It is our opinion that dispensational understanding is the logical conclusion that is reached when viewing the biblical data through the “lens” of the following specific principles or ideals:
1. That God would be glorified by properly understanding His love, grace and mercy; that we would recognize the greatness of God’s grace in Christ by honoring the distinctiveness of the Church of the Body of Christ.
2. That the Word of God would be “rightly-divided” or “correctly handled,” with all the biblical data harmonizing without contradictions. In this process, the distinction would be honestly made between that which is literal and that which is figurative, and no literal statement would be made figurative or allegorical in order to accommodate our theology.
3. That no “jot or tittle” of all that God has promised to any people at any time would go unfulfilled without a thorough accounting and understanding. If God is not faithful to literally keep His Word to the patriarchs of Israel, how can we have confidence that He will keep His Word to the Church?
4. That in every case where we face alternative biblical interpretations, we would always argue for the greater possibility for the believer’s blessing in Christ. That is, every grace, gift or ability bestowed on the believers in any age would be carefully preserved and defended, unless superseded by subsequent revelation. John 10:10 states a clear promise that Christ came to bring spiritual abundance to believers. Thus, any theological system that would forbid, ignore, diminish, obscure or discourage anything that God has given to the Church would have to be viewed as the work of the Thief (John 10:10a).
5. That Christians would “stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free” (Gal. 5:1), and not be held in bondage to rules, ordinances and understandings that were intended only for people living before the Day of Pentecost, when the Christian Church began. That is, the time marked by the giving of the spirit to all believers would be clearly distinguished from previous administrations more oriented toward outward ordinances, rituals and symbols in the realm of the five senses.
6. That Israel and the Church would be kept as distinct as the Bible warrants, in order to maintain the clarity of God’s promises to each. Blurring this distinction by asserting that the Church has appropriated promises that God has made to Israel results in confusion and disillusionment and produces contradictions in the biblical testimony. The promises to Israel that are still unfulfilled will be fulfilled in the future Millennial Reign of Christ.
Upholding these ideals will help us navigate through the challenging waters ahead as we endeavor to discern God’s purposes, plans and programs for the salvation, redemption and sanctification of all His people for all eternity. This is the domain of Dispensationalism.