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“By Faith in Christ Jesus”
Salvation is, always has been, and as long as time shall stand always shall be obtained “by faith in Christ Jesus.” All who ever knew God came to him with a blood sacrifice. Read the 11th chapter of Hebrews again. From the creation of the first Adam to the coming of the last Adam (throughout the Old Testament era), God saved sinners exactly the same way he saves sinners today and shall continue to save sinners until Christ comes again: by grace through faith in Christ.
Believing God, Adam (Genesis 3:15, 21), Abel (Genesis 4:3-5), Noah (Genesis 8:20-22), Abraham (Genesis 15:9-11; 22:8), and Moses (Exodus 12:1-13), all believed the promise God made in Genesis 3:15, and offered a typical sacrifice, which by divine institution represented the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. They did not trust those sacrifices that typified Christ. Those sacrifices could never take away sin (Hebrews 10:1-14). These men were not heathen! They were taught of God. They trusted Christ.
Not by Works
God did not save sinners in the Old Testament either by their works or by their legal (typical) sacrifices and ceremonies. God did not save his elect in the Old Testament in a different way. They were saved just like we are, by grace alone, through faith alone, in, with, and by Christ alone.
Not on Credit
And they were not saved on credit. Christ is the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8; Hebrews 4:3). God’s elect were saved (redeemed, justified, sanctified, accepted, and blessed of God with all spiritual blessings) in Christ our Mediator before the world began. That is more than a logical supposition or theological position. That is precisely the language of Holy Scripture (Romans 8:29-31; 2 Timothy 1:9-10; Ephesians 1:3-6; Jude 1). We enjoyed the blessed experience of God’s grace and salvation in time, but “the works were finished from the foundation of the world.”
Christ the Way
If you would find atonement and righteousness, if you would find acceptance with God, you must, like these ancient believers, look to Christ, the Lamb of God. You must believe on the Son of God (Romans 3:19-26; 8:1-4).
Christ is the Way. The only way sinners can come to God, the only way you and I can draw near to him is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no acceptance with God upon the footing of religious ritualism or our own works of righteousness. If we would be saved, if we would find acceptance with God, we must come to him like the publican of old, confessing our sins and trusting the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is written, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”