Are People Saved the Same Way in the Old and New Testaments?

Are People Saved the Same Way in the Old and New Testaments?

Genesis 17:7 – And I [God] will establish my covenant between me and you [Abraham] and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.

Galatians 3:15-16 – To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say “And to offsprings”, referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring”, who is Christ. 

The next time you sit in a car, take a moment to consider the events that had to transpire for you to go from one place to another. There was a day when cars were not much available, but all of that changed with Henry Ford. He designed the Model T, which then went into manufacturing in a brand new innovation by creating an assembly line to make the famous cars for as many people as possible.

Everything starts with a prototype or template. Once the first version of something exists, it can then be replicated and multiplied. For Henry Ford, this was the Model T. For God, this is His relationship with Abraham.  Abraham’s relationship with God is the prototype or template for every other relationship with God.

Abraham started as just an ordinary pagan Gentile from a family that did not know the God of the Bible. Abraham was not looking for God. He was just a regular guy, working a regular job, living a regular life. One day, for reasons unknown, God showed up to reveal Himself to Abraham and invite a loving relationship. Abraham deserved nothing and did nothing. By grace, God extended Himself and all that Abraham did was take God at His word and trust God by faith.

God promised that Jesus was coming through the “offspring” of Abraham and his elderly, barren wife Sarah. They waited some years and, once no child arrived, Sarah concocted the plan to have Abraham marry and impregnate a servant named Hagar. Together, they had a son who, to this day, Arabs (and Muslims) claim as their father, saying they are the chosen people of God. Eventually, God did give Abraham and Sarah a son, and, to this day, the Jewish people claim him as their father, saying they are the chosen people of God.

Paul says that they are both wrong. Abraham and Sarah, as well as everyone else, needs Jesus and the offspring of Abraham is one person, Jesus Christ, and no group of people. So, Jesus came through the family line of Abraham and Sarah. Today, the issue is therefore not what your race is, or your family history is, but only whether or not you have faith in Christ like Abraham did. Just as Abraham was trusting Jesus was coming the first time, we trust that Jesus is coming the last time to bring the “everlasting covenant” of eternal life.

How helpful do you find it that the whole Bible, from beginning to end, is all about Jesus?

Mark Driscoll
[email protected]

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