How Were Gentiles Saved in the Old Testament?
By David J. Stewart
Ephesians 3:12,13 states... "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." No matter how alienated or "far off" a person (or nation) may be, "the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11).
Gentiles in the Old Testament were saved by placing their faith in Jesus Christ, i.e., the coming Messiah. Anybody who sought the Lord sincerely, following what light he or she had, God was obligated to get the truth of the Gospel to them. Man's duty is to obey the Truth of God's Word; God's duty is to get His Truth to those who desire it. No one ever went to Hell who didn't choose to go there. If a person chooses to reject Jesus Christ as their sin offering, i.e., their Savior, then they will die in their sins and go to Hellfire.
Although the death of Christ did break down the wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles (as far as ceremonial law is concerned), Acts 10:43 plainly teaches that people in the Old Testament were all saved the same way... "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."
In the Old Testament book of Ruth, we learn that Ruth the Moabitess, and a Gentile, became a Christian. Rahab, Nebuchadnezzar, and Naaman (all Gentiles) also appear to have been saved in the Old Testament.
There has always been just ONE plan of salvation... "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Salvation has always been, and will always be, by grace through faith in the blood sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ (1st Peter 1:18,19). Romans 4:5 proclaims... "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." We read that Abraham was saved just this way in Genesis 15:6... "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." The only way to be saved is to come to Jesus Christ as a guilty sinner, and to depend on Him to forgive one's sins. Again, Acts 10:43 plainly teaches that people in the Old Testament were all saved the same way...
"To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."
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