The South Florida Avenue church of Christ is dedicated to providing Bible-based answers for all your questions. If you have a spiritual question, please fill out the form below. Our minister will answer these questions by posting an article on a regular basis (question submissions will remain anonymous). All articles will be archived for future reference and study. We invite you to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18)
The Bible is a book of many wonderful truths: God’s love towards mankind, the scheme of redemption, salvation, and His son Jesus Christ. It is our “roadmap” to heaven. From Genesis to Revelation, we are blessed with the opportunity to change our lives as well as those around us. While we study the Bible and allow it to change us, we often come across questions. Thankfully for us, the Bible can answer all those questions. There are many today who say we cannot understand the Bible. Many have even stated that only a few can ever understand such a complex book. My question is, “Why would God give us a book we cannot understand?” The truth is, we can understand the Bible, and we can answer those questions with the Bible. Years ago, the phrase “The Bible is its own best commentary” began to make headway in the world. Often, we read many books about the Bible and never read the Bible itself.
There are many resources in the world today that indeed help us understand the Bible. We use those resources to guide us to make proper conclusions based on the context of the scripture, but we must be careful not to allow those aids to hinder us from reading the Bible itself.
This new format is designed to answer the questions we have. We will not tell you what we think but will examine the context because we can indeed understand the Bible and be pleasing to our Father in Heaven. Every Friday, we will post a few questions and the scriptural answers to them. We pray this will be beneficial to you.
This week's Q&A
Question: If everyone needs to be baptized in order to be saved, what about those in the Old Testament? Abraham, David, Solomon, how were they saved? See Romans 4:1-5.
One of the first things we have to remember is that the New Testament teaches us that the Old Testament (OT) is no longer in effect. Paul would say; “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace” (Ephesians 2:14-15).
Abraham lived under a different covenant that had different rules and regulations. Abraham “by faith” was saved under the times in which he lived. “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (James 2:20-24).
Abraham was required to be circumcised (Genesis 17:10-14). He would not have been justified if he was not circumcised. Today, under the law of Christ, circumcision is not longer required (Galatians 5:1-4). Paul applies the same rule James expressed. If you use a part of covenant, you have to accept the consequences of keeping all of the covenant. The covenant of Moses was before the sacrifice of Christ.
While baptism did not exist under the old law, neither did Christ’ sacrifice, and without Christ’s sacrifice you cannot be saved. Those in the OT had to live faithful to God during the times in which they lived. If they did such, they would be forgiven in view of what Christ was going to do on the cross.
His sacrifice on the cross was enough to save us from the beginning of the world, currently, and to the end as well.