Dispensationalism -- Is there a progressive plan?
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
See Acts 10:43. Noting the development of systems such as "Dispensationalism," discuss whether or not the Bible recognizes the progressive development of God's plan through various dispensations. If not, explain your view of salvation. If so, explain how people were saved in the Old Testament, noting specifically how salvation in that dispensation relates to the salvation of this dispensation, the Church Age. Were there different plans of salvation for different dispensations?
Amos 3:7 (KJV)
7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
The “secrets” of God are called “mysteries” in the New Testament. Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 2:7 (KJV)
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
Paul uses the term “mystery” in several passages with some subtle difference in meaning. In the Gospels Jesus comes speaking in parables so that the mystery of the Kingdom of God is revealed only to those to whom it has been “given.”
Mark 4:10-12 (KJV)
10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
To the Jew, God’s mystery was His knowledge and plan for the nation of Israel. This mystery is not knowable unless it is revealed by God. This revelation came through the prophets, as set forth in the Amos verse. The New Testament authors expanded the concept of God’s secret plan by adding the finding of Messiah in Jesus. The string of old to new is found in the continuing concept of the progressive revelation by God evidenced by Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:7.
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