Dispensationalism I - Lesson 5

  1. IMPORTANCE OF DISPENSATIONALISM (Continued)
    1. Dispensationalism Solves Many Apparent Contradictions
      1. Dispensationalism recognizes distinctions in what God has said to different people at different times.  This distinction clears up what would otherwise be contradictions in the Bible for God does not always tell everyone the same thing.
      2. A rule to remember is this:  All scripture was written for us but all scripture was not written to us.  In other words, all scripture has a profit for us in our understanding and Christian life (2 Timothy 3:16), but all scripture is not written as a direct command for us to obey.
      3. Some examples of solved contradictions:
        1. Dietary laws
          1. Before the flood (Genesis 1:29-30)
          2. After the flood (Genesis 9:2-3)
          3. Under the law (Leviticus 11:1-47)
          4. Under grace (1 Timothy 4:3-5)
        2. Sabbath-keeping
          1. Under the law (Exodus 31:12-18)
          2. Under grace (Romans 14:5-6; Galatians 4:9-11; Colossians 2:16-17)
    2. Dispensationalism Answers Many Doctrinal Heresies
      1. Many heresies are the result of trying to follow a teaching that was proper for another dispensation or obey a command that was given to someone else, but is not required of us today.
      2. A dispensation is a dispensing or a giving out of duties and responsibilities.  The whole concept of dispensationalism is that God progressively changes His requirements of man as He moves time toward the end and brings glory to Himself.
        1. Sin entered into the world (Romans 5:12)
        2. God’s choice of a people (Deuteronomy 7:6-8)
        3. Law brought greater responsibility for sin (Romans 5:13-14)
        4. Righteousness without the law revealed (Romans 3:20-22)
        5. Faith in Christ frees from the law (Galatians 3:23-25)
        6. Jew and Gentile one in Christ (Ephesians 2:11-18)
      3. Some examples of heresies that can be corrected by a proper understanding of dispensationalism.
        1. Dietary requirements of another dispensation (already discussed)
        2. Any requirement that we live according to any command of the Mosaic law (Romans 6:14-15; Galatians 5:18)
        3. Tongues and apostolic healing for today
    3. Dispensationalism Comprehends the Bible as a Whole
      1. Many systems explain one part of the Bible and leave other parts obscure.  Dispensationalism makes sense out of every part of the Bible, whether Leviticus or Hosea or Acts or Revelation.  Dispensational distinctions do not destroy understanding but rather puts everything into its proper place.
      2. By understanding the differences, the applications to today are much more clear
        1. All scripture becomes profitable (2 Timothy 3:16)
        2. All God’s precepts concerning all things are right (Psalm 119:128)
    4. Dispensationalism Unfolds God’s Purpose in History
      1. Through history (and revelation) God reveals the mystery of His will which concludes with the dispensation of the fullness of times (Ephesians 1:9-10)
      2. Man desires an overall understanding of history that can only be provided by God (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
      3. A proper philosophy of history will provide the following:
        1. An ultimate goal or purpose of history toward which history moves.
        2. An understanding of the things that differ in history and why they differ as they do.
        3. A concept of progress in the succeeding stages of history.  These stages must work toward the ultimate goal of history.
        4. A unifying principle or principles which makes sense out of the succeeding stages of history.
        5. A connection between the past and the future with an understanding of where we have come from and where we are going.
    5. Dispensationalism Exalts God’s Glory as the Ultimate Goal
      1. Covenant theology accuses dispensationalism of having multiple purposes for God.  Mostly, they criticize the belief that God has a plan for Israel on the earth and a plan for the redeemed in heaven.  Covenant theologians prefer to combine God’s plan for Israel and the church into one and the same eternal salvation.  However, in doing so, they destroy the clear biblical distinction between Israel and the church and lessen the importance of the actual words of the Bible.
      2. However, the dispensationalist does see a unifying principle in history.  However, this principle is higher than the salvation of man.  God has many other goals.  He will establish the kingdom for Israel.  He will judge the wicked.  He will gather a people for His name from the Gentiles.  But none of these acts as the unifying principle of history.  That is the glory of God.  History progresses toward the ultimate glory of God.  There is no higher goal.  (Isaiah 43:7; Proverbs 16:4; Romans 11:36; Revelation 4:11)
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.