Erik Raymond Illustrates Old Testament Salvation


How Were People Saved in the OT?

It’s been said before that kids ask the best questions. They often come at the issue from a different perspective. The challenge then is not in the getting of questions it is in the answering.

Our little 10-year-old daughter asked me a question the other day about how the atonement works for people who lived before Christ’s death. She wondered if they were either given a break, out of luck, or something else.

I showed her how in Romans 4 the Apostle Paul dealt with this very question. He showed how both Abraham and David were justified (declared righteous) on the basis of faith. They were not forgiven by law-keeping (doing) but by trusting (faith). This shows the continuity with the New Testament teaching of justification by faith alone. A guy like Abraham, who came before Moses and David, who came after Moses, were both justified by faith in God.

God could promise forgiveness to these and other saints on the basis of his certainty that Jesus would earn it for us all. By Jesus’ doing and dying for us, God is able to justify all who truly come to faith in God according to his revealed word.

To illustrate this I spoke of a visit to an ice cream shop. When we come in with 6 kids there is quite a line. Some go ahead and I stay in the back. As they are ordering their various flavors the workers will usually have handed them the completely ice cream to them before I even get through the line. “How can the workers do that?” I asked. “It is because they are confident that the man with the money is coming through the line.” Jesus is ultimately the one with the money, he is the one who comes through the line to pay for everything his family needs. Every single person who is forgiven, including Abraham and David, are forgiven because of what Jesus has paid for them.

Children are such a precious gift to us. I love how they make us think and work through our answers thoughtfully. Maybe this will help you as you work with kids to teach them the gospel; or maybe it’ll just remind you of the beauty of Christ’s work—either way, it is good to think about these things over ice cream!

About the Author: Erik Raymond has been writing at “Ordinary Pastor” since 2006. He lives in Omaha, Nebraska with his wife and kids while pastoring at Emmaus Bible Church. Follow regular updates on Twitter at This excellent article was adapted from his website on August 8, 2012.

How C.H. Spurgeon Would Have Ended Up In A Lunatic Asylum!

The following excerpt is from “Men Bewitched,” a sermon preached at some indeterminate time in the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London.

hen I was about fifteen or sixteen years of age, I wanted a Savior, and I heard the gospel preached by a poor man, who said in the name of Jesus—”Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” It was very plain English, and I understood it, and obeyed it and found rest.

I owe all my happiness since then to the same plain doctrine.

Now, suppose that I were to say, “I have read a great many books, and there are a great many people willing to hear me. I really could not preach such a commonplace gospel as I did at the first. I must put it in a sophisticated way, so that none but the elite can understand me.”

I should be—what should I be? I should be a fool, writ large.

I should be worse than that, I should be a traitor to my God; for if I was saved by a simple gospel, then I am bound to preach that same simple gospel till I die, so that others too may be saved by it.

When I cease to preach salvation by faith in Jesus put me into a lunatic asylum, for you may be sure that my mind is gone.

About Charles Haddon Spurgeon – one of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time and undoubtedly the most celebrated preacher of the 19th century, began his ministry as a country-boy with only a year of formal education. But even without much training, his brilliant mind and depth of spiritual insight quickly became legendary throughout the world. During his lifetime Spurgeon is estimated to have preached, in person, to over ten million people. He published over 3,500 sermons, totaling between 20 and 25 million words and more than 38,000 pages. Today, over a century after his death, his sermons and devotional texts continue to challenge and touch Christians and non-Christians alike. It is no wonder that this country-boy became known as the “Prince of Preachers.”

Born on June 19, 1834 in Kelvedon, England, Spurgeon wouldn’t become a Christian until the age of fifteen. It happened one Sunday morning when a snowstorm kept him from reaching the church he usually attended. He ducked down a side street and stumbled across a small building with a sign that read, “Artillery Street Primitive Methodist Chapel.” Regardless of his own misgivings, he entered the small church and while listening to a Methodist layman comment on Isaiah 45:22, he “Saw at once the way of salvation!” Spurgeon immediately committed his life to Christ and became a zealous servant of God.

Desiring to share his new faith, Spurgeon began preaching. He preached his first sermon in 1851, at the age of sixteen, to a group of farmers and wives gathered in the village of Teversham. His text was 1 Peter 2:7, “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.” Audiences were held spellbound by the young Spurgeon’s speaking power, and he was offered his first pastorate at the Baptist Chapel in Waterbeach when he was only seventeen. The church, which had about ten members when he arrived, was soon bursting at its doors with over four hundred in the congregation. His inspiring style had caught the interest of many, and soon after his twentieth birthday, the country-preacher was called to be the new pastor of the prominent New Park Street Baptist Church in London. New Park Street was a church that had formerly been pastored by such spiritual giants as Benjamin Keach, John Gill, and John Rippon.

In a day when preaching was considered not only a source of spiritual nourishment, but also of entertainment and political commentary, Spurgeon’s powerful and stimulating sermons drew enormous crowds. On a single night in London, preaching at the Crystal Palace, he preached to a congregation of 23, 654 without the use of a microphone! His sermons were published weekly in the “Penny Pulpit,” from 1855 until 1917, twenty-four years after his death. He published many religious books, including Lectures to My Students and Treasury of David, a seven-volume devotional-commentary on the Psalms. He also founded and served as president of the Pastor’s College in London, established the Stockwell Orphanages for boys and girls, and oversaw dozens of evangelistic and charitable enterprises. Spurgeon preached his final sermon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in June of 1891.

Spurgeon married Susannah Thompson in January of 1856 and late in the following year they had twin sons, Thomas and Charles. Unlike Spurgeon’s mother who had seventeen children, nine of whom died in childbirth, Charles and Susannah had only the two boys.

Charles Spurgeon died at the relatively young age of 57, in January of 1892. His funeral service was held a week later, on February ninth, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. Over 60,000 people waited in line to file past his casket.