Those Who Died Prior to the Cross

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Answer: Matt. 1:2121And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21) confirms, instead of weakening, the plainly future bearing of Matt. 16:1818And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18). For just as the one text shows us that no one, before Jesus came and died, could be said to be saved from his sins, so was no Church of Christ begun to be built before. Previously to that believers rested on a revelation or a promise; afterward, on the work accomplished. Then, not before, it could be said, “By grace are ye saved through faith.” Redemption becomes the basis not only of His own present salvation in Christ, but also of gathering in one (i.e., in the Church) God’s children who were before this scattered. For this, too, the presence of the Spirit sent down from heaven was requisite to baptize into one body.