Mystery Across Time - The New Birth in the Old Testament

 

Brother Royce Ellis

The New Testament teaches us about grace, salvation and how one is born again. In discussions about salvation comes always the question: ďwhat about  Old Testament saints?Ē Were any saved before Christ died on the cross? Scholars seem unable to rightly divide the New Testament love and mercy against the harsh realities of sin presented in the Old.

The Jews were constrained in every day life by the massive burden of law overseen by Moses and the priests. While the law was the schoolmaster to ďbring them to Christ,Ē it was also a daily rehearsal and reminder of the penalty, and heavy sacrifice sin demanded. The untold millions of gallons of ceremonial blood split over 2000 years never removed a single sin, but served as a continual reminder of the gravity of unrighteousness and the volume of mercy required to overcome it.

Itís crucial to understand what the law didnít do. It never put away sin, and never granted a single one of Godís children new birth. It educated and guided them toward service and devotion, instructing about blessings and cursings, reaping and sowing, but it never made anyone alive to God.

The Old Testament was written to Godís children. They are encompassed in the covenant of redemption, and are referred to as the elect. While there are many of His children outside that inner circle of understanding and belief, none are outside the covenant. They all had their names penned in the Lambís book of life, before the foundation of the world. Each one was purposed to the new birth at some point during their natural life where they too were perfected and sealed unto redemption.

All Born Again

the Exact Same Way

Abel, Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Job, David, Solomon, Daniel, Simeon, John the Baptist, Saul, Stephen, Lydia, Peter and you.

This mystery across time must be viewed in context of Godís mercy, and that He does not change. Everyone born again by the Spirit of God from Adam, to the thief on the cross is regenerated in the exact same manner. The life-giving voice of God imparts life, the new birth, to each of His at some time unbeknownst to them (John 3:8) and they are made a new creature, brought from death in trespasses and in sins, restored from their fallen state in Adam. This is the work of God described in John 5:25. Christ told the master teacher in Israel (Nicodemus) in John 3 that he should know this. The Jews had so corrupted the oracles of God and overwritten their initial understanding with Torah commentary and Rabbinical judgments itís no wonder they didnít recognize the Messiah.

Entire civilizations have lived and died never hearing the name of Christ. There existed nations before the flood, and before the law, with no instruction about God whatever, yet He declares they too are represented in the everlasting covenant of redemption.

Rev 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

The world paints special circumstance to force their triangle shaped peg belief into foursquare bible truth. Such deceit creates doctrines allowing for all Old Testament saints to be held in an underground purgatory called Paradise until Christ arrived and satisfied the law. The bible teaches no such nonsense. They further divide the old from the new with the completion of the gospel, assigning it great power in the new birth the book itself wonít support. Does the weight of the New Testament combined with the work of Christ grant the new writings greater authority than the old?