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Breaking with the Old

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Part 13: Living in the Dispensation of Grace

(Content of this section: Considering what the New Covenant religious lifestyle is to look like)


You should now have a clear picture of why the Christian Church has a religious lifestyle so radically different from the traditional Jewish religious lifestyle. You have seen that under the Old Covenant the people lived in the Dispensation of the Law and under the New Testament we live in the Dispensation of Grace. Under the Dispensation of the Law people lived the legally-impelled religious life while in the Dispensation of Grace people are called to the Spirit-filled life of faith.

What though does that look like? What does the New Covenant religious lifestyle look like? We get a straightforward guide for this in Jesus’ prophetic ministry to the Samaritan woman at the well.


First Jesus says to her,

"Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.”

John 4:21 - NKJV


Then He says,

“The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4:23-24 - NKJV


By the arrival of Christ the Lord and God the Father ordaining Him as Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, the worship at Jerusalem - with its temple as the appointed place and its ordinances regarding the appointed feasts and its regulations regarding the required sacrifices and offerings - is drawing to an end. What is to replace it? It is to be replaced by the true worshippers worshipping the Father in spirit and truth. Jesus told the Samaritan woman that those who worship God the Father, “must worship in spirit and truth.” This is what the New Covenant religious lifestyle looks like!

The apostle Paul expanded on this by saying that under the New Covenant God’s people are those who “worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” These are those who are the people of God living in the Dispensation of Grace. This is their New Covenant religious lifestyle. Phil.3:3 (NKJV)


Later in his letter to the Philippians, Paul lists some of the habits of the Dispensation of Grace people. They are Christian lifestyle habits needing to be integrated into our lives.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things.

Philippians 4:4-8 - NKJV


Paul provides us with a further list of habits of our faith in his letter to the Colossians,

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:12-17 - NKJV


We see, then, that in the epistles the apostles build up for us a well rounded and comprehensive picture of the way of living in the Dispensation of Grace!

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