Do you know how people got saved in the Old Testament? Did they do it by works? Did they do it by faith in the law? How about a combination of law-keeping and belief in God’s promises? Or we’re they saved the way we are today – faith in the Christ? John Calvin answers this question for us clearly below:
Our forefathers had no other way of obtaining salvation than that which is preached to us today. This is a very important point, for some muddle-headed fools believe that no-one had heard the gospel in those (Old Testament) days. Indeed, there are even some profane mockers of God who seek to limit the authority of God and His gospel by saying that the gospel has only existed for these sixteen hundred years and that previously it was unknown. What! (Sermons on Galatians, John Calvin, page 304)
Don’t be a muddle-headed fool, believe the Word of God:
These all (Old Testament saints) died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar… (Hebrews 11:13)
Having seen the things promised from afar? Dying in faith of what’s to come? It would appear then, that Old Testament saints were saved the way we are. Believing in Christ (who was promised), greeting Him from afar (yearning to see Him). They looked ahead and had faith that Christ would come and were saved because they saw Him and greeted Him in faith. We look back at Christ who came, see Him, and greet Him in faith as well.