Summary: What is the purpose of the church? It’s 3 fold: • To magnify the Lord thru worship and the Word. • To move believers to maturity and ministry. • To make Jesus known to our neighbors and the nations. Link inc. to formatted text, audio/video, PowerPoint

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Ephesians 3:1-5

Now we enter the church age, the “Dispensation of Grace.” What is a dispensation? It is a time period. In the Bible it is a specific period of time during which God administers His rule over the world in a certain way. And over the years God has dealt with man differently in different time periods.

“But I thought God was the same yesterday, today, and forever?” Yes, but that is not talking about the way God deals with man. It is talking about His character and nature. For instance, God is holy, righteous, and just ... He always has been and always will be. But He deals w/ man in different ways over the ages. His message has always been the same, but His methods change ... and so should ours, by the way.

A big danger in Bible interpretation is that of lifting out of scripture a verse where God does something and saying, there, that’s how God always handles that. He does not, necessarily. For instance, contrast these 2 texts:

Luke 10:2-4

2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. 3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. 4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.

Luke 22:35-36

35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. 36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

Another example: 4 times in the book of Acts you see speaking in tongues. That’s over a 30 year period. But is that the normal Christian experience? That was a specific dispensation, and God worked in a certain way at that time. In this case, we’re in the book of Acts, which was a transitional time period...a bridge to the church age, but not the way the church age would be. It is not a basis for NT church doctrine.

But there is one thing that all dispensations have in common:

God gives man a responsibility, man fails to fulfill his responsibility, and God’s judgment comes.

1st dispensation: innocence. [Garden of Eden]

What was man’s responsibility? To abstain from the forbidden fruit. Man failed, and judgment came.

2nd dispensation: conscience.

Man was to follow God by the dictates of his God given conscience.

Man failed, and the world was filled w/ wickedness and Noah’s flood came.

3rd dispensation: human government.

Man was to establish human government according to the righteous standards of God. He was to scatter about on the earth.

Man failed, built the tower of Babel, and God judged that humanistic one world culture w/ confusion and dispersion.

4th dispensation: promise.

God said, I’m no longer going to deal with the world as a whole. I’m going to reach the world thru one nation, Israel. God made Abraham some promises. Man’s only responsibility was to stay in the Promised Land.

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Talk about it...

Bruce Martin

commented on Apr 20, 2009

Thanks for your work. For the most part I agree with you...for the rest of the parts please consider...“The Beauty of the Balance – Toward an Evangelical-Pentecostal Theology” written by Dr. Terry Tramel. The Beauty of the Balance seeks to find common ground between Evangelical and Pentecostal theology, as well as offering a better articulation of some of the controversial claims of Pentecostalism. The Beauty of the Balance contains these seven chapters: 1)Scripture –“An Eternal Word” 2) Son of God – “An Exalted Word” 3) Salvation – “An Evangelical Word” 4) Sanctification – “An Essential Word” 5) Spirit Baptism – “An Empowering Word” 6) Suffering – “An Encouraging Word” 7) Second Coming – “An Expectant Word”...if nothing else you can use the outline! God Bless You!!!

Karel Buntinx

commented on Apr 27, 2009

I think that, certainly as a christian, a child of God, one must say ans defend the things one believes. So if Jerry makes up a sermon, believes he''s led by the Spirit and doesn''t strike against the biblical principels... noone can oppose him here. If one has a different view, he can use the internet as well to spread his views (as they do), but starting a confrontation is not building up the good work for the Lord. I myself have been encouraged and helped a lot in my servicing the small church I may lead in Belgium and I''m gratefull for the insights and PP-help I can get from Jerry here. Blessings, K. Buntinx

D. E. Shotwell Sr.

commented on Jun 13, 2009

thanks for the sermon,don

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