“Abraham became the Friend of God and His righteousness because of his faith + nothing. And this was done just by believing what God said. Because Abraham received eternal life the same way the Church age believer does, we all came in the same way.

But how did people back here from Adam, Abel, Seth, Noah, and all the way up to Abraham, how did they come into a right relationship with God, faith + nothing? No way, but rather it was faith + sacrifice. They couldn’t approach God without the sacrifice. Coming up to the Cross even in Christ’s earthly ministry, did Jesus ever teach the concept of a salvation by faith and faith alone. No. What were they to do? They were still to be adherence to the Law of Moses, they also had the added responsibility of repentance and water baptism, + their faith. But faith alone wouldn’t cut it. Even in the early chapters of Acts, it wasn’t just faith and faith alone. They had to repent and be baptized, and that was a requirement. It wasn’t just empty words, but a requirement.

Hebrews 11:4

“By faith Abel (believed God? No. He offered. He did something) offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” By faith, primarily, but it was faith plus. Now you come all the way down to verse 7.

Hebrews 11:7

“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear (and what did he do?) prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

He did something. Now, let me ask you. If Noah would have stood out there in the Middle East and said, “All right God, I believe you that a flood is coming,” and never built an ark, what would have happened? He would have gotten washed away along with the rest of them. But along with his faith that a flood was coming, what did he do? He built an ark. And all the rest of the way up through Scripture, all those great men of God, Jacob, Isaac, David and all the rest. They were men of faith, but faith alone? No! Faith plus Temple worship, plus Law keeping, plus this, plus that.

But Abraham never made a sacrifice until years later. He did not do anything he just simply believed God. God saw that man’s faith and He imputed righteousness to him. This was in order that Abraham could be the father of both Israel (earthly people) and the Church (heavenly people). He will have an earthly progeny which was the children of Israel, but he’s also going to have a heavenly progeny which are those who have entered in like he did by faith, and faith alone. For us today, we just simply say, “Yes Lord, I believe it, that you died for me, that you were raised in resurrection power, with all my heart.” And that’s all God is looking for.”

— Les Feldick

13 thoughts on “How Were Old Testament People Saved?

  1. Paul writes in Ephesians 2 that salvation is by grace, through faith, and that we are saved for the good works that God has prepared for us. The works have always been the outworking of our faith in what God was doing. From Noah building the ark to us believing in the resurrection and repenting and turning to Christ, true faith produces action. The works can’t save us but are an outward reflection of the inward faith we have.

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    1. To a point one can say that works ought to be the manifestation of salvation but God does not require them today. If He did the Corinthians and Galatians would not have been written to as saved people by Paul but would have been lost as a golf ball in high weeds. The passage you refer to in Ephesians is not referring to our good works but God’s good works in us throughout eternity. We are His good works not we do good works to be accepted by Him – we already are accepted the second we believe who Christ was and what He did, in that instant we are saved and sealed, it’s a done deal can’t give it up even if we want, yet we have done nothing other than have faith that God paid it all for us, we haven’t done any work at all yet we are saved and sealed until the day of redemption. If our keeping of that salvation was at all in any way dependant upon any work we do after that then why does scripture say until the day of redemption. You imply a saved person must have good works do good works as a manifestation of their salvation or they are not saved but the Corinthians and Galatians did not yet they were saved and the very gospel denies this belief for if works were the required manifestation or proof of salvation then the Holy Spirit could not seal us until we proved ourselves else when we did not do good works He would have to leave us which makes God a liar as we weren’t sealed until the day of redemption as the following verses show:

      In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
      Ephesians 1:13‭-‬14 KJV

      In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
      Ephesians 1:11 KJV

      And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
      Ephesians 4:30 KJV

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      1. I did not mean that good works are a requirement of salvation. Truly, we are saved by faith in Christ alone. I do believe that a saving faith will produce a changed life. I don’t believe in good works for the sake of earning favor with God, for He has already done all that is necessary for our salvation. It is totally His work in us. But I do stand by my assertion that saving faith will produce a change in us. I don’t believe you can truly come to Christ and remain the same sinful person as you were before.

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      2. If what you believe is true then do you believe the Corinthians that Paul write to as well as the Galatians were unsaved?

        It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
        1 Corinthians 5:1 KJV

        But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
        Galatians 4:9‭-‬12 KJV

        They were not showing the good works you speak of at all but were very much living as sinful people, they were carnal believers, fleshly, not walking in the spirit they had received upon salvation. They were being rebuked and chastened as such by these letters but Paul refers to them as brethern, believers, saved. If you make good works a requirement as proof of salvation you are saying that these books were written to lost people who Paul calls saved, Paul calls them saved cause Christ did, so you are in essence calling God a liar again. Go read those books over a few times and really let what God is saying in them sink in – they are written to saved believers who are not showing good works. Obviously it would be better if they were hence the correction of the epistles so I ask how can good works be a sign of salvation if the Corinthians and Galatians are saved? Is God lying when He has Paul call them saved?

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      3. I realize that the Corinthians were an especially carnal group of believers. I also realize that the Galatians were caught up in observing the law, which are some of the reasons that Paul wrote to them. Many believers, even to the present day, fall into these two groups. I am not making anything a requirement for salvation at all. maybe I have not stated what I am saying clearly enough. I believe that on some level a person will change when coming to Christ. If you are dead-set against this, we will have to agree to disagree. I have no desire to debate you on this.

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      4. I read the Bible and believe every word at no point do I debate it, your putting a man made idea in as a proof of salvation when God’s Word does not. You have given no scriptural support for your belief while I gave you entire books, disagree with Scripture if you want then explain it to God one day, doesn’t matter to me.

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      5. Yes, I did. I had also read my comment you were responding to (your comment about humbleness) and felt that I had taken a tone in my response and wanted to apologise to you. I am glad you see the scriptural point I was making, and you’re welcome. I wasn’t trying to continue making my point just to say I was sorry.

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      6. I would also say that you have made a good, scriptural point. Scripture is the bottom line when it comes to doctrine and truth, I believe. I also believe in being humble and teachable. Thanks for pointing these things out to me.

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      7. I also believe in being humble and teachable by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit but the Bible is the final authority, which is why I am where I am today. My last comments were not meant to seem harsh or proud and if they did please accept my apologies, I did once believe as you about works and I do agree with you sir that we “ought” to live in Christ and no longer will fully sin but I do not find scripture to support this as the sign of a believer. Have a good day and know I meant no disrespect to you.

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      8. Kevin, I agree. It’s so important for Christians to always remain teachable. Very few are. I have had discussions with Christians that turned into debates where the other person got upset and stop communicating. Many have closed their ears to the point where they can’t hear anymore. They say it’s fine to disagree which is true up to a point as long as it’s not a salvational issue. However, there are those who believe the church has replaced Israel. To believe this is disrespectful to God who loves the Jewish people and isn’t done with them. Those who adhere to Replacement Theology will never really grow in the Lord. So much error in Christendom and they don’t want to hear it.

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