What is Dispensationalism and what are the 7 dispensations of God in human history?
The New Testament Greek word for “dispensation” (Gr. oikonomia) comes from two words, “house” (oikos) “law” (nomos), and refers to the oversight, management, economy, administration over a house or others’ property.
The word oikonomia is translated “dispensation” or “stewardship” in a number of verses in the New Testament (Luke 16:2–4; 1 Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 3:2; Colossians 1:25).
There are two primary distinctives: 1) a consistently literal interpretation of Scripture, especially Bible prophecy, and 2) a view of the uniqueness of Israel as separate from the Church in God’s program.
Classical dispensationalism identifies 7 dispensations in God’s plan for humanity. The dispensations are not paths to salvation, but manners in which God relates to man. Each dispensation includes a recognizable pattern of how God worked with people living in the dispensation. That pattern is 1) a responsibility, 2) a failure, 3) a judgment, and 4) grace to move on.
This method may not be perfect, but it helps us to understand how God has progressively revealed Himself and His redemption plan to humanity.
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