Was There Salvation in the Old Testament?
Were the Patriarchs Saved?
There are several Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures that give clear evidence that the Old Testament saints were saved by faith. Regardless of the dispensation, salvation has always been the result of God’s grace received by faith. Perhaps the primary example of an Old Testament Individual saved by his faith in the Lord is Abraham. In Genesis 15:6 we find these words:
And he [Abraham] believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
In light of the Scripture found in Hebrews 11:6 [But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him], we can be sure that Abraham had already experienced saving faith from the time of his original call (Hebrews 11:8).
An additional Scripture that supports the salvation of Abraham is Romans 4:22:
And therefore it was imputed to him [Abraham] for righteousness.
This verse refers to Abraham believing God’s promise that he would have the promised seed and be the father of many nations. Abraham’s faith was such that he knew that whatever God promises, He also performs. All that Abraham had, his righteousness, his inheritance, and his posterity, he gained not by his own human efforts or works, but by his faith. The faith of Abraham became the equivalent of righteousness.
The word translated “believed” of the Genesis 15:6 passage is from the Hebrew word aman, meaning “to confirm” or “to trust” (see John 3:5). The tense of the Hebrew word indicates a continuous past action, i.e., Abram believed and continued constant in his faith. Abram demonstrated his faith by obeying God without hesitation, and this action of demonstrated faith gave Abraham favor with God and justification. To have such faith is to measure up to God’s requirements. From the earliest times, salvation and a right relationship to God have resulted from the attitude of faith (Excerpts from LIBERTY BIBLE COMMENTARY, Vol. I, p. 4’9; CRISWELL STUDY BIBLE, p. 25).