In order to understand what the dispensation of the grace of God is, we need to see that in eternity past God purposed a plan. According to this plan, He created the universe with the heavens, the earth, and billions of items. He then created mankind as the center of the universe to be a vessel to contain God for God’s expression.
According to one teaching, a dispensation refers to an age. However, this understanding is not accurate. Another teaching is that a dispensation refers to the way God deals with people during a particular period of time. For example, in the dispensation of innocence God dealt with man in one way, and in the dispensation of conscience He dealt with man in another way. Likewise, God deals with people in different ways in the ages of human government, promise, law, grace, and the kingdom. This understanding of dispensation is not incorrect, but it falls short. A dispensation is the act or instance of dispensing. It refers to God’s dispensing of Himself into His chosen people.
The stewardship…involves a dispensation….For example, a mother dispenses food to her children every morning at breakfast….In such a dispensation a proper control is always exercised. If a child misbehaves, the mother may say, “If you don’t behave, there will be no breakfast for you.”…She controls them by means of a sweet dispensation, a dispensation that is also a kind of administration and intimate service. The heading up of all things in Christ does not take place by a governmental administration. On the contrary, it comes about by a sweet stewardship, by an intimate household arrangement, by a pleasant dispensation. It takes place through the dispensing of the abundant life supply of the Triune God into us. The apostle Paul calls this a “stewardship of the grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2).
God’s way to head us up is to work Himself as the factor of life into us that we may rise up and be attached to one another….Through this dispensation, the life factor is ministered to all the members of the church that they may rise up and be attached in the Body. This is the heading up in Christ. (Life-study of Ephesians, msgs. 9-10)