TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Four Universal Elements of Salvation:
Salvation Before Abraham and for Those Who “Never Heard”
Paul’s letter to the Romans together with the biblical evidence prior to Abraham teaches us that salvation consists of 4 pillars for all men, regardless of what age they inhabit and whether or not they ever heard of Jesus Christ.
1. Men must acknowledge the authority, power and their accountability to their Creator.
Paul tells us all men are born with an innate knowledge of the Creator and their accountability to him. (Romans 1)
2. Men must acknowledge that they are sinners against whatever light on moral right (the knowledge of good) they have.
Paul tells us all men have the moral law of God written on their hearts, and further that—through their power to make moral judgments about the sinfulness of others—all men have sinned and know they have sinned. (Romans 2 – 3)
3. Men must put faith in whatever understanding they have of divine substitutionary atonement required to appease God for their sins.
The Book of Genesis
tells us that the knowledge of the need for substitutionary atonement by
blood sacrifice was imparted into mankind at the Garden of Eden by the
slaying of animals to clothe Adam and Eve. This was first exemplified by
Abel and was carried through after the Flood to the descendants of Noah.
Hebrews 11 tells us that Abel’s sacrifice was made by faith and was
acceptable to God. All cultures worldwide retain some knowledge of the
requirement of substitutionary (blood) sacrifice to appease deity and
justice, however diffused or even corrupted the understanding has
become—including satanic and blood revenge cultures. Regardless of
purity or completeness of the knowledge, men must exercise faith toward
their Creator for appeasement of their sin by some means of
substitutionary atonement within purview of their awareness—that someone
or something must take their place, the innocent for the guilty, and/or
otherwise acknowledge that whatever it is God may require, they do not
have what it takes to please Him, but want to be made right with God and
are calling on Him for such reconciliation. (Bible examples of some who
pleased God by such rudimentary faith include Job, Rahab and Cornelius.)
4. Men must pursue to live by a conduct of righteousness reflective of the innate knowledge of the moral law they already have, despite the knowledge of their own sinfulness and beyond their trust in some form of blood appeasement of the Creator.
Prior to any discussion of faith in the knowledge of Christ’s sacrifice, Paul tells us that God awards age-enduring (eternal) life to those who pursue “glory, honor and immortality” in the face of the knowledge of God’s moral law and of their self-evidenced sinfulness. (Romans 2).
These four elements of salvation since Creation form the basis for harmonizing other unknown or seemingly conflictory pieces of scriptural information regarding the relationships of works to faith and the fate of those who have and yet live outside the knowledge of the Gospel of Christ. For instance, it explains Jesus’ meaning that those “whose works are wrought in God” will come to His greater Light to believe in Him (though they are still sinners) (John 3), and Paul’s rhetorical answer to his own question, “But I say, have they not all heard?” (Romans 9).
The new covenantal era Message of Christ is the consummate message of salvation, spread upon the foundation of the actual atoning work of Christ that accomplished universal provisional justification and reconciliation (peace) with God in principle for all terrestrially living men. It was in anticipation of which accomplishment the inherent sinfulness of man was passed over in forbearance (Rom. 3:25), and upon which accomplishment all inherent sinfulness remains forborne in amnesty until the last Judgment Day (Rom. 2:4-5).
This consummate message upon Christ's atoning work supersedes all lesser revelations of the 4 elements, including the sacrificial Law of Moses, such that once the consummate message is made known by preaching, all men within its earshot become directly accountable to it, regardless where they stand at the time relative to their lesser knowledge and belief in the four elements. And according to Jesus, those who have lived already in harmony with those four internal elements through the sovereign preparatory planting work of the Father will come to Him when His gospel reaches their ears. (See further Jn. 3:19→21; (6:37 with Mt. 15:13); Jn. 7:17).
Proceed to APPENDIX G