Updated: Sep 11
When we think of salvation, redemption, and the grace and mercy of God, most of us have been taught to go directly to the New Testament and then view it through church doctrine as set forth in documents such as the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Catechism's or our local churches white sheets. Many understand salvation and redemption primarily as a New Testament idea, despite the fact that it literally inhabits every book of the Old Testament as well.
Let's take a look at the books of the Old Testament and see how often we find Christ-types, grace and mercy, the divine promise of redemption and its foreshadowing, the establishment of the commands, the costs for breaking them along with the breathtaking promise of reconciliation for our transgressions and iniquities.
Genesis: God created the world beautiful and perfect, but man rebelled and defiled His creation. God, in His grace and mercy, decides not to simply wipe mankind from the face of the earth to start again but rather promises a solution, a Kingsman Redeemer.
Below you will find a breadcrumb trail of verses from the book of Genesis that will illustrate and lead us through the first book of the Pentateuch and hopefully show us the Biblical foundation for salvation that continues through the entire Bible. We look at verses dealing with the setting and breaking of God's standards, judgment, sacrifice, grace, and mercy.
A brief walk through Genesis and the foundation of salvation:
Genesis 1:1 - God creates the foundation of life. (God's standard is set)
Genesis 1:3 - God creates Good and Evil. (God's standard is set)
Genesis 1:26 - God creates us. (God's standard is set)
Genesis 3:6-8 - We rebel (sin) and create a separation between us and God. (Man breaks the set standards of God)
God allows Adam and Eve to live even after they rebel against God (Mercy)
Genesis 3:15 - God promises a solution to the problem, a redeemer who will deliver salvation. (Sacrifice and Grace)
Genesis 6:5-7 - God destroys the world. (Judgment)
Genesis 6;9 - God delivers a family from His own wrath. (Mercy)
Genesis 9;11 - God establishes a new covenant with creation (man and animal), never again to destroy them with a flood. (Grace)
Genesis 11:7-8 - God keeps his covenant and disciplines man instead of destroying him. (Mercy)
Genesis 12:1-3 - God expands His plan for salvation from a family to the world. (Grace)
Genesis 14:18 - God gives us Melchizedek, the first High-priest, a prefigure of Christ. (Grace)
Genesis 18:2 - Three angels arrive to Abraham, one being the God in human form, the anticipation of Jesus incarnate. (Sacrifice)
Genesis 19:16 - A glimpse of judgment, God's coming wrath is shown. (Judgment)
Genesis 22:8 - A ram is sacrificed in place of Isaac, a prefigure of Christ. (Salvation, race, and Mercy)
Genesis 24:4 - Isaac's marriage is a shadow of Christ's marriage to the Church, His bride. (Grace)
Genesis 26;28 - A foreshadowing of Abraham's future generations in the church, Abimelech honors Isaac.
Genesis 31:24 - God protects the bloodline of the savior by preserving Jacob. (Mercy and Grace)
Genesis 37:20 - A preview of the suffering our Redeemer will under to eventually save His chosen people. (Sacrifice)
Genesis 43:9 - A prefiguring of Christ, Judah offers himself. (Sacrifice, Grace, and Mercy)
Genesis 45:15 - Reconciliation is a foreshadowing of the forgiveness that comes from repentance. (Grace)
Genesis 47:6 - A prefiguring of Christ, Joseph delivers abundant blessings to his family. (grace)
Genesis 50:24 - God's promise and faithfulness stand firm. (Grace)
While this is not an exhaustive list of verses from the book of Genesis, it does give us a picture of salvation that shines bright in the Old Testament for those who wish to know the entire story. Many ignore the Old Testament due to its call for accountability, while others seem even to be embarrassed by its unashamed and repeated illumination of the total depravity of man and our utter need for a redeemer to save us from the impending wrath of God.
Regardless if you search in the pages of the Old Testament or New Testament, you will find the same conclusion. Jesus is the answer to our failed and fallen world. Both books hold a treasure trove of knowledge and wisdom, yet even more evident and powerful is the invitation it extends to its readers to worship the God of the Most-High, to be touched in a real and powerful way by the Holy Spirit, and to call by name our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The pages of these books are too good to ignore; pick up your Bible and feel the power in the Word of God.