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Dispensationalism -- Is there a progressive plan?

Acts 10:43
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?

Paul is quick to point out that even if Abraham acted in the flesh, giving him something to brag about, this bragging was of no effect before God. Besides, a careful reading of Abraham’s story shows us that this is not the manner in which God justified the father of Israel. No indeed. Paul turns, once again, to the Old Testament. What does the Old Testament tell us? It says “Abraham believed God.” Abraham acted in faith. Abraham exercised the faith in God. Abraham first trusted God, then Abraham acted on that trust. This is the manner in which Abraham was saved, by faith, not by deeds or works. 

Genesis 15:6 (KJV)
6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

This is the first use of the word “believe” in the Scriptures. When God spoke of Noah, Noah was said to have found “grace” (Gen 6:8). Noah was never spoken of as believing, although surely he must have since he, like Abraham, acted out his faith. How did Abraham act out his faith? He looked forward based upon the voice of God (Heb 11:10).

In Galatians, Paul has an extended discussion on Genesis 15:6. There, we are told that Abraham’s faith concerned redemption and that Abraham believed in the coming of Jesus. Of course, Abraham did not know who Jesus was, but Abraham knew there was one coming by the promise of God (Gen 12:7; 13:15; 24:7).

Galatians 3:13-16 (KJV)
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Abraham exercised faith and God justified Abraham. There it is in the Old Testament. This justification by faith comes some 400 or 500 years before the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai. How much more proof can anyone want? God has provided the same answer all the way along the path of salvation. And, what about after the giving of the law?


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August 11, 2022

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