The Christian as a Steward
“The Christian as a Steward:
Stewards of the Mysteries of God”
1 Cor. 4:1-2
Monterey Chapel – September 3, 2006
I would like to speak on the topic of the Christian as a steward
A steward is one of at least fifteen descriptions of the Christian in NT:
· Sons – we are all called “sons of God thru faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26) - more than just servants/friends we belong to household of God come as children to our Father who has sent forth His spirit into our hearts crying Abba, Father
· Heirs - not only are we sons but we are heirs – heirs of God joint heirs w/ Christ – we have an inheritance that has been reserved for us in heaven
· Soldiers - who should endure hardness not entangling ourselves in the affairs of this life so that we may please him who enlisted him as a soldier
· Athletes - should be disciplined/perform according to rules to receive prize
· Farmers - who labor diligently and patiently to enjoy fruits of our efforts
· Workmen - who should exercise skill/ability in handling word of God
· Vessels – that should be unto honor – clean/fit for Master’s use
· Servants - who should exercise prompt obedience to Master w/ right attitude
We are also ambassadors (representatives) for Christ, epistles (known and read of all men) branches connected to vine, salt, light, pilgrims, living stones in line w/ chief cornerstone, L Jesus
All have wonderful life lessons & personal applications for Christian
But the one that I would like to focus on in this meeting is that of a steward
A steward is a manager who has been given responsibility to watch over and protect the property of another
As a steward Christians have been given charge over the Lord’s resources and it is our responsibility to properly use these to His glory
Every Christian is a steward/manager of what God has entrusted to them
The NT identifies at least four/five different spheres of Christian stewardship:
These are: truths, our time, our talents, our treasures, and our testimony
The particular aspect of stewardship that I would like to concentrate on is the fct that we are called to be stewards of the Truth
Here called mysteries – truths that were unknown in past now clearly made known in the NT by those who study the Bible
Paul here is defending fact that he had been entrusted with truth and had the responsibility to guard it
There were those who had come into the local assembly had cast aspersions on his character and on his teaching and Paul was obligated to respond
And because he had been entrusted with it he was to be faithful to it
Later on from a prison in Rome he could say to the glory of God I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course and I have kept the faith
He was not speaking of keeping his own personal faith but faithfully watching over the truth of God and passing it along as he received it
1 Cor. 11 – I received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you
Every Christian has received gift of salvation and now has responsibility to manage the message and the ministry that God has entrusted to him
· To Guard or Protect the Truth
Presupposes the fact that we have grasped the truth – that we possess it
But once a person has had a genuine experience with the Lord, they now have a responsibility to guard the truth
1 Tim. 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust,
Even in the first century Christians were warned to be on guard against false teachers who would either creep in or be brought in
Jud. 1:3 Beloved,….I exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
2 Pe. 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, last days a two prong assault designed to corrupt or distort the Gospel message–done by false teachers/false prophets
2 Chron . 12 -- Shishak’s invasion of Jerusalem and taking the gold shields and King Rehoboam’s replacement with shields of brass
Ac. 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
But we also need to guard against false teaching but also personal lives
1 Ti. 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine;
Heb. 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
Paul was telling Timothy that there were many adversaries—energized by the devil – to dilute, corrupt, distort the truth of God
2 Kings 4 - dangers of feeding on the poisonous weeds of this world
It was necessary to faithfully keep/watch that which was committed to him
2 Tim 1:14 – that good thing keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us
· To Give or Proclaim the truth
We also have responsibility to give out truth to unbelievers:
It is a treasure -- treasure is a good description of Gospel/truth of Bible
2 Cor 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
1 Th. 2:3…But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, who trieth our hearts.
As those who have been given Great Commission we have a mandate to tell others about the Lord
1 Co 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
Eph. 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
1 Pe 3:15 But sanctify Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
2 Kings 7 – lepers - this is day of good tidings, let us go/tell king’s household
We also have responsibility to give out truth to believers:
Ø To believers who are walking w/ Lord
Lk. 12:42 Who then is that faithful/wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season
A good steward reads the word and shares it with others
Col. 4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Ac. 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
Ø To believers who are not walking with the Lord
Nathan to David – thou art the man!
Jas 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
Eph. 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
A brother laboring in regions beyond came across some native children bending down and playing what looked like a harmless game of marbles
Upon closer inspection, he found out they were – but with real diamonds!
They did not realize the valuable commodity they possessed in their hands
Christians need to realize the valuable commodity that is in their hands
We have been given a testimony from the Lord and promises from His word and now he expects us to do something with it
2 Co. 5:10 For we must all appear before judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether good/bad.
Ham Miphkad Gate – review and reward for battle heroics