Dispensation of Grace
Pr. K C Thomas
In order to learn about the dispensation of Grace, we need to have a general awareness of the dispensational truths seen in the Bible. The Greek term for dispensation is ‘chronos’. It means the measurement of events. Dispensations are the varied dealings of God to humanity at different times. Whenever God begins a new dispensation, He had made known His statues to be followed to the individual or people group whom He chooses. Hence, after having revealed His will through revelation, the period of time God tested them to see whether they will lead a life according to it is known as Dispensations. In the light of Bible events, scholars to divide the period from Creation to the Millennial age into seven Dispensations.
1) Dispensation of Innocence
2) Dispensation of Conscience
3) Dispensation of Human Government
4) Dispensation of Promise
5) Dispensation of Law
6) Dispensation of Grace
7) Dispensation of Millennium
In each dispensation four things are repeated: God gives the Law, Human failure to obey the Law, God sends the judgment, God gives grace to Humanity.
What is the Dispensation of Grace?
The time period between the Crucifixion of Jesus and His glorious appearance in the clouds is known as Dispensation of Grace. God shows more of his grace and mercy to humanity in this dispensation. The greatest Law that God has given in this age is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. Those who are not ready for this will be punished.
Everything in the age of Grace is by grace. A father gives clothing, food and education to his son not because of grace, but because of his responsibility. But if the same is given to the neighbours’ son, it is grace. Giving wages in the evening to people who work in the field for eight hours is not grace. But if a beggar is invited home and is given an amount equal to one day’s wage is grace. That which is given to the undeserved or to the disqualified is ‘grace’. Salvation given freely through Jesus Christ to us who are undeserved or disqualified is abundant grace.
The failure of the dispensation of the Law resulted in the beginning of dispensation of grace. Paul wrote about this, ‘For God has done what the law weakened by the flesh, could not do, sending his own son in the likeness of sin, in the flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh’ (Rom.8:3). No one is justified before the Lord by the works of the Law. So Paul points to the Cross of Calvary and writes thus: “Now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from Law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Rom. 3:20-21).
The Incarnation of Jesus Christ is Grace
In relation to humanity, the greatest grace received is the Saviour Jesus Christ. For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men. (Titus.2:11). For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.(Joh.3:15). He who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all will be not also give us all things with Him? (Rom.8:32). As we remember for whom Jesus was sent to this world, we separated from Christ, alienated from the common wealth of Israel, and strangers the covenants of promise having no hope and without God in this world”(Eph. 2:11). For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by men and hating one another. (Titus 3:3). For us, to such kind of undeserved people, if God has sent His only begotten son to this world to die for us, what is it except the grace of God?
The death of Jesus Christ is His grace towards us
Jesus Christ was ready to die for us who were undeserved. It is written in the book of Romans, “ While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why one will hardly die for a righteous man - though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we are not justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God”. (Rom.5: 6-9). The Book of Hebrews says, “ But we see Jesus who for a little, while was made lower than the angels crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.(Heb. 2:9). Peter wrote these, “ For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. (I Pet.3: 18). Jesus was ready to die for those who are disqualified.
We receive salvation through grace
We read in the scriptures, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and it is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not because of works lest any man should boast”. (Eph. 2:8-9). Through the covenant of faith, both Jews and the Greek receive the salvation freely through grace. To the letter of Titus, Paul wrote, “ but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us not because of deeds done by us in righteousness but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit” (Titus. 3:4-5). Peter preached in the house of Cornelius, “To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts.10:43). “They are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus (Rom.3:24). “All those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved’ (Rom.10:13). All who received Lord Jesus Christ and believed his name, he gave power to become children of God. (John1:13.).
The privileges of the believer in the dispensation of grace are a proof of marvelous grace :
Believers are chosen by the grace of god. “So, too at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace, and if by grace, then it is not longer by works, if it were grace would no longer be grace. (Rom.11:6-7). Listen to the previous and present status of the believer, “ Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God, once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (I Pet. 2:10). Once belonged to the darkness, now in the marvelous light, now chosen generation, royal priesthood, holy nation and a people belong to the Lord (1 Pet.2:9). Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household (Eph.2:19). We are void of the judgment (Rom.8:1). Greater than John the Baptist who was the greatest among those who are born of woman. Jesus said the one who is least in kingdom will be greater than him. (Mat. 11:11). We are saved by grace, received Holy Spirit by grace, blessed by all the heavenly blessings by grace. We are raised and seated with Christ in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:7). These privileges and positions we received not because of our merits but by His grace.
Disciplining is also by grace
Paul wrote to Titus like this, “ It teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self controlled upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. (Tit. 2:12-13). Disciplining is not to destroy us rather to makes us godly. Because of His grace towards us He cleanses and disciplines us so that He can lead us to heaven.
Grace delays the fulfillment of the promise of His return:
Though the scholars say that there are no prophecies yet to be fulfilled in relation to the second coming Christ, Why did he not return? Peter answered that question, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Pet.3: 9). God did not want anyone who is saved and baptized to be lost at His coming. Hence, he is delaying his coming by giving time for them to repent, what is it except the grace of God? So we need to repent lest we will be among those who are lost.
Signs of the times today: We are at the end of Dispensation of grace
The signs of the end time written by Paul to Timothy are already happened, “But mark this: “there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited lovers of pleasure than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”(2 Tim. 3:1-5). The signs of the times of Noah and Lot are seen today. Apostasy is happening all over. Famine, earthquake, pestilence and war are increasing. The Jewish people as the fig tree have already blossomed. As we see this, remember that the dispensation of grace is almost over. The doors of the age of grace is about to close. Before that happens, we can by faith in our the Lord Jesus Christ and by His grace, receive the salvation. Night comes when no one can work.
Age of Grace will also end in failure
Not all will be saved in dispensation of grace. Hence all will not be taken at the coming of the Lord. Jesus said, “ On that night two people will
be in one bed, one will be taken and the other left, two women will be grinding grain together, one will be taken and the other left” ( Lk. 17: 34-36).
Dear friend, before the door is closed for the dispensation of grace, receive Jesus Christ and live according to His Word, lest you be lost.
A judgment even for the dispensation of Grace
Jesus said, “For then there will be great distress unequaled from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be equaled again (Mat.24:21). There comes the great tribulation period, known as the great distress of Jacob. It reaches its zenith through the Armageddon war. For those who cry unto the Lord with repentance and mourning, shall open a new spring for the cleansing of sin and uncleanliness. Those who did not get saved in the age of grace shall go through that judgment.
Dear friends, before the door is closed, receive Jesus as Savior and Lord through faith in your heart; obey His commandments and prepare to meet the Lord. God is ready to show His grace to any sinner, to forgive them and to save them. No dispensation is like that of the grace. Since sin has increased, God’s grace also increased. It is a message for this dispensation that no one should commit sin so that the grace may abound.