What is the Church Age? Where does the Church Age fit in biblical history?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
An "age" is an historical period of time or an era. Some historians divide human history into many epochs and name them according to their defining characteristics: Middle Ages, Modern Age, Postmod...

July 01 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Profile pic Mark Vestal Proud of nothing of myself. Freed by Christ who did it all!
The 'church age' is a reference to the time in which the church, the body of Christ, is being filled with believers that Paul was made to be the leader of, or 'chief':

1 Tim 1:15-16
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting."

Notice above how Paul states that it was in him "first" that Christ gave to be the "pattern" for them which should "hereafter" believe. Paul is the 'first' and the 'pattern' for all believers who will come 'after' his ministry, for the purpose of forming the church, the body of Christ. 

Rom 11:25
"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."

This age is more accurately described as being the 'dispensation of the grace of God':

Eph 3:2
"If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:"

This period of time, or administration of God, was kept hidden from all until revealed only to and through the apostle Paul for us today:

Eph 3:3-6
"How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:"

Paul's ministry of God's reconciliation to humanity through the shed blood of Jesus Christ is our gospel (good news) of salvation. We today have the opportunity to accept God's free unmerited gift of salvation through having faith in Jesus Christ and the work that He completed for us on the cross. This is the significance of the 'mystery'. During this age of the outpouring of God's grace, we are not required to go through Israel as a nation to find our individual salvation (having a personal savior in Jesus Christ). 

Salvation through Israel's nation of priests will still occur as it was (and still is) God's promise to them. They will deliver THEIR good news to all parts of the world during Christ's millennial reign on earth. This is when God will have established His 'new covenant' (Heb 8:8), and will begin after the current body of believers, 'the church', will have been removed (when the last believer believes in this 'age'). This is the 'catching away' event, or often deemed 'rapture' (1 Thes 4:17).

Peter's church of remnant believing Jews at Pentecost (the 'little flock') was not yet made aware of the church, the body of Christ, that Paul would later be given to lead for everyone else. It is in Paul's gospel of God's grace that we learn of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross. We learn that we are redeemed through Christ's blood and that His resurrection was for our justification. We learn of our salvation by having faith (belief) in this (1 Cor 15:1-4). These 'mystery' or secret truths were not revealed until given to Paul from Christ ascended in glory from heaven for all who would believe then and all who will simply believe today (Rom 4:5).

Both groups (Israel and the church) are ‘in Christ’, where Israel awaits her promised earthly ‘kingdom OF heaven’ (Acts 1:6), and where the church, the body of Christ awaits all spiritual blessings IN heaven (Eph 1:3). 

Eph 1:10
“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”

August 16 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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