Abraham was justified or made righteous by faith. He believed God. His faith was in the promises of God. Even though he had no knowledge of Jesus Christ, somehow the 'faith of Jesus Christ' is part of the promises of God. Hebrews 11, the faith chapter, mentions Abraham and the long list of faithful ones. It tells us they had faith in the promises but never received them during their life times.
Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
In Genesis 49, Jacob says this.
Genesis 49:18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
The word for salvation in Hebrew is Y'shua, the name of Jesus! The same word is used here in Isaiah 56.
Isaiah 56:1 Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
The word Christ means the Messiah; that is the anointed or consecrated one. So we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. Or we are saved by faith in the promises of God just as faithful Abraham.
So you can be under the law, but not saved by the law. But you can be under the law, and saved by faith in the promises. We are also told we are saved by grace. Can you be under the law and under grace at the same time? Let's look at what Ephesians 2 say.
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Here the idea of salvation, as a gift of God, is conveyed by the key phrase For by grace are ye saved through faith. So there are three ideas here Grace, Faith, and being Saved. They are related but not identical. The relationships between the New covenant, and the promises of God, and being under grace are quite involved and require especially close examination. We will try to lay out the important scripture for you as we go along. You'll find that the new covenant is not always described in exactly the same way whenever it's mentioned. And that there will be places where it's referred to but not expressly called a new covenant yet the idea is the same.
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