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2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you,

 

Verse two is a continuation of one sentence that began in verse one and continues to verse 13.

if [since] indeed

The words “if indeed” carry the idea of “surely.” The “if” does not imply doubt but presumes a fact. The Ephesians doubtlessly heard about the dispensation of grace.

you have heard of

The Ephesian church heard of the dispensation of grace.

the dispensation [stewardship]

The word “dispensation” carries the idea of a stewardship or the management of a household. It comes from two Greek words: house and to manage. A steward cares for the property of someone else. A steward is someone who has the oversight, administration, or management over something. The manager of the household was often a slave who took care of an estate. He often ran the businesses of the household, such as planting and harvesting (1 Co 4:1; 9:16-17).

It is important to note that a “dispensation” is not a period of time but a way of life. The way of life in Israel was to function under a national entity. The way of life in the dispensation of grace is that the church functions as an organism, a body.

of the grace of God

Believers today are living in a different dispensation than Old Testament believers. We live in “the dispensation [economy] of grace.” This is an entirely different economy than the dispensation of the law. Salvation by faith was the same in both economies, but the way God deals with believers is different. God dealt with Old Testament believers by the laws of a national entity; God deals with New Testament believers by the principle of grace.

which was given to me

God gave Paul the revelation of the dispensation of grace. He was to administer this economy as the lead spokesman.

Paul did not create his apostleship; God appointed him to that role (Ro 15:15-16; Ga 2:9; 1 Ti 1:12-13). God gave Paul, as the apostle to the Gentiles (Eph 3:8; Ga 2:7), the special revelation of the church age. He had the authority to announce the doctrine of the church and to be a representative of the church in his ministry.

for you,

God included the Gentiles in the dispensation of grace. Paul’s ministry was to these Gentiles who become Christians.

PRINCIPLE:

Every believer in the church operates under the stewardship of grace.

APPLICATION:

Every Christian is a steward representing God on earth. He or she is a theocratic king. A theocratic king represents God on earth as God’s vicar. Everything we possess belongs to God, and we are merely trustees of a stewardship:

1 Pe 4:10, As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

God puts us in ministry for the sake of others, not for our sake (2 Co 4:8-15).

 

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