A New Dispensation
As we enter our study of Peter, it is important to point out that we are entering a new "era" or "dispensation" in the bible known as the Christian era or Christian dispensation. An era is a period of time characterized by a notable historical event that has occurred. Such eras include the pre-flood and post- flood eras where the great global flood of Noah’s time is the historical event that marks the period of time on earth before and after the flood. In our dispensation, the birth of our Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth is the single most significant event the world has ever known; God being born as a man and living among his creation. It was an event even more significant than the flood itself which destroyed the world’s sinful inhabitants at that time. It is more important because the birth of the Christ Child will bring everlasting life to all of mankind who believe in him. The words era and dispensation vary slightly in that dispensation is a more descriptive word to illustrate important aspects in the moments of God’s dealings with man.
Daniel Webster describes the word dispensation this way:
“That which is dispensed or bestowed; a system of principles and rites enjoined; as the Mosaic dispensation; the gospel dispensation; including, the former the Levitical law and rites; the latter the scheme of redemption by Christ.”
You know what? They talked funny in the Puritan Era so; a dispensation is a significant moment in time marked by a historical event in which a method or scheme of the unfolding of God’s love,mercy, and grace that God uses to carry out his will for the redemption of mankind. Synonyms for dispensation are; administration, stewardship, management and economy. There are three major dispensations throughout the bible. The Patriarchal, the Mosaic and the Christian dispensations. As a biblical excersize, see if you can determine times, places and events that mark the various dispensations in the bible. Examine also these bible passages that use these words for dispensation. 1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2,9; Col. 1:25; 1 Tim. 1:4