Heb 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
"V26. He shows how great an absurdity follows, if we do not count it enough that an expiation has been made by the ONE sacrifice of Christ. For he hence concludes that he must have died often; for death is connected with sacrifices. How this latter supposition is most unreasonable; it then follows that the virtue of the ONE sacrifice is eternal and extends to all ages. And he says since the foundation of the world, or from the beginning of the world for in all ages from the beginning there were sins which needed expiation. Except then the sacrifice of Christ was efficacious, no one of the fathers would have obtained salvation; for as they were exposed to God's wrath, a remedy for deliverance would have failed them, had not Christ by suffering ONCE suffered so much as was necessary to reconcile men to God from the beginning of the world even to the end. Except then we look for many deaths, we must be satisfied with the ONE true sacrifice."(J.Calvin)
DJC49 wrote: I can, in good conscience, say that I disagree with you. It's my contention that The Gospel of Jesus Christ MUST be "heard" in some form and delivered by some MEANS in order for salvation to be obtained. You give Paul as an example. You state that: "But he was saved prior to any Gospel preaching within his hearing." Do you think for one moment that Paul never knew what he was persecuting Christians for? It's unimaginable to me that Paul never heard the gospel prior to his Damascus road experience. He probably heard it
You appear to have misconstued my point. Allow me to reiterate my point below. "I put foward to you, that God saves - man's hearing is not the "saver" as such. God may use the Gospel as a means of drawing the sinner, but the act of saving is a divine one."
Also The particular point you proffer on Paul, re his knowing the Gospel from the OT begets the question, why change the format? Also Why were the other pharisees not converted if the OT was all that was required in NT times? The OT is not simply a copy of the NT nor vice versa. You seem to suggest that the OT converted Paul, simply by his reading of it. But clearly it was Jesus who converted Paul when HE appeared to him on that road.
DJC49 wrote: I don't want to misunderstand you, *interject*, so please clarify what you mean when you say: "He may use means." "He does not have to." Are you implying that: Only God saves and He may or may not use means? Are you implying that: Only God saves and He doesn't have to use means? Or are you implying that: Only God saves, but He doesn't have to save anyone. Also, are you implying that there are OTHER means than the True Gospel preached by which men are saved? Your post was ambiguous, and I just hope that you'd clarify your statements which left all sorts of room for misinterpretation. Thanks.
My apologies for ambiguity.
An example is Paul on the way to Demascus. At the point of his conversion there, he had only heard/read the OT. The Gospel hearing or otherwise had not touched him yet. But he was saved prior to any Gospel preaching within his hearing. Indeed before Paul himself had put pen to paper to write the Epistles. A similar arguement may be applied to the OT saints as regards Gospel "hearing."
I put foward to you, that God saves - man's hearing is not the "saver" as such. God may use the Gospel as a means of drawing the sinner, but the act of saving is a divine one.
DJC49 wrote: Without ever hearing the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, is it absolutely impossible or is it possible to be saved?
A. God saves. -- He may use means. -- He does not have to.
B. The True Gospel preached is one such means. -- The false gospel is not used by God. (eg. RCC/JW)
C. "Hearing" the Gospel can only be attributed to the True Believer, who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. (Hearing unto salvation). -- Otherwise it would be a "work" of man.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. Jo 16.13
""And whatever is not from faith" The reason for this condemnation is, that every work, however splendid and excellent in appearance, is counted as sin, except it be founded on a right conscience; for God regards not the outward display, but the inward obedience of the heart, by this alone is an estimate made of our works. Besides, how can that be obedience, when any one undertakes what he is not persuaded is approved by God? Where then such a doubt; exists, the individual is justly charged with prevarication; for he proceeds in opposition to the testimony of his, own conscience." (John Calvin)