Dispensations

There is a theological teaching that goes like this:

History can be broken down into separate and distinct eras defined by how God and man interact.

  1.  Innocence – The garden of Eden before the fall
  2. Conscience – From the fall to the flood
  3. Human government – The flood to Abraham
  4. Patriarchs or promise – Abraham to Moses
  5. Law – Moses to Christ
  6. Grace – From Jesus to right now
  7. Millennial Reign – When Jesus returns

In spite of the fact that I have a link to a full explanation of dispensationalism…I could have this all messed up.  I’m not so worried about the details as I am the overall purpose in this.

The first five of these are ways that we could get to God.  And they all failed.  The fifth, grace, is the story of how God came to us.  God spent thousands of years allowing us to try to get to Him.  And we failed.  The area of greatest effort and greatest failure was law.  We took the law of Moses and cataloged it and interpreted it and annotated it and commentated it.  In the end we had laws that were impossible to follow and amazingly easy to circumvent.

In the end, once God had proven that we could not get to Him, He sent His Son so we could have new life, the law written on our hearts, the Holy Spirit to live in us and to guide us.

So here we are in the dispensation of grace.  And we want laws.  Here’s the thing about laws.  Laws tell us how far is too far.  They tell us where the edge is.  They give us the opportunity to walk as close to the edge as we are comfortable with.  And if we  are smart enough or rich enough to hire the right lawyers we can go over the edge.  We can completely circumvent the intent of the law.

So here’s the thing.  We can vote for those who, we think, will pass the laws we want.  We can campaign and lobby for the laws we want.  Nothing wrong with that as long as we don’t get the idea that laws will fix things, that laws are the answer.

Laws can’t save us.  And laws can’t stop us.

 

 

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About Angus Lewis

My wife and I lived our whole lives in Arkansas until ten years ago. We moved to the Kansas City area in 2011 (a job change). That was the reason for the 'From a Far Country' title. Our children and grandchildren were in Arkansas. Six months ago we sold our house and bought one in Sherwood, Arkansas and my wife moved back down here. Two weeks ago I retired and moved back too. (I'm probably going to try to find something part time to keep me out of trouble.) So maybe the 'From a Far Country' title is not so much of a fit anymore. But I think I'll stick with it. I'm still not home. Not yet. The Bible says we are all strangers and pilgrims here. Our real home is with God and some day we'll be there. We'll be home.
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One Response to Dispensations

  1. Thank you for sharing this!

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