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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Christianity

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(See JESUS CHRIST.) The law and Mosaic system, though distinct from the gospel, yet clearly contemplates the new dispensation as that for which itself was the preparation. The original promise to Abraham, "in thee ... and thy seed ... shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 12:3; Genesis 22:16), still awaited its fulfillment, and the law came in as the parenthesis between the promise of grace and its fulfillment in Christ the promised "seed." Romans 5:20; "the law entered (as a parenthesis, incidentally, Greek) that the offense might abound." Galatians 3:8-25; "the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith; but after that, faith is come we are no longer under a schoolmaster."

Jacob's prophecy contemplated the theocratic scepter passing from Judah, when Shiloh should come as the gatherer of the peoples to Himself (Genesis 49:10). Many psalms (as Psalm 2; Psalm 72; Psalm 22; Psalm 67) and all the prophets (compare Isaiah 2; Isaiah 53) look forward to the Messiah as about to introduce a new and worldwide dispensation. Nay, even Moses himself (Deuteronomy 18:15, etc.) announces the coming of another Lawgiver like him, about to promulgate God's new law; for to be like Moses He must be a lawgiver, and to be so He must have a new law, a fuller development of God's will, than Moses' law, its germ. Psalm 110 declared that His priesthood should be one "forever, after the order of Melchizeded" (the king of righteousness and king of peace), to which the Levitical priesthood did homage in the person of Abraham their ancestor, paying tithes to Melchizedek (compare Hebrew 6-7).

The law was the type; the gospel was the antitype (Hebrews 10:1-10). Christ came not to destroy it (i.e. its essence) but to fulfill (complete) it (Matthew 5:17). The letter gives place to the spirit which realizes the end of the letter (2 Corinthians 3:3-18). As also Jeremiah foretells (Jeremiah 31:31-34; compare Hebrews 8:4-13; Hebrews 10:15-18). If Christianity had not been of God, it could never have prevailed, without human might or learning, to supersede the system of the mightiest and most civilized nations (1 Corinthians 1-2). Its miracles, its fulfillment of all prophecy, and its complete adaptation to meet man's deep spiritual needs, pardon, peace, holiness, life, immortality for soul and body, are the only reasonable account to be given of its success.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Christianity'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/c/christianity.html. 1949.

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