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Even though Abraham's earthly life ended long before Jesus' birth and atoning death, multiple passages in the Bible (such as Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3, Romans 4:22, Galatians 3:6, and James 2:23) indicate that he was justified or saved (that is, counted as righteous) during his lifetime by his faith in God's promises (which included the promise of a Messiah who would redeem mankind that God made repeatedly, starting as early as Genesis 3:15) -- a faith that he also demonstrated in actions such as leaving his ancestral home of Ur at God's direction, and (most especially) by being willing to sacrifice his son Isaac (whose birth he had awaited for many years) because God had directed him to do so. (In addition, Jesus Himself, during His own earthly ministry, indicated Abraham's eternally-saved condition in the account of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:22-23).) (Hebrews 11 lists many other Old Testament figures who lived long before the time of Christ, but who were saved by their faith in God's promise of the future redemption that Jesus would achieve by His atoning death and subsequent resurrection.)
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