The Dispensation of Grace

Jun. 7, 2017 | By Creflo Dollar

SUMMARY

A dispensation is a divine order for a particular age, and the Bible is divided up into three dispensations. The first two were agreements between God, Adam, and Eve, and between God and Moses. Both were relevant for that particular age, but they are now expired. The third is the current dispensation of grace. Most Christians are unaware of these divisions, and are therefore still trying to live according to the Mosaic laws administered by the high priests. If we make this mistake, we remain sin-conscious because we are still trying to make relevant the requirements of a dispensation that is no longer valid. The law has been replaced by God’s grace, which is available to us right now.

  1. WE ARE NO LONGER BOUND BY THE LAW OF MOSES. WE DO NOT NEED TO LIVE UNDER IT ANY MORE.
    1. Most believers do not know about the three dispensations in the Bible, so they are still living according to the expired dispensation of the Law of Moses.
      1. God made the first covenant obsolete and good to be dispensed with (Hebrews 8:13, AMPC).
      2. Sin shall not dominate us because we are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).
    2. We now no longer need to follow the old covenant tradition of bringing sacrifices to the altar for our sins. We have the knowledge that Jesus was the final sacrifice for sin. The old dispensation has been cancelled.
      1. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 10:26).
    3. Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec (Hebrews 6:19, 20).
      1. Jesus was a high priest after the order Melchizedek, not according to the order of the Levitical priesthood.
  2. THE PRIESTHOOD IN MOSES’ TIME WAS DIFFERENT THAN THE CURRENT PRIESTHOOD UNDER GRACE.
    1. For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace (Hebrews 7:1, 2).
      1. This refers back to the meeting between Melchizedek and Abraham after the battle. The very first thing out of Melchizedek’s mouth was a blessing (Genesis 14:18-20).
      2. Abraham would not have won the battle if God had not shown him favor. Abraham gave his tithe out of thankfulness and gratitude.
    2. Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. And verily they that are the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises (Hebrews 7:3-6).
      1. Verse five is a comparison between the Levitical priesthood and Melchizedek. Abraham tithed out of thanksgiving; under the law the people tithed because they were required to give.
      2. Melchizedek’s descent was not counted under the Levitical priesthood; he did not come out of the tribe of Levi.
    3. And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better (Hebrews 7:7).
      1. An example of this is financially blessing others who can lift us up, so that the blessing on their lives will fall on us. This is according to the “sow upward” concept.
    4. And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him (Hebrews 7:8-10).
      1. Levi came out of Abraham but he had not been born yet when Abraham met Melchizedek.
    5. If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? (Hebrews 7:11).
      1. This perfection did not refer to being sinless, but rather having a perfect conscience.
  3. THE EARTHLY HIGH PRIESTS WERE LEVITES, BUT JESUS CAME FROM THE TRIBE OF JUDAH.
    1. Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience (Hebrews 9:9).
      1. The law as administered by the Levitical priests could not perfect the conscience.
      2. A perfect conscience is not under the law, because the law creates sin-consciousness.
      3. When we are sin-conscious and we walk in condemnation and guilt, we will not believe God or serve him.
    2. For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda, of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec (Hebrews 7:12-17).
      1. Because man could not get a perfect conscience under the Levitical priesthood after the order of Aaron, a new priesthood was required.
      2. The tribe of Judah did not make its presence known at the altar.
      3. Melchizedek showed up before the law was established; grace was at work even before the law. Grace was what delivered Abraham from the battle of the kings.
    3. So a previous physical regulation and command is cancelled because of its weakness and ineffectiveness and uselessness—For the Law never made anything perfect—but instead a better hope is introduced through which we [now] come close to God. And it was not without the taking of an oath [that Christ was made Priest], For those who formerly became priests received their office without its being confirmed by the taking of an oath by God, but this One was designated and addressed and saluted with an oath, The Lord has sworn and will not regret it or change His mind, You are a Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:18-21, AMPC).
      1. The order of Aaron carried the law with it, but the order of Melchizedek carried grace with it.
      2. We must ask ourselves why we are still trying to live according to something that is weak, ineffective, and useless in our lives and in our marriages.
      3. Under the covenant of grace, men are no longer to dominate women. Many husbands misinterpret the Scripture that says Christ is the head of the church and the husband is the head of the wife (Ephesians 5:23). “The head” actually means the source of nourishment and the enabler.
    4. In the Old Testament, the veil over Moses’ face was intended to hide the fact that the glory was leaving his face (2 Corinthians 3:13-16), but there is no veil in Jesus.
      1. Jesus is our high priest (Hebrews 10:11, 12).
  4. THE NEW COVENANT IS BACKED BY JESUS HIMSELF. HE IS THE HIGH PRIEST WHO PERFECTS US.
    1. In keeping with [the oath’s greater strength and force], Jesus has become the guarantee of a better (stronger) agreement [a more excellent and more advantageous covenant] (Hebrews 7:22, AMPC).
      1. Under the covenant of Moses, man was the root and what he did determined whether God could produce fruit in his life. But this agreement did not work, so God made a new covenant (Hebrews 8:8, 9).
      2. Under the new covenant, Jesus is the root and we bear the fruit of what He did. He is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5). We must believe this.
    2. [Again, the former successive line of priests] was made up of many, because they were each prevented by death from continuing [perpetually in office]; But He holds His priesthood unchangeably, because He lives on forever (Hebrews 7:23, 24, AMPC).
      1. The spiritual condition of the priest affects the people. Under the old covenant, if the priest sinned, the peoples’ sins were not covered. Under the new covenant, Jesus remains sinless and righteous, and therefore we are the same way.
      2. We are righteous based on what Jesus did, not on what we do. He is our way in, out, and even upward. Promotion comes from the Lord (Psalm 75:6, 7).
    3. Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with Him and intervene for them. [Here is] the High Priest [perfectly adapted] to our needs, and was fitting—holy, blameless, unstained by sin, separated from sinners, and exalted higher than the heavens (Hebrews 7:25, 26, AMPC).
      1. This was how Jesus saved us; completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time. Intercession is not just prayer, but it is standing between God and man.
      2. Jesus knows what we need in every area of our lives. We must trust this and meditate on it.
      3. However He is, so are we. We can truthfully speak like the apostle Paul when he said he had wronged no man (2 Corinthians 7:2).
      4. We are unstained by sin because we are in Christ, sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).
    4. He has no day by day necessity, as [do each of these other] high priests, to offer sacrifice first of all for his own [personal] sins and then for those of the people, because He [met all the requirements] once and for all when He brought Himself [as a sacrifice] which He offered up. For the Law sets up men in their weakness [frail, sinful, dying human beings] as high priests, but the word of [God’s] oath, which [was spoken later] after the institution of the Law, [chooses and appoints as priest One Whose appointment is complete and permanent], a Son Who has been made perfect forever (Hebrews 7:27, 28, AMPC).
      1. Jesus, our High Priest, did everything that needed to be done for all time when He shed His blood on the cross. He has no need to make a sacrifice for Himself.
    5. Now the main point of what we have to say is this: We have such a High Priest, One Who is seated at the right hand of the majestic [God] in heaven (Hebrews 8:1, AMPC).
      1. We are free from the law because there has been a change in high priests.
      2. If we go back to living under the law, we dishonor Jesus, our High Priest.
      3. When leaders preach the law to a congregation accustomed to hearing the law, the blind lead the blind and both shall fall into the ditch (Matthew 15:14; Luke 6:39).
      4. What makes us blind is the inability to understand that the veil over the old covenant is there to keep us from seeing the truth that the law has ended.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES

Hebrews 8:1, 13, AMPC Romans 6:14
Hebrews 10:11, 12, 26 Hebrews 6:19, 20
Hebrews 7:1-17 Genesis 14:18-20
Hebrews 9:9 Hebrews 7:18-28, AMPC
Luke 6:39 Ephesians 5:23
2 Corinthians 3:13-16 Hebrews 8:8, 9
John 15:5 Psalm 75:6, 7
2 Corinthians 7:2 Ephesians 1:13
Matthew 15:14  

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