Dispensation of the Grace of God Given To Paul

(Ephesians 3:1-5 KJV) For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, {2} If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: {3} How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, {4} Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) {5} Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

Verse 2 says that the dispensation of grace was given to the Apostle Paul and that he would then make it known to others, Gentiles in particular.

One of the first things people will say when told that the dispensation of grace was given to the Apostle Paul is, "Others have spoken of grace before Paul." Yes, this is true, others have spoken of grace before Paul but no one proclaimed of the "dispensation of grace" before Paul.

One of the definitions of dispensation in Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary is: a general state or ordering of things; specif. a system of revealed commands and promises regulating human affairs.

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew equivalent to the word grace that Paul used is found only 68 times and it is not always used to speak of God's grace and it is never used to refer to the "dispensation of grace".

In Paul's writings the word "grace" and its derivatives are used no less that 144 times. Paul's writings are not near as large as the Old Testament writings. So, we can conclude that Paul has more to say about grace. It is important to note that in Paul's writings the word grace is almost always used doctrinally, that is, in connection with the "dispensation of the grace of God" (i.e. a system of revealed commands...regulating human affairs).

Grace in general means a special favor but the dispensation of grace includes a way of doing things. The way we are do things today is found in the writings of the Apostle Paul, Romans through Philemon.


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