Welcome to Grace Minute Online
The Grace Minute is a ministry of the Berean Grace Church of Genoa City, WI.
We don't get much time on the radio so we are going to take more time here to explain some of the things that we say.
The grace of God is reason for the Grace Minute and the Berean Grace Church. We exist to proclaim the grace of God.
2 Timothy 2:15 says:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
This is an important verse because it tells us to study the Bible. It is, in fact, the only verse that tells us to study the Bible. It also gives us a pattern on how to study it. The phrase rightly dividing means to cut straight.
The Apostle Paul, who wrote 2 Timothy, was a tentmaker. In his line of work he would take material and place a pattern on it. He would cut along the lines to make the pieces that would be a part of the tent that he was making. The pieces that were inside the lines he would use to make the tent. The parts that were outside were not needed for that and were placed aside. He took the pieces that were pertinent to his work and used them.
When we come to the Bible we need to do something similar. We need to cut it straight. We need to determine which parts are most pertinent to us. There are distinctives that need to be made in the Bible. Not all of the Bible is as pertinent to us as other parts. God told different people different things at different times.
He told Adam not to eat of a certain tree. He told Moses that there were restrictions on what they could eat. At a later time he told the Apostle Paul that a person could eat whatever they wanted, as long as they were thankful. He told Noah to build an ark. He instructed Moses in different sacrifices to bring. But he hasn't told us to do these things.
These distinct instructions are called dispensations. The word dispensation comes from a Greek word that means household law. A dispensation is a particular way in which God deals with mankind.
From God's point of view a dispensation is the dispensing out of something. Today God is dispensing out his Grace, in a way that he hadn't done in the past (in the Old Testament). From man's point of it is the matter of a stewardship that men need to be faithful to.
The word dispensation appears four times in the NT. All of the times we find the word dispensation in the Bible are in the epistles of the Apostle Paul.
A dispensation is the administration or the rules that God uses different times with different groups of people. He administered the nation Israel through the law and he administers the body of the Christ through Grace.
When we recognize these differences it helps clear up some the seemingly contradictory things in the Bible.
The Lord says in Matt 5:17 - 19:
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
That seems to conflict with statements of the Apostle Paul such as:
Ye are not under law but under grace.
For by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing nor uncircumcision but a new creature.
Paul is saying things that are contrary to what the Lord says about the Law in Matt 5 but if we understand that the Lord was functioning in a different dispensation we can reconcile these things. He can say something to Israel under the law and a different thing to the Body of Christ under Grace.
This has far reaching implications to many aspects of the Christian life. It is only when we make these kinds of distinctions that we can function in what God has told us to do today.
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