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Dispensationalism, Some Final Thoughts part 1

April 15, 2009

The New Testament simply doesn’t fit with the idea that a new pattern was formed, new rules were put in place, and new practices were installed to be pleasing to God. The recorded history simply doesn’t fit this theory. Dispensationalism simply isn’t true.

You can clearly see the development of the early church on the pages of the New Testament. You can see them work and struggle with how this reality of Jesus as Messiah will work in a faith community with people from many different backgrounds.

You can watch as Peter and John go to the temple at the hour of prayer in Acts 3 or notice that Peter in Acts 8 is on his housetop for the noon prayer. A Jewish custom that was already a part of their worship. Think about that, would you say they can’t do that, it isn’t part of this dispensation? temple3

No need to scratch your head at the recorded conversation between Paul and James in Acts 21. No reason to wonder about why telling Gentiles that they didn’t need to follow the Law would cause such a problem. No need to think if it is a new dispensation why didn’t Paul just say, “We have new rules,” instead of agreeing to be a part of the purification ceremony at the temple. The church was developing not looking for what goes with the new dispensation.

These are simply a few examples of how the actions of the early church do not fit the idea of dispensationalism. In my experience people who hold to dispensational teaching usually say Paul was wrong or they dismiss Peter and John’s actions. I wish they would simply question their assumptions.

It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. Romans 9:6-8

We are children of the promise. The things we are expected to be concerned about are the same things that God has always expected His people to be concerned with. When you start to understand this you see it all over the New Testament text. The widows, the orphans, the least of these, loving your neighbor as yourself. Those need no new dispensation. To reflect the image of God didn’t need new rules. Just people willing to live by faith. What about you?

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