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How did the people before Christ get redemption?

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by Godistruth1, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. Godistruth1

    Godistruth1 Well-Known Member Supporter

    How did people before birth of Christ get salvation?
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. “Paisios”

    “Paisios” Unworthy servant of God Supporter

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Speaking as one without any authority or particular knowledge...

    Jesus Christ is the Word of God, and from mankind’s perspective came at a certain time once history as the Incarnation...fully man and fully God...but from God’s perspective...

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” - John he 1:1-5

    Christ was around from the beginning, and outside of time, so His salvific work also is outside of time, despite our perception of time as the only reality.
  3. salt-n-light

    salt-n-light Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    They believed in God, and His promises, which would include in the hope of the coming Savior Jesus, who is God the Son, and eternal rest, which was a promise established from the Garden of Eden.

    In the Old Testament with the people of Israel, they had to do more rituals to keep communion with God and to be set apart from the other nations, as opposed to having the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we have today and being set apart spiritually, but more or less the same type of reliance on salvation and hope was there then as it is now. Jesus was always around though because He is God.
  4. TuxAme

    TuxAme Quis ut Deus? Supporter

    United States
    Jesus (being God) isn't bound by time like we are. He was able to "apply" His sacrifice on the cross to all people regardless of what time period they were/are from.
  5. drjean

    drjean Senior Veteran Supporter

    United States
    Those before Christ's resurrection, those who believed in God looked forward (into the future) for the Messiah to come, trusting God to send Him. The Old Testament shows what offerings and sacrifices they were to give, the most important one being the Atonement.

    The Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27-28), also known as Yom Kippur, was the most solemn holy day of all the Israelite feasts and festivals, occurring once a year on the tenth day of Tishri, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. On that day, the high priest was to perform elaborate rituals to atone for the sins of the people. Described in Leviticus 16:1-34, the atonement ritual began with Aaron, or subsequent high priests of Israel, coming into the holy of holies. The solemnity of the day was underscored by God telling Moses to warn Aaron not to come into the Most Holy Place whenever he felt like it, only on this special day once a year, lest he die (v. 2). This was not a ceremony to be taken lightly, and the people were to understand that atonement for sin was to be done God’s way.
    The selection of a perfect lamb from a select herd (still bred today in Israel) was required because the offering was made as a depiction of Jesus on the cross, the perfect Sacrifice (and final One) for sin, for our atonement. The requirements of the sacrifice and the priests can be read in Leviticus.

    They looked forward, by faith in God, to the coming of the Messiah.
    We looked backward (to the past) to the cross, His coming and becoming our Kinsman Redeemer, with faith in God.

    When those people died before Christ came they did not go to hell to wait, but to "paradise". Many were resurrected when Christ was, but they became alive only to die again eventually. They will be fully redeemed yet in the future. (We who are believers who die currently are immediately in God's presence in heaven. "Absent from the body, present with the Lord").
  6. AvgJoe

    AvgJoe Member since 2005 Supporter

    United States
    Since the fall of man, the basis of salvation has always been the death of Christ. No one, either prior to the cross or since the cross, would ever be saved without that one pivotal event in the history of the world. Christ's death paid the penalty for past sins of Old Testament saints and future sins of New Testament saints.

    The requirement for salvation has always been faith. The object of one's faith for salvation has always been God. The psalmist wrote, “Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 2:12). Genesis 15:6 tells us that Abraham believed God and that was enough for God to credit it to him for righteousness (see also Romans 4:3-8). The Old Testament sacrificial system did not take away sin, as Hebrews 10:1-10 clearly teaches. It did, however, point to the day when the Son of God would shed His blood for the sinful human race.

    What has changed through the ages is the content of a believer's faith. God's requirement of what must be believed is based on the amount of revelation He has given mankind up to that time. This is called progressive revelation. Adam believed the promise God gave in Genesis 3:15 that the Seed of the woman would conquer Satan. Adam believed Him, demonstrated by the name he gave Eve (v. 20) and the Lord indicated His acceptance immediately by covering them with coats of skin (v. 21). At that point that is all Adam knew, but he believed it.

    Abraham believed God according to the promises and new revelation God gave him in Genesis 12 and 15. Prior to Moses, no Scripture was written, but mankind was responsible for what God had revealed. Throughout the Old Testament, believers came to salvation because they believed that God would someday take care of their sin problem. Today, we look back, believing that He has already taken care of our sins on the cross (John 3:16; Hebrews 9:28).

    What about believers in Christ's day, prior to the cross and resurrection? What did they believe? Did they understand the full picture of Christ dying on a cross for their sins? Late in His ministry, “Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life” (Matthew 16:21-22). What was the reaction of His disciples to this message? “Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’” Peter and the other disciples did not know the full truth, yet they were saved because they believed that God would take care of their sin problem. They didn't exactly know how He would accomplish that, any more than Adam, Abraham, Moses, or David knew how, but they believed God.

    Today, we have more revelation than the people living before the resurrection of Christ; we know the full picture. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2). Our salvation is still based on the death of Christ, our faith is still the requirement for salvation, and the object of our faith is still God. Today, for us, the content of our faith is that Jesus Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

  7. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    The people before Christ who were otherwise righteous had to await the coming of the Savior. After the sacrifice of the cross, they were enabled to enter heaven.
  8. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

    United States
    In Relationship
    Christ. Christ's work goes in both directions.

    The Christian doctrine of the Harrowing of Hell is also important here, by which we speak of Christ's descent into the abode of the dead (She'ol in Hebrew, Hades in Greek, often translated as "Hell" in English), by which we confess and believe He defeated and overcame it by His death and resurrection, and liberated the dead. The historic icon of the Anastasis shows Christ in Hell, atop the trampled gates of Hell, with death and/or Satan depicted bound and crushed beneath the gates; Christ stands triumphantly and pulls Adam (and often Eve as well) up by the wrist out of their coffins, with the saints surrounding Him on both sides.


    The saints on the left are Kings David and Solomon, as well as St. John the Baptist; while on the right is possibly Abraham and Moses, not sure who the beardless figure is supposed to be.

    This ties in with Albion's point above, that Christ's victory over death and the grave means the saints of old are liberated from Hades and share in the glories of heaven with Him until the day of resurrection at Christ's return.

    But, again, the short answer is that redemption and salvation is, and always has been, found in the person and work of Jesus; for us today yes, but for those who came before Him as well. Christ is the Salvation and the Savior of the whole world, of the entire human race, and indeed all of creation.

  9. food4thought

    food4thought Loving truth Supporter

    United States
    Hi, Godistruth1. This is an excellent question. There seems to be two main streams of thought among Christians as to how those before Christ were declared righteous, but both of them agree that is has always been through faith. One view is that they looked forward to the Messiah (or Christ) in faith, believing that He would save them. There are ample passages that describe how there would come a man who would save them, starting with Genesis 3:15, and culminating in the Old Testament with Isaiah 53. The other viewpoint is basically the one AvgJoe described, where the salvation is always by grace through faith, but the content of that faith varied with the revelation they were given. In other words, Adam believed what God revealed to him, Abraham believed what God revealed to him, and Moses believed what God revealed to Him, etc. All of them were declared righteous by grace through faith, though.

    Both of these views have merit (but I lean toward the second view), but the important thing to understand is that no one is ultimately made righteous apart from the finished work of Jesus Christ (see John 14:6), His death and resurrection were necessary for the forgiveness of sin, and no one entered heaven until after His resurrection. Before the resurrection, all the dead went to Sheol/Hades, which was divided into two compartments, one for the wicked dead, and one for the righteous dead (see Luke 16:19-31). Now, after Jesus' resurrection, the righteous dead are with God in heaven (see 2 Corinthians 5:2-9) and the wicked dead remain in Sheol/Hades until the final judgment (see Revelation 20:11-15).

    Hope this helps clear up the matter;
  10. Duvduv

    Duvduv Well-Known Member

    United States
    I am sorry I did not see this thread before starting a new one on the same topic. It continues over there.
  11. Mountainmanbob

    Mountainmanbob Goat Whisperer Supporter

    United States
    By his faith Abraham was saved.
  12. Duvduv

    Duvduv Well-Known Member

    United States
    His faith in who or what? His faith in God. No need to have faith in Jesus, the cross, atonement, salvation, crucifixion. And the Christian scriptures say nothing as to what things changed in the first century.
  13. straykat

    straykat Well-Known Member

    United States
    "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." - Rom 2:14-16