Drippings from the Honeycomb
More to be desired are [the rules of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
If salvation is only found in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12), what about all of those people who lived before Him? That is a good question.
In Mk 12:26 Jesus spoke about the subject of a future Resurrection. He referred to the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whom the LORD said to Moses that He was the God of. Jesus said, “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (v. 27). The patriarchs, who lived long before Christ, are alive in Him. How is this possible?
Faith in the Lord and His promises and covenants, which since the Fall (Gen 3:15) have always pointed to Jesus, is how those of long ago could be saved long before Christ came. All of the OT was pointing to Jesus (Lk 24:44b). By virtue of these forward looking promises the people of old who trusted them were saved (That is what Ro 3:25b is speaking of).
Specifically, to reverse the curse of the Fall God chose (when He didn’t need to choose any) to do so through one man’s family, Abram (Gen 12). God would bring about a blessing to the nations through Abram’s offspring, Jesus (Mt 1). From this time, specifically, God’s Covenant promises of salvation became caught up with this people, the Jews, until Christ came when it was opened more fully to the Gentiles. This didn’t mean all Jews were saved, only those who had faith in the promises (Gal 3:7). This also didn’t mean that non-Jews, or Gentiles, couldn’t be saved either. The OT has a number of examples of Gentiles who came to fear God and join this Covenant community. People like Rahab and Ruth and the Queen of Sheba. God has been saving a people unto Himself ever since the Fall.
Just as salvation is exclusive to those who trust in Christ since the coming of Christ, the same was true before Christ came, but it was by faith in the promises of Christ that they too were saved.
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