What is “Transitional Gospel”

I’ve been looking closely at the context of the Gospels and the book of Acts for the last several years. Specifically looking at and considering how the presence of “Old-Testament believers” during the incarnation of Christ might change our understanding of the story of Jesus.

A little Explanation: On the day Jesus was born… there would have been a certain number of people alive on the earth who were “justified before God” through their faith in the promises of the OT. During His time here on earth, Jesus would have needed to communicate to these believers the theological changes taking place. Some of those believers wouldn’t have ever met Jesus during His ministry and the disciples would have had to reach them with the “theological update” during the book of Acts.

Many of the people that recognized Jesus as Messiah… were already saved prior to meeting him. They were saved, through faith in the promise of God as revealed in the Old Testament scriptures. Their acknowledgement of Jesus as Messiah was just a continuance of their existing faith…. not the beginning of new faith in God.

Commentators have virtually ignored not only the existence of this group of OT Saints… but also the possibility of any ministry to them.

My premise: At least some of what we read in the four Gospel accounts is specifically describing Jesus’ interaction with this group of OT believers.

If this is true, several passages we currently understand as “prescriptive” for our time, may only be “descriptive” of a very unique transitional generation of believers.

I believe we need to recognize this group as we read the New Testament. We must allow their existence to influence our understanding of the text.

They were a transitional generation of believers. They were the only generation of believers that had the opportunity to live among the shadows of the Old Testament and the substance of Jesus Christ. To properly understand this group, we must read and understand the New Testament, in context, as a Transitional Gospel.

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2 Responses to “What is “Transitional Gospel””

  1. James March 19, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Really interesting thoughts man. I’ve always kinda struggled with the soteriological question of “faith in what?” Is it only faith in Christ that saves or is faith in God enough? For people pre-Christ obviously faith in God had to suffice. (I guess you could argue for a faith in the coming messiah but would Adam have had that?) I’ve never really thought about the middle group of transitional believers though. I’m curious to read more and see what implications that you draw from this transitional group of people.

    James
    http://www.goddamblog.com

    • TransitionalGospel March 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

      James,

      Thanks for the comment. Good thoughts there.

      Prior to the cross, I think faith “in God” was enough. Post cross… I think the scriptures say that Christ is the only way (John 12:32 and John 14:6) Practically… I’m not sure how that always plays out… but I’m comfortable leaving those details to God.

      I think with Adam… prior to the fall… he just communed with God. After the fall… there was the promise in Genesis 3:15 in which Adam could place his faith. I talk about that a little in my “Problem of Sin” post (https://transitionalgospel.com/2012/03/07/the-problem-of-sin/).

      Yeah… stick with the blog. I think there’s some stuff coming you’ll like. Would love to hear your thoughts along the way.

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