Introduction: The Nature of Salvation
Studies in the Atonement by
Dr. Robert A. Morey
o study of the
Bible can be complete without dealing with the issue of Old Testament
salvation. This is particularly true in a time when dispensationalism has
ensnared the hearts of many believers in North America. While there are
some aspects of the Darby‑Scofield system which are also shared by more
orthodox systems, dispensationalism as a whole fails to "rightly divide
the Word" at crucial points. This is particularly true in its view of Old
While modern modified
dispensationalists would not teach that there are as many different plans
or kinds of salvation as there are dispensations or ages, the original
Scofield Bible taught exactly this doctrine. Thus throughout the United
States there are many fundamentalists who believe that the Old Testament
saints experienced a different salvation than what we experience today.
They derived these teachings from several of Scofield's notes.
Examine the following notes found in
the Scofield Bible and it will be beyond dispute that the original
Scofield Bible taught that Old Testament saints were saved through
obedience to the Law. We are told that they were not saved by grace
through faith as we are today.
p. 1002, N.1 on Matt. 6:12, "This
is legal ground. cf. Eph. 4:32, which is grace. Under law forgiveness is
conditioned upon a like spirit in us; under grace we are forgiven for
Christ's sake, and exhorted to forgive because we have been forgiven."
p. 1115, N. 1 on John 1: 17, "(1)
Grace is "the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man ... not by
works of righteousness which we have done" (Tit. 3:4, 5). It is,
therefore, constantly set in contrast to law, under which God demands
righteousness from man, as, under grace, He gives righteousness to man
... Law is connected with Moses and works; grace with Christ and faith
... Law demands that blessings be earned; grace is a free gift. (2) As a
dispensation, grace begins with the death and resurrection of Christ....
The point of testing is no longer legal obedience as the conditions of
salvation, but acceptance or rejection of Christ, with good works as a
fruit of salvation....
p. 1323, N. 1 on I John 3:7 The
righteous man under law became righteous by doing righteously; under
grace he does righteously because he has been made righteous...
In the above notes and elsewhere in
the Scofield Bible, we are told that Old Testament saints were not saved
through faith. Thus we must conclude that the doctrine of Old Testament
salvation is a very important issue to which we must address ourselves.
The orthodox position needs to be expounded and defended so that pastors
and laymen will know that there is an alternative to dispensational
purpose in mind, we will now state the Biblical position: The Old
Testament believer experiences and possessed essentially the same
salvation which is freely offered to us in the New Testament.
There is only one plan of salvation for all sinners of all ages. Different
ages or dispensations do not have different kinds of salvation. Salvation
is one as to its:
Means of Reception:
The same in all ages
Our Biblical demonstration of the
above doctrine will have two parts. In the first section we will set forth
certain foundational principles which have direct bearing on our subject.
Then, secondly, we will set forth several arguments which support
individual parts of our position.