Our View Of The Old Testament -- By: David Murray

Journal: Puritan Reformed Journal
Volume: PRJ 02:2 (Jul 2010)
Article: Our View Of The Old Testament
Author: David Murray

Our View Of The Old Testament

David Murray

In previous articles, we surveyed Christ’s view of the Old Testament, followed by the Prophets’ and then the Jews’ view of the Old Testament. Now I would like you to reflect on your own view of the Old Testament; specifically, consider your view of Old Testament salvation. If you go wrong here, you will go wrong in all your Old Testament preaching. It is therefore vital that we establish biblical presuppositions in this area. They are already implied in our pre­vious discussions. However, I would like to make what is implicit explicit.

I recently heard a sermon in which the preacher said, “No Old Testament saint was born again.” Later on, the same preacher asserted that Old Testament saints were saved by a mixture of “faith and works.” He then denied that any Old Testament saint was saved through Christ, as “Christ hadn’t even died yet.” The one benefit of such statements is that they are clear; however, as we shall see, they are clearly wrong. However, it is to be feared that many Christians do hold these erroneous views—though perhaps much less clearly and perhaps not so consciously.

This article aims to remove this confusion and to establish that Old Testament saints were saved by grace alone, through faith in Christ alone. Old Testament saints were saved in the same way as New Testament saints. To put it more bluntly, the way of salvation has been, is, and always will be the same for all.

There are a number of New Testament verses that establish this. For example, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). This did not just begin to be true from Matthew 1:1 on; it has been true since Genesis 3:15. There has only ever been one way for sinners to approach the Father: through His Son. Another example is this: “Neither is there

salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). In the previous verses, Peter makes clear that the only name that saves is that of Jesus Christ. But did this only become true after He was formally and publicly given this name in Matthew 1:25? No, of course not. In the Bible, a person’s name often referred to a person’s character and abilities. The eternal Son of God had the character and abilities of Savior long before He came into the world and was named in Matthew 1. A...

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