Dr. Couch, could you tell me how people were saved in the OT? Were they saved by the blood of Christ?
ANSWER: The apostle Paul quotes the faith of Abraham found in Genesis 15:6 as the great example of trust for salvation. one can extrapolate back to others before Abraham who likewise believed in the Lord. Their object of belief was simply in God, or in what He said. In the case of Abraham, he was told he would have an innumerable company of descendants—and he believed this promised. Therefore, his faith was accounted (accredited, imputed) to him for righteousness. He was seen in God’s positional viewpoint as righteous as God. This is the only way anyone can come into His presence.
Paul writes something in Romans 3:25, something that is often overlooked. He says that the Lord displayed Christ publicly as a propitiation (an object of satisfaction, object of mercy), in His blood through faith. "This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the patience of God He passed over the sins previously committed."
Ryrie adds, "The death of Christ also paid fully for sins committed before He died." The great old scholar Charles Hodge writes, "The words "that are past" seem distinctly to refer to the times before the advent of Christ … the remission of sins committed under the former dispensation … and also the remission of sins at the present." In my commentary series on the NT, in which Woodrow Kroll wrote on Romans, he says, Christ was atoning for "present and future sins as well as past sins."
Thanks for asking.
Mal Couch, Ph.D., Th.D.