Scripture Reading: Eph. 1:9-10; 3:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:3-4; Eph. 3:19b; 1:4-5, 7, 11, 13b; 4:30; 1:19-23


God’s economy is His household administration to dispense Himself in Christ into His chosen people that He may have a house, a household, to express Himself, which household is the church, the Body of Christ (1 Tim. 3:15). The Greek word oikonomia is used in the book of Ephesians three times. In 1:10 and 3:9 it is translated as “economy,” whereas in 3:2 it is translated as “stewardship.” God’s economy is His arrangement, which is His plan or purpose, His household administration. Ephesians 3:2 speaks of the stewardship which was given to Paul. As God’s servant, Paul was a steward of God, and God gave him a ministry, a service, which is called the stewardship. On God’s side oikonomia refers to God’s arrangement, God’s plan, but on Paul’s side oikonomia refers to Paul’s stewardship, Paul’s ministry, Paul’s service. God’s plan, God’s arrangement, eventually became Paul’s ministry, Paul’s stewardship. In 1 Timothy 1:3-4 Paul told Timothy to charge certain ones not to teach differently but to teach the economy, the dispensation, of God. Here it means to teach the arrangement, the plan, of God.

Dispensation and dispensing refer to two different things. Dispensing means “giving,” “distributing,” or “imparting.” God has an economy, and His dispensing is for His economy. God fulfills His divine economy by His divine dispensing. The economy of God is the plan and arrangement out of God’s desire and purpose. The dispensing of God is the dispensing and distributing according to God’s plan and arrangement.

The Divine Economy in Creation

One of the items of God’s economy was His creation of the heavens and the earth. In His creation three categories of life were produced: plant life, animal life, and human life. These three lives beautify the earth. The trees of the garden were not only good for food but also pleasant to the sight (Gen. 2:9). Animal life adds to the beauty of the earth. But without human life the earth would lack meaning. Human life adds meaning to the entire earth. If man is without God, however, the universe becomes meaningless, because God is the meaning of human life. Without God’s life the universe is meaningless, without a goal, and without a purpose. God has an eternal purpose. While it is certainly true that the unbelievers do not know what God’s purpose is, it is also true that many who have been Christians for many years do not know what God’s eternal purpose is. They do not know why God created the heavens, the earth, or man. Furthermore, they do not know why God saved them. In order to know the purpose of God, we must get into the depths of the Bible.

(The Divine Dispensing for the Divine Economy, Chapter 1, Section 1)

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