Dispensationalism is commonly understood as a system of Bible interpretation. It is the most helpful tool in arriving at a consistent biblical interpretation of Scripture. Many Christians today have a very limited and incomplete understanding of this system. Much of this is directly due to the present-day failures in the church. Allow me to list a few.
The first and most obvious failure is the failure of many churches to produce good consistent teaching and instruction in the Bible. It is becoming more pervasive in our day (specifically within the church) not to be knowledgeable in the spiritual content of the Scriptures, especially to the degree of recognizing clear dispensational distinctions in the Bible.
“The first and most obvious failure is the failure of many churches to produce good consistent teaching and instruction in the Bible.”
Another notable common failure worth mentioning is related to those who have never taken the time to honestly and genuinely study dispensationalism as it is represented from the time of the early church and throughout all of Scripture. Today much of what is commonly purported and described as dispensationalism is actually misrepresentative of historic dispensationalism and usually, for the most part, inadequately describes true classic dispensationalism.
A third and increasingly popular reason today originates from many of its critics, (specifically, those who have an intentional ax to grind against dispensationalism) and that is, the attempt made by nondispensationalist to either: attack a particular advocate associated with this system and malign their character (e.g. ad hominem attack) or attack a partial statement of dispensational doctrine, all while presenting a false and incomplete representation of this system. Those who produce such unsubstantiated arguments, do so in a separatist spirit and with the clear intention of excluding many in the body of Christ.
At a later time, I will point out some of these erroneous and false charges. Of course, after the release of this particular article, you can be sure there will be additional examples to offer.
Nevertheless, dispensationalism when it is properly understood is an extremely helpful tool for literally and consistently interpreting the Bible. When the serious student of the Bible employs the consistent normal principle of historical-grammatical interpretation, then what naturally follows is the need for clear biblical distinctions.
Today, more than ever, it is crucial that each serious student of the Bible recognize these clear biblical distinctions, if they are going to be “a worker who does not need to be ashamed” and one who is consistent in “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). It is also absolutely necessary to recognize such distinctions if the student hopes to fully understand the revelation that God gave to the Apostle Paul concerning the identification of the believer in Christ and the church’s unique heavenly position.
Until the student understands this crucial approach in their study of the Bible they will remain limited in their understanding and application concerning the basic purpose of God in all His dealings with mankind as to glorifying Himself through salvation and other purposes.
“When the serious student of the Bible employs the consistent normal principle of historical-grammatical interpretation, then what naturally follows is the need for clear biblical distinctions. ”
Biblical truths are best apprehended when one employs a normal, consistent, literal interpretation of God’s Word. As a result, what will naturally flow will be a clear understanding of God and His distinct and different administrations for man by recognizing the orderly progress of revelation throughout Scripture.
What are these distinctions and what are the different administrations that are involved in God’s program? We will look at them next time.