Minute with the Word
Time With Him
The Church which is
What is God doing today? To answer this we could well say, “He is building
the Church, The Body of Christ!” Or, in other words, “God is saving lost
sinners who believe the gospel of grace and placing them into the Church,
the Body of Christ.” Or, to elaborate a little more we could say, “God is
giving eternal life to any one who believes that…
"Christ died for their sins, was buried, and arose again the third day
according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4),
…whereupon He places them into the one true church for this dispensation of
grace, the Church the Body of Christ."
"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or
Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into
one Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:13).
"Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (1 Corinthians
And he [Christ] is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the
preeminence" (Colossians 1:18)
Preaching Grace in the Dispensation of Grace
The grace message is really the message about what God is doing today. And,
it will really help us if we first take a look at the big picture of how the
Bible is laid out. Is God healing the sick and raising the dead as a
demonstration of the kingdom gospel to Israel (Matthew 10:5-8)? The answer
is “no,” God is not operating according to the kingdom program revealed in
the prophetic scriptures but according to a different program—a program that
was hidden until just the right time, until the chief of sinners was saved
and given the message of a dispensation (or administration), of Grace
"If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given me
toward you [gentiles]" (Ephesians 3:2)!
First Things First—Are You Saved?
There are two groups of people in the world and both are in need of the
grace of God—the grace message. The first group is those who are yet in
their sins, they are unsaved and lost and they need to hear the gospel of
the grace of God and believe its message to have eternal life—an eternal
relationship with God as part of His family. The second group is those who
are saved and they need to know how to love and serve God according to His
will and leading—according to His Word in light of the present dispensation
- What Would Jesus Do?
“And [God] hath raised us up together,
and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians
Perhaps a better question for our title would be: “What does the Lord Jesus
want to do through me?”
If you know Christ personally, as your savior, then you are presently seated
with Him in heaven; He is your life and you are in Him! Thus our Apostle’s
instructions to “seek those things that are above where Christ sits at the
right hand of God” (Colossians 3:2).
If you do not yet know Him as the one who died for your sins and was raised
the third day then now is the perfect day and time to turn to Him by
responding to His plea: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be
saved” (Acts 16:31). Just don’t make it harder than it is; turn to God and
tell Him right now that you believe Christ died for you, for all your sins,
and that you are trusting Him alone as your savior.
Jesus, the Lord, then becomes your life and your guide through His Word the
Bible; and He will always lead you to do the right (godly) thing! His
guidance will become more and more clear as you learn to “rightly divide the
Word of truth,” and that we are living in “the dispensation of the grace of
God” (2 Timothy 2:15, Ephesians 3:2).
does not mean that all your troubles will be gone and that life will be
nothing but happiness from now on but it does mean that you have
everlasting life and a savior to walk with you in and through every
difficulty to give you inner peace and joy no matter how bad things get
this side of glory. He will begin to show you what great things He can
and will do in you by His grace. You will then begin to think about
circumstances in light of the real question: “What does the Lord Jesus
want to do through me?”
loves you and Christ died for you: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and
you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
Foundation - Two Buildings
“According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise
masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation…” (1 Corinthians 3:10).
Whatever this foundation is, Paul says that he laid it! He then goes on to
say: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus
Christ (v. 11).
How very important it is to realize that Jesus Christ is the center of all
God’s good news to mankind; but, He can be preached according to two
different programs or dispensations! Christ can be preached according to
prophecy and thus He becomes the foundation of the kingdom program with its
building, the Kingdom Church. Or, Christ can be preached “…according to the
revelation of the mystery” (Romans 16:25), and thus He becomes that
foundation of the grace message (Ephesians 3:2) with its building, the
Church the Body of Christ.
Therefore, Paul’s “foundation—Jesus Christ,” is Jesus Christ preached
according to God’s revelation from glory after the setting aside of the
nation Israel, and is at the heart of the gospel of the grace of God (Acts
20:24). But please note that God’s former message about Christ for the
kingdom program is the heart of the “gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 4:23),
and this is not what God has authorized us to preach today!
Just as the kingdom message of Christ was committed to the 12 apostles by
Christ on earth, so the grace message of Christ was committed to Paul by
Christ in glory! That makes the most sense of anything related to Bible
understanding that you can know. This becomes the truth that makes the
‘whole truth’ about Bible interpretation; and thus makes the Bible—all of
it—profitable (2 Timothy 3:16). Do you see how this verse joins perfectly
with 2 Timothy 2:15? “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman
that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
That is why the Holy Spirit cautions us, “But let every man take heed how he
Today God is building the church the Body of Christ not the Kingdom Church;
and He is building the Body of Christ according to the plans that He gave to
us from glory through His apostle to the gentiles, Paul. Don’t you think
this warning is worth taking seriously?
So many seem totally ignorant of both the message of grace and its
importance to God. But the truth of this is very clear and only a step of
faith away, a step of your faith! As we seek to be laborer’s together with
God for the build up of the Body of Christ, may it be our joy to do it as
God has asked, so to bring a clear testimony of His glory rather than a
confusing mixture of kingdom and grace doctrines.
God loves you and Christ died for you: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and
you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the
grace of Christ unto another gospel” (Galatians 1:6).
Many who understand that we are living in the dispensation of the grace of
God (Ephesians 3:2), think that Paul is speaking about the believers in
Galatia preaching the Kingdom gospel (Matthew 4:23), instead of the gospel
of the grace of God which God gave for today (Acts 20:24).
But such is not the case as evidenced by Paul’s use of two different Greek
words for “another.” This first word, in verse 6, is heteros and means
another of a different kind (a perversion), and in verse 7 he says which is
not “another” (allos, another of the same kind, that is, legitimately from
God as in the kingdom gospel), and he goes on to tell us that what they had
fallen for was a perversion of the gospel of grace for today; which
proclaims salvation by grace through faith alone in the finished work of
Christ apart from the law; or, the gospel of Grace (Acts 20:24)!
Why would they (or we), mix law back in with grace? God proved that
salvation cannot be by both and said it is “not by works of righteousness
which we have done but by His mercy He saved us…” (Titus 3:5). “Therefore by
the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified for by the Law is the
knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:19). The former ‘law-works’ system was unable to
save and unable to sanctify because of our sin nature.
But now God declares: “And by him [Jesus Christ] all that believe are
justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law
of Moses” (Acts 13:39). Once saved, our relationship to the law is:
“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of
Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from
the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” (Romans 7:4).
Let us who know Him as Savior “be strong in the grace that is in Christ
Jesus…” both in the gospel we preach and in our daily walk; by His grace,
through His Spirit, for His glory!
Have you believed that “Christ died for your sins…and arose the third day?”
God loves you and Christ died for you… “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and
you will be saved…” (Acts 16:31).
the World Needs Now...
“But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man
appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to
his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the
Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior;
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the
hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-6).
What the World Needs Now…is love, God’s love! The above passage in Titus is
kind of the ‘John 3:16’ of Paul’s epistles. God’s Love is, and always has
been, what the world needs more than anything else.
It took the love of God to rescue fallen, sinful man from eternal judgment
upon us for our sins.
John 3:16 is a wonderful statement about the kingdom love of God for a world
of lost sinners and God’s desire to reach them through Christ and His
people, Israel. But mark well how they responded to such wonderful love;
“But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him…” (John
19:15). And crucify Him they did! Now we are living in the dispensation of
the grace of God and has the world changed in its response to the love of
Many people say: ‘why are there hunger and disease and suffering and death?”
They say these things deny a God of love. But do they? Or, are they the
evidence of something far different? Consider Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by
one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed
upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Further ponder Romans 8:22, “For we
know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until
now.” So it is not God’s fault it is the fault of man’s sin and the curse
God pronounced so that men would not turn to their surroundings or their own
ingenuity for help but rather they would turn to Him.
God provided for our greatest need; He provided the exact person and
substitute that we needed in the person of His own Son, The Lord Jesus
Christ. He died for us; in our stead; He took the judgment of God meant for
you and I upon himself; and He did it out of love for you and me.
Are you ready to stop doubting God and receive His gift of love and
God loves you and Christ died for you: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and
you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
Godliness: The object of the Grace of God.
“Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the
faith of God’s elect, and the [full-knowledge] of the truth which is after
godliness” (Titus 1:1).
Paul was the Apostle of the Grace of God—that message of the unique
dispensation of grace in which we live today. This entire message is
designed for the saved of God to have a full knowledge of the truths which
have as their direct object…our godliness!
Paul says in verse two that this starts with our hope or earnest expectation
of eternal life, which God promised (within the Godhead), before the world
began but in due time (after the fall of Israel), has made known to all
through “a proclamation committed to me by God’s command.” That
proclamation, which was kept secret, is the dispensation of the grace of God
with its good news of the gospel of the grace of God Acts 20:24)!
First a man hears the gospel of grace, “...that Christ died for our sins
according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again
the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).
He then “Believes on the Lord Jesus Christ and is saved” (Acts 16:31).
Then, the rest of God’s message revealed to us through Paul is designed to
give the believer everything he needs to understand the whole Bible and
“walk to please God” in this age of grace; everything! The object of the
grace message is our practical and spiritual godliness lived out by the
yielded and thankful believer as he “walks in the Spirit” for the glory of
Why not start today, my friend, to live for the one who died and rose for
you and gave you life eternal?
Don Webb, Day of Grace Fellowship, 19 West Main, Flora, IN
The mystery of Christ
praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to
speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:” (Colossians
many occurrences of the word mystery in the Bible it may seem hard to figure
out exactly what’s being referred to. But let’s start with the Greek word
which actually means “secret,” something heretofore not made known. Then
let’s take the context of Paul’s ministry: “the preaching of Jesus Christ
according to the revelation of the mystery…” (Romans 16:25).
let’s consider the pinnacle of God’s revelation from glory to man through
Paul: “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is
given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the
mystery;” (Ephesians 3:2,3). Finally, let’s let the context give us the
meaning. Here in Ephesians chapter 3 the mystery is the dispensation of the
grace of God.
should be clear to the thinking Christian by now that this mystery of Christ
is Christ “preached (according to the revelation of the mystery), in the
dispensation of the grace of God.
dispensation must not be thought of as merely a period of time but an
economy for that is the Greek word used. So, God kept this dispensation of
grace a secret till he had proven the entire world (including the nation
Israel), to be dead in sin and in need of His grace alone.
then is our message and prayer; that we would speak—make known—“the mystery
of Christ." Again, this is not mysterious things about Christ but the Gospel
of Grace, in the day of grace, concerning “the riches of His grace,” “…in
His kindness to us through Christ Jesus!
be pleased to honor our Heavenly Father and “make all men see what is [this]
fellowship of the mystery” (Ephesians 3:9).
can get us here; where can’t He take us?
be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all
spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
realize this is we, “…who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1)! Dead
in sins and condemned as ‘sinners’ under the law of Moses…virtually doomed;
but now “raised up together and seated together in the heavenlies in Christ
Jesus.” (Eph. 2:6). ‘Wow’ is even to mild a word!
through Christ can bring us here, where can’t He take us? We often doubt in
despair; we negatively review the situation; we pessimistically consider the
difficulties and we give up. We often turn from trusting Him and doing
things His way to our own methods or just stop believing things will go
‘right’ for us at all unless we do them our own way.
know that there is nothing we needed that God could not and did not provide;
and there is nothing we need now to serve Him that He can not do or provide
know we are not living in the Kingdom program for Israel we nonetheless are
not impotent nor helpless against circumstances or people around us; we
indeed are “more than conquers through Him that Loved us.” Today we turn to
Him who is “able to exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or think”
and we walk by faith, amen?
turned to the Lord Jesus Christ and believed, “…that Christ died for our
sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose
again the third day according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)?
this economy of grace we are given ‘peace with God’ and a God given purpose
in Christ so lets not act like birds with our feathers plucked out! Let’s
shake that distrust and negativism and act like the children of God that He
made us by faith alone in Christ alone.
that this will be a day of anticipating what God will do in and through you
for His glory.
What is Faith?
"Faith cometh by
hearing, and hearing by the Word of God"ť
Faith comes or, is
able to be expressed, by hearing the Word of God. How important to see that
faith is a response; an accepting response to the true hearing of the Bible.
This is not just a superficial hearing but a heartfelt consideration and
choice to believe what it says--personally; then to tell the Father that you
accept it as true. "it pleased God by the [seeming] foolishness of preaching
to save those who believe"
(1 Corinthians 1:23).
In this day of grace
(Ephesians 3:2), what God requires man to believe is that he is sinful and
lost and on the way to hell but "Christ died for our sins, according to the
scriptures, was buried, and arose again the third day according to the
scriptures"ť (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).
"By grace are ye
saved by faith" That is the testimony of God to you today. "And that
[salvation] is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest
any man should boast"ť (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
Do you see your need
of the Savior? Why not turn to Him today having heard and believing the
truth? "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved" (Acts
Don Webb, Day of
Grace Fellowship, 19 West Main, Flora, IN
A DIVIDED HEART
Scripture Reading: Hosea 10:2
is divided; now shall they be found faulty...." cf., Hebrews 8:8 "for finding fault with them, he saith, Behold,
the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the
house of Israel...."
What was Israel's
divided heart? It was that they were not true to God's Law but broke it in
idolatry! They went whoring after other Gods. They forsook the God of Israel
and were continually showing their breach of the Covenant of the Law. God in
His long-suffering allowed Israel again and again to manifest their failure
under that First Covenant because He was proving them to be in need of a
Savior, who would mediate a better Covenant.
Finally in Acts 7:53, the dispensation
of Law came to a dramatic close as Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit,
declared to Israel "who have received the Law by the disposition of angels,
and have not kept it!" Thus it is here, dispensationally speaking, "...that
where sin abounded [under the Law] GRACE superabounded" (Romans 5:20). Yes,
indeed, God found fault with them in their divided heart, but that just
showed them to be sinners like all the rest of us!
God has effectively shown all
(Jew and Greek) under sin that He might have mercy upon all (Romans
11:32). What is this mercy? "Christ died for our sins ... was buried ...and
rose again the third day..." (I Corinthians 15:3, 4). "Christ hath redeemed
us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us..." (Galatians
3:13). "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified [declared righteous]
by faith apart from the deeds of the Law" (Romans 3:28). "Believe on the
Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..." (Acts 16:31).
DONALD A. WEBB
(From Amazing Grace,
Next time (the Lord willing) we will
talk about a divided heart as it relates to our personal walk.