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Volume 28 - Page 83 of 217 Index | Zoom | |
Great Plainness of Speech.
#3. The Difference between Doctrinal and Dispensational Truth.
pp. 21, 22
While we have insisted upon the fact that the Mystery is revealed for the first time in
the Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians by Paul when he was the Lord's prisoner, we
have also insisted upon the basic character of much that he taught in the Epistle to the
Romans. For instance, without the teaching of Rom. 5:-8:, the great superstructure of
Ephesians would stand upon no solid doctrinal foundation. But there is no contradiction
in thus setting Romans aside dispensationally and retaining it doctrinally. It is because
we believe that the pre-eminence of the Jew no longer obtains that we set Romans aside
so far as its dispensational teaching is concerned. But we re-instate it so far as its great
doctrine is concerned, for that doctrine of sin and death is as true for the Mystery as for
the New Covenant blessings. We do however insist upon distinguishing between
foundation and superstructure; between gospel and mystery; between that which is
permanent and that which is passing. Quoting from the introduction to the Booklet
entitled Roman Stones for the Ephesian Temple we read:
"The cause of truth is sometimes damaged by the excessive zeal of its supporters. We
believe most surely that the revelation of the Mystery in Eph. 3: and Col. 1: marks the
introduction of something as absolutely new as a `new creation'; but the very new
creation itself, which is yet to be, will have vital connections with those former things
that pertain to the work of redemption, even though other `former things' are to pass
It is for the sake of clearness, that we have used the term "Dispensational Truth", in
order to distinguish such truth from "Doctrinal Truth". An example will help. The
doctrinal truth of the inspiration of Holy Scripture belongs to all ages, callings and
dispensations. We find it asserted by Moses and the Prophets, by the Evangelists, by
Peter, and by Paul. But does the acceptance of that common doctrine nullify all the
distinctions that are to be found existing between the inspired writings of Moses,
Matthew, Peter and Paul? Most certainly not. The great basic doctrine of redemption by
blood is found in all parts of Scripture, but the fact that redemption is a fundamental
doctrine of the teachings of Paul, Peter and the Book of the Revelation does not in any
sense alter the fact that the calling, sphere and destiny of those teachings differ
essentially. If possible, still further to make clear these distinctions we seek to state as
simply as possible the essential difference between "Doctrine" and Dispensation".
By "Doctrinal Truth" we mean that fundamental teaching of the Scripture
which touches what is common to all men as sinners and to all believers as saints.
The doctrines of sin and death, of forgiveness, justification, sanctification and
future glory, entered by resurrection, belong exclusively to no one dispensation.
The teaching of Scripture concerning the Person and work of the Son of God
belongs to no one dispensation, but is as wide as the needs of the sons of Adam.