106: The Old Testament Gospel

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In Galatians 3:8 we are told that God announced the gospel long before Christ came on the scene. During the days of Abraham, God said that He would justify Gentiles (non-Jews) in the exact same way He would justify Jews – by faith. One of God’s invitations is recorded in Isaiah 55:1-2. It says, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” That sounds a lot like the invitation that Jesus made in Matthew 11:28-29, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.“ It also sounds like John 7:37-38, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

My purpose in this blog is to show that God has always wanted people to draw close to Him. He never pushed repentant people away or held them at arm’s length. God never said, “Get a bath and clean up your life before you come to Me.”  God doesn’t reject the poor and broken, but offers them a hearty meal. He also opens His arms to those who have tried to find satisfaction in what their money can buy, only to realize that THINGS could not satisfy the void in their lives.

I think there is confusion among many Christians how people were saved in Old Testament times. I’ve often heard people say, “It was so much harder to be saved back then, what with the Law and all the sacrifices.” The book of Galatians is critical to this discussion. We are told that God made a PROMISE to Abraham that anyone who would BELIEVE Him would be declared righteous. The Law was introduced 430 years later, not to invalidate FAITH, but to make sin more obvious. Obedience to the Law was important, but it was never the means of salvation. God has always held out the invitation that anyone could come to His table by FAITH, taking Him at His promise. The main difference between now and the Old Testament people is that they placed their FAITH in the Messiah who was to come sometime in the future. Now, we place our FAITH in the Messiah who has already come in the past, the Lord Jesus.

The same invitation is proclaimed to our world. Anyone who realizes he or she doesn’t have any possessions that can buy them favor with God, is welcome to His table where they can find nourishment for their soul. If you haven’t trusted Jesus yet, I hope you’ll do that soon.

Marlon Furtado

I regularly went to church as a boy, but I was not exposed to the Gospel until I was nearly twenty years old. Hearing that God loved me in spite of my behavior was new to me. In response, I received Jesus Christ and became one of His followers on September 12, 1971. I practiced chiropractic for eight years before becoming a pastor from 1986 to 2018.