IV - Salvation History

Holiness

   The God of the Old Testament was the Holy God. The word holy means separate, different, unlike anything else that exists.

    The Holy God of the Old Testament revealed Himself to His chosen people who were able to behold His glory. The glory of the Lord was a special divine manifestation of the Person and Presence of God. It consisted in the vision of light, majesty and beauty and was accompanied by the voice of the Lord and His holy angels. It created in the persons who observed it overwhelming feelings of fear and fascination, as well as profound convictions of peace, well-being, and joy.

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Prophecy

    The Old Testament is filled with prophecy. Prophecy means the direct inspiration of God to speak His words to the world. There were many prophets in the Old Testament, not only those whose names are given to the prophetic books of the Bible, but many others, including Moses, Elijah, Samuel and Nathan.

    In the Old Testament, many prophecies were made concerning the history and destiny of the people of Israel and of the whole human race. Usually the prophecies told what God would do in response to the wickedness and unfaithfulness of His People. The prophecies foretold the tragedies coming to Israel because of the sins of the People. They also foretold the ultimate mercy and forgiveness of God Who is faithful to His promises, Who will not be angry forever, but Who will restore the fortunes of His People and bring all nations to His everlasting Kingdom.

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Priesthood

    When speaking of Abraham, we mentioned how Jesus Christ is the “priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” As the “priest for ever,” Jesus is also the completion and fulfillment of the Old Testament priesthood of the Levites.

    In the Old Testament, God ordered Moses to build the tabernacle with a sanctuary for worship and sacrifice.

    And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst, According to all that I show you concerning the tabernacle, and all of its furniture, so you shall make it. (Ex 25:8-9)

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Kingship

    In the Old Testament, God was to be the King of His People. But wishing to be like the other nations, the Israelites asked the Lord for a human king.

    Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint for us a king to govern us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds which they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, hearken to their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shah reign over them.” (1 Sam 8:4-9)

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Passover

    The central event of the entire Old Testament history is the passover and exodus.

    Abraham’s son Isaac was the father of Jacob whom God named Israel which means “he who strives with God.” (Genesis 32:28) God renewed His promise to Isaac and Jacob, and continued the covenant with them that He had made with Abraham.

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Abraham

    Salvation history, properly so-called, begins with Abram, whom God named Abraham which means “father of a multitude.” Abraham was the first patriarch of the people of Israel. The word patriarch means “the father of the people.” In the person and life of Abraham, the central events of the salvation of the world by Christ in the New Testament have been prefigured.

    God made the first promise of His salvation of all the people of the earth to Abraham, with whom He also made His covenant to be faithful forever.

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Pre-History

    The Bible begins with the story of creation and the making of man. Although the Bible often lists the generations of men from the creation of Adam (Chron 1:1, Lk 4:38), the history of salvation, in the most proper sense, begins with Abraham, the forefather of Israel and the first ancestor of Christ, “according to the flesh.”

    The story of creation, and specifically of Adam and Eve, gives the divine revelation about the absolute sovereignty of God over all of creation. It tells of the goodness of all things that exist, and the superiority of man over other beings. It shows how the origin of evil does not lie in God but in His most perfect creature whose free act of sin brought wickedness and death to the world.

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Word and Spirit

    It is the constant testimony of the Bible and the Church that God acts toward the world through His Word and His Spirit.

    God created all things by His Word and His Spirit. He created man in His divine image and likeness to partake of His Word and to live by His Spirit. All of the holy people of God received the Word of God and the Spirit of God. The patriarchs, prophets, and apostles all proclaimed the Word which came to them from God by the Spirit of God. The law of Moses and the prophets, the psalms and all the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, written and interpreted by men through the Spirit of God. Always and everywhere in the Bible and in the Church, God reveals Himself and acts in man and the world by His Word and His Spirit.

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