The Dispensation of the Grace of God

Scripture Passage: 
Ephesians 3:1-6
  1. DISPENSATIONS DEFINED 
    1. Biblical Usage of Dispensation
      1. A dispensation of the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:16)
      2. The dispensation of the grace of God (Ephesians 3:2)
      3. The dispensation of God which is given to me (Colossians 1:25-27)
      4. The dispensation of the fullness of times (Ephesians 1:10)
    2. Basic Definition of a Dispensation
      1. Comes from Latin word dispensatio which means management or charge (as in responsibility or duty; care or supervision over someone or something); “distribution of money or property, management, stewardship, regulation, economy” – OED.
      2. Related to the verb dispense and refers to a dispensing or a distribution; a giving out of something.  By an expansion of meaning, it refers to the system by which anything is administered or managed.
      3. Definition by C. I. Schofield (page 5 of his reference Bible) – “A dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God.”
      4. Definition by Charles Ryrie (page 28 of Dispensationalism ) – “A dispensation is a distinguishable economy in the outworking of God’s purpose.”
  2. THE STEWARD OF THE DISPENSATION OF GRACE (Ephesians 3:2-5)
    1. Paul’s Importance
      1. As the apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 11:13; Galatians 2:7-8; 1 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11)
      2. Received the gospel of the grace of God by revelation from God (Galatians 1:11-12; Ephesians 3:1-9)
    2. Paul’s Connection to a Dispensation
      1. A dispensation of the gospel was committed unto Paul (1 Corinthians 9:16)
      2. The dispensation of the grace of God was given to Paul to distribute (Ephesians 3:2; Colossians 1:25-27)
  3. THE REVELATION OF A MYSTERY (Ephesians 3:5-6)
    1. Grace Age Mysteries
      1. The nature of the grace age mysteries
        1. Not previously known (Ephesians 3:4-5, 9)
        2. Selectively revealed (Matthew 13:10-11; Ephesians 3:10)
        3. Beyond human understanding (1 Corinthians 2:7-10)
        4. Meant to be taught (1 Corinthians 4:1-2)
      2. A list of grace age mysteries
        1. The mystery of Israel’s blindness (Romans 11:25)
        2. The mystery of translation (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; see Hebrews 11:5)
        3. The mystery of Christ (Ephesians 3:3-6; Ephesians 5:29-32; Colossians 4:3) – that all [Jew and Gentile] are one in Christ
        4. The mystery of Christ in you (Colossians 1:26-27; Galatians 2:20)
        5. The mystery of godliness (1 Timothy 3:16; John 1:14)
        6. The mystery of the Father (Colossians 2:2)
        7. The mystery of iniquity (2 Thessalonians 2:7; Genesis 3:15) – the devil incarnate in the antichrist
        8. The mystery of the gospel (Ephesians 6:19; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4) – evidently, the gospel of the grace of God
        9. The mystery of the faith (1 Timothy 3:9; Titus 1:9; Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23-25) – that the word is the source of salvation and all doctrine
        10. The mystery of His will (Ephesians 1:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28) – God’s purpose for the ages
    2. Gradual Revelation
      1. The word revelation means to remove the veil.  As such it means that something was already known in the mind of God and God merely pulls back the veil to allow man to see what God already knows.
      2. Men struggle with the concept that Old Testament saints did not have some of the knowledge that we have today.  Even more so people struggle with the idea that the disciples did not have some knowledge that we have today.
      3. Knowledge of the death, burial and resurrection.
        1. Peter did not believe in the death burial and resurrection (Matthew 16:21-23).
        2. John did not believe until he saw the empty tomb (John 20:1-9).
        3. During the ministry of our Lord He required faith in Him as the Messiah (Matthew 16:13-17; John 8:23-24)
        4. Today we must believe the gospel in order to be saved (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
      4. In this passage the mystery is concerning the fact that gentiles would be fellowheirs and of the same body with the Jews (Ephesians 3:6).
Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 22:9

He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.