More On Backsliders

Q. This is a salvation question. When we look at salvation in both the Old Testament and New Testament, a person is saved by faith: In the OT a person’s faith was based on the promised coming redeemer. In the NT, it is also based on faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Yet in your response to a question on “The Backslidden Believer”, you responded with “The Old Covenant was a conditional relationship based on obedience and a person who became disobedient was said to have turned away from the Lord.” Are you saying that those saved in the OT was based on works and not faith – somewhat confused – can you please clarify?

A. Israel had to believe in a coming redeemer, but their covenant relationship also required them to be obedient to the Law (Hebrews 10:8). Also, eternal security was not promised to Israel, so their relationship with the Lord was a conditional one requiring both faith and works. People who stopped obeying the Law were said to have turned away from the Lord, and that’s where the term backslider came from (Prov. 14:14). You won’t find this term anywhere in the New Testament, because we have eternal security and are not under the Law.

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