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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Proffitt

Podcast: How Were People Saved Before Jesus?



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If we are saved through faith in Christ, how were people saved before Christ came into the world? What about all the people in the Old Testament?


Romans 1 makes it clear that all of humankind (regardless of time-period or geographical location) know there is a Creator. An example of this would be Job, who, although not of the lineage of Abraham, knew God. God acknowledged Job as righteous. There were people living by faith throughout the entire Bible, even though their faith looked different than ours today.


Within natural revelation (observing creation and deducting the existence of a Creator), there is no saving knowledge of the work of Christ. Going back to Romans 1, Paul says that humanity exchanged the glory of God for created things—giving into idolatry. Humans actively suppress the truth they naturally know.


What About Abraham?

Abraham was righteous in every way according to the law, yet Abraham’s salvation was not dependent on his keeping of the law. Abraham was faithful in what he knew of God even though formerly he was a pagan, worshipping a plurality of gods.


Jews during Paul’s day were saying they had to be circumcised, keep dietary restrictions, etc. Yet, even the Jews would say Abraham was saved before the giving of the law. Romans 4 points out that Abraham’s faith was counted to him as righteousness and justified him before God. He was saved by faith just as we are saved by faith today.


The Death of Christ

In the death of Christ, everyone is saved by grace through faith. The sacrifice of Christ saved all who had faith in God’s promise – both past, present, and future. God is not limited by linear thinking or timestamps. Revelation 13:8 gives us a God-ward view of the death of Christ in that he was “slain before the foundation of the world.”


Just as believers are saved by faith in Christ in the New Testament, so believers in the Old Testament are saved by grace through faith in Christ. Christ’s death is fully sufficient for the salvation of all his people from all times in history and the future. Everyone is saved through Christ alone.


“And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed’” (Galatians 3:8).


“By faith Moses, when he was grown, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to suffer oppression with God’s people rather than to experience the fleeting enjoyment of sin. He valued the disgrace of Christ above the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his reward” (Hebrews 11:24-26).




Brittany Proffitt lives in Dallas and is a writer and content manager for So We Speak.




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