Let’s think theologically about the early post-lapsarian history of man, asking a few questions that, I think, warrant asking and answering.
After the fall into sin, and before the account of Abraham was written, there are some persons (and their actions) that were accepted by God. For example, Abel and his sacrifice are accepted by God (Gen. 4:1ff.). The author of Hebrews says that “By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain . . . [and that] he obtained the testimony that he was righteous . . .” (Heb. 11:4). Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah are mentioned in addition to Abel as those who:
“… died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15 And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.” (Heb 11:13-16)
In each instance of the above-named persons, their “faith” precedes the writings of Moses. In other words, these had faith in promises that, though they may be written by Moses, precede Moses’ writings. In Hebrews 11:7, Noah is even said to have “become an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” This indicates that Noah was a saved man, a justified man, though not due to his own works. The same seems to be the case for all those listed in Hebrews 11.
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[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Richard C. Barcellos. It was originally published at http://grbcav.org, title and image changed.]
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