The word ‘salvation’ is found throughout the Old Testament. Sometimes it speaks of physical salvation from an enemy as in Exodus 14:13, “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see THE SALVATION OF THE LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.” Sometimes it speaks of physical AND eternal salvation as in 1 Chronicles 16:34-35, “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O GOD OF OUR SALVATION, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.”

Job understood salvation, resurrection, and eternal life because he knew he had a redeemer. He said in Job 19:25-27, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.”

We know that none of those who lived before the Lord came could possibly believe on the Lord as we read in Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” They could not believe that Jesus died and rose again because it had not happened yet. So, how were they saved? Let’s read Genesis 15:2-6, “And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. AND HE BELIEVED IN THE LORD; AND HE COUNTED IT TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” This has always been the basis of our salvation…to believe what the Lord tells us. For Abraham, it was to trust the Lord that he would multiply his seed as great as the stars in the sky. At his advanced age, I’m sure that was hard to believe, but Abraham had faith that the Lord would cause it to happen.

We read in Romans 4:3-5, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” This shows us that the principle on which salvation is based is not works, but faith! We read later in the chapter, in verses 20-22, “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was STRONG IN FAITH, GIVING GLORY TO GOD; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was IMPUTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

What about those who lived while the Lord Jesus was on the earth…what did they do to gain salvation? John 6:28-29 says, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye BELIEVE ON HIM WHOM HE HATH SENT.” To believe that Jesus was the One sent of God to be their Messiah would produce salvation in the hearts of those who truly believed that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah.

But now, for us in this church period, we have clear instructions regarding salvation. We read in   Ephesians 2:8-9, “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.” That is the message for us today. It’s God’s grace that will save us when we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (266.6)