Let us be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God

Paul wrote: “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:1, 2).

What is a steward?

A steward is someone who has been entrusted with the possessions or affairs of someone else with the understanding that he is to care for them and manage them responsibly.

A steward must be trustworthy.

Every position of responsibility involves stewardship.

How would you feel if someone gave you a briefcase containing diamonds worth thousands of dollars, and asked you to walk through the streets of a large city and deliver them to another address?

Brother Gus Amssoms went to be with the Lord many years ago. When he retired, after working for 45 years as a laborer in Antwerp, he had not missed a single day of work because of illness. He was a trustworthy man.

Antwerp, Belgium is the diamond-cutting capital of the world. About 2000 gem-related offices are located in a one-square-mile area near the central train station.

After Gus retired, he was given a part-time job as a diamond courier. If you had been a tourist in Antwerp, you might have seen an elderly workman with a gentle smile walking through the narrow streets of Antwerp carrying an old, worn-out briefcase. You would have never dreamed that his briefcase contained diamonds worth thousands of dollars. He did not have a gun or a bulletproof vest or an armored vehicle. He had something that the diamond merchants considered much safer and more secure. He had a gentle, innocent appearance and he was a completely dependable man.

As Christians, we must be faithful stewards of something much more valuable than a briefcase full of diamonds: the mysteries of God.

What are the mysteries of God?

The mysteries of God are truths known only by revelation: “According to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith” (Romans 16:25, 26).

The wonders and intricacies of life, prove the existence of a Creator. But only through the Bible can we know who this Creator is and what our relationship with Him can be through His Son Jesus Christ.

A steward is answerable to his master.

Preachers and elders must remember that they, as stewards, are answerable to God not to man. Paul wrote: “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness - God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others” (1 Thessalonians 2:4-6).

Unfaithful stewards will be punished by God.

The Lord was angry with the unfaithful prophets under the old covenant: “‘I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, “I have dreamed, I have dreamed!” How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal. The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?’ says the Lord. ‘Is not My word like a fire?’ says the Lord, ‘And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,’ says the Lord, ‘who steal My words every one from his neighbor. Behold, I am against the prophets,’ says the Lord, ‘who use their tongues and say, “He says.” Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,’ says the Lord, ‘and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,’ says the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:25-32).

In our time as well, many falsely claim to be prophets, leading people astray by the lies they speak in the name of the Lord.

As stewards, we must speak God’s word faithfully.

All Christians must be good stewards of the grace of God. “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do so as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:10, 11).

This great responsibility rests doubly on elders, teachers and preachers because of their leadership position.

A bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God” (Titus 1:7). An elder must hold “fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1:9).

Peter wrote: “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:1-3). Elders are stewards of God, His flock has been entrusted to their care.

Paul was entrusted with the gospel because God considered him faithful: “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (1 Timothy 1:12).

Paul mentions the faithfulness of several men with whom he worked. He calls Epaphras “our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf” (Colossians 1:7). He refers to Tychicus as “a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord” and to Onesimus as “a faithful and beloved brother” (Colossians 4:7-9). Peter refers to Silvanus as “our faithful brother” (1 Peter 5:12). Let us follow their example, and be faithful servants of Christ.

This solemn command, given by Paul to Timothy, echoes through the ages: “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:1-5).

The message must be faithfully passed on to following generations of teachers.

As faithful stewards of the mysteries of God we must pass the message on. Paul told Timothy: “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:1, 2).

What have we learned?

1. As stewards, we have been entrusted with the mysteries of God, the good news of salvation by grace through the sacrifice of Christ.
2. We are answerable to God and must speak His word faithfully, striving to please God rather than men.
3. God will punish unfaithful stewards.
4. We must faithfully pass on the mysteries of God to the next generation of faithful stewards.

Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes” (Luke 12:42, 43). Amen.

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive