Christian-History.org does not receive any personally identifiable information from the search bar below.

FAQ: The Atonement
Did Jesus' Death Pay for Old Covenant Sins?

Are the people who sinned before Christ died "covered by his blood"? Were their sins forgiven before, or when He died were they forgiven then?

Highlander men with banner

Let's look at Christ's atonement a little differently. In Psalm 51, David tells us that God isn't really interested in a sacrifice for David's sins. God wants "a broken heart and a contrite spirit." These are the sacrifices that God is interested in.

Ad:

My books and those Christian-history.org has published get great reviews. Synopses are at my Rebuilding the Foundations site. They are available wherever books are sold!

This site is also supported by Xero shoes because their shoes have relieved the arch pain I have had since leukemia. I wear the Mesa Trail model; it is the only model I've tried. Their shoes sell themselves.

Later, in Acts 10, Peter tells Cornelius, "In any nation, the one that fears God and works righteousness is accepted by him."

God was already merciful, even before Christ's atonement. He would forgive the repentant, and he would accept those who chose righteousness.

More than anything, Jesus' death was for us. He brought about an awesome new covenant. David was a man who had the Spirit of God under the old covenant, but very few others did. Some priests, some prophets, some kings, men like Moses, Saul, and the judges. However, almost all normal people were not offered the Spirit of God.

Under the new covenant, though, the promise is that the Spirit of God would be poured out on old men, young men, maidservants, everyone. "The promise is to you and to your children and to all who are afar off," Peter told the Jews (Acts 2).

So here's what Jesus' death did for us. We were people who didn't have the power to stop sinning. (Paul talks about this in Romans 3 and Romans 7.) The Law didn't really help us because we didn't have the power to obey it. So God came up with a different answer. Paul writes about it like this:

What the Law could not do because it was weak through the flesh, God did. By sending his own Son in the likeness of our sinful flesh, as an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Rom. 8:3,4)

So Jesus' death broke the power of sin and gave us access to the Spirit of God. Thus, we are far better off than those under the Law who had to struggle and find out that their very nature is to disobey the Law.

However, to get back to your question, those under the old covenant could be forgiven as soon as they repented. They didn't have to wait for Jesus to die to be forgiven. Mercy is in the very nature of God; he's always been forgiving to the repentant even with only a broken heart and contrite spirit as atonement.

This is an ad written by me, Paul Pavao: I get a commission if you buy Xero shoes, which does not increase your cost. I am promoting them because Xero shoes have relieved foot pain I have had since leukemia. I wear the Mesa Trail shoes, and suspect I will be doing so for the rest of my life. My wife and oldest son wear Xero shoes as well. Read about them at the link.
spacer

I support Heaven's Family. I urge you to help reach the world and meet the needs of "the least of these" by supporting them as well.

I do not get a commission for this ad.

Early Church History Newsletter

Delivered monthly

Back issues availabel

When you sign up for my newsletter, your email address will not be shared. We will only use it to send you the newsletter.

Email

Name