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Grace in the Old Testament?

Some may be surprised to know that those in the Old Testament as well as us on this side of Christ, lived according to the gospel -- the good news of grace.

Abraham trusted God and believed God's promise and was thereby justified simply by believing vs doing anything righteous -- any good and right deeds. That is grace and good news. In fact he was often unfaithful, unrighteous and regularly acted out of fear instead of trust, yet God remained faithful to the promise he made.

Gal 3:8  And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faithpreached the gospel beforehand (before Christ's crucifixion actually occurred) to Abraham, saying, "In you shall (in the future) all the nations be blessed." 

And what is that blessing? That salvation - justification - by faith will be available to all nations, Jews and Gentiles alike.  It is the good news that righteousness is a gift received by faith, not something we can earn.

Gen 15:6  And he (Abraham) believed the LORD (what the Lord promised), and he counted it to him as righteousness. 

Gen 12:2-3, 13:16, Gen 15:5, Gen 17:5-6, Gen 18:18, Gen 22:17-18, Gen 24:35, Gen 26:4,Gen 27:29, Gen 28:3,  Gen 28:14; Gen 35:11, Gen 46:3

The life of Joseph would also be an example of the good news. God was committed to and brought about Joseph's best even in spite of his poor choices -- as well as his fathers and brothers -- and in the midst of the all subsequent difficulties... Why? Because Joseph trusted God. Even in the midst of all Josephs weaknesses and flaws God was faithful to him and he remained true to God. God's working in his life was not deserved i.e. not the result of Joseph being perfect in all his conduct. God's working was by the kindness and wisdom of God i.e. by grace.

We are told in both the Old and New Testament that "the just shall live by faith" Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38

So what's the difference between the Old Testament (Covenant) and New testament (Covenant)?

We are not only justified by faith but also now have the Spirit living in us -- he no longer just comes upon us but indwells us. Because of the work of Christ, when we accept his gift of granting us a right standing with God, we are declared clean vessels, fit for God to dwell in. Believers no longer look to the promise of a furture event that will some day make them clean but to a past event that has already provided that cleansing when accepted. When we do he now treats us as if we are fully trusting and faithful to him even when we aren't. Joh 16:7

As a result, His law is now written on our hearts and in our minds (Heb 8:10-12; 10:16-18). In other words because of the work of Christ for us -- our sins he remembers no more -- his Spirit that now lives within us, reveals to us -- our minds -- the significance and extent of that work, stirring a love and trust in our hearts for God and his word(s) we did not have before. His Spirit is now constantly revealing more and more of Christ to us in all His beauty and glory (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) which causes us to trust him more and more, creating within us an increasing desire to obey him. It is God (by his Spirit) who now works from within us (not just on us as the in the OT) both to will (desire) and do (empower to obey) of his good pleasure (Phil 2:12-13). To say it concisely, the things we are commanded to do we now want to do because we love and trust the one who commands us. This now true of all believers. If it is not, we have not truly seen His love for us.

This post first appeared on Thoughts About God, please read the originial post: here

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Grace in the Old Testament?


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