Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:1-2)
One of the most important things for anyone that ministers, no matter their role, is that they be faithful. As a matter of fact, the Apostle Paul states, in 1 Corinthians 4:2, that it is REQUIRED!
The word “steward” comes from the same word in Greek that is used for dispensation in the New testament. A steward is one who is an overseer, or manager of a household. He has responsibilities.
Of utmost importance is that the steward be faithful. Faithful in studying, or being equipped to minister in the capacity he is in, faithful in his relationships, and faithful in attendance in the assembly.
Lack of these areas of faithfulness does not hinder one’s position IN Christ. That is settled by belief in the Gospel of Salvation. Yet, what is hindered is a person’s credibility, and relationship with others, in the Body of Christ.
Imagine sitting under someone that is inconsistent in study, relationships, or in attendance. I often think of what people would think if I decided to show up every couple of weeks, or so. This is a stark reality.
If you are a teacher of the Word of God, you have a big old target on you. People (even without you knowing it) are watching you. This is not a bad thing. Why? Because you must remember that you are under the Headship of Christ, as well watchful eyes of God Himself. That’s why we minister as unto the Lord!
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. (Colossians 3:18-25)
People are keeping an eye out for stewards, and how they minister.
We have already pointed out that the steward must be faithful in these areas:
- Faithful in studying, or being equipped to minister in the capacity he is in
- Faithful in his relationships
- Faithful in attendance in the assembly.
But, in order for the steward to remain faithful in the things mentioned above, he must be faithful in these things, as well:
- His Motive
- His Message
- His Method
His motive must be a love for the Truth, and the desire to see people grow in that Truth. Sadly, the motivation of many is totally out of whack. A large salary, and a large congregation are often the prime motivation of some. Yet, there is a professing church that is starving for Truth. Even with so many Bibles in circulation we still have a “famine of hearing the Word of God.” Instead, people are hearing messages of grandiose dreams, and self help from the stages of “churches.”
In looking ahead to the dark, silent age – the 400 years between Malachi and Matthew, the Prophet Amos had this to say:
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: (Amos 8:11)
His message must be the message of Grace. The congregation should be Grace filled, and Grace thrilled. Yet, teaching should be doctrinally sound, and rightly divided! A steward is a steward of the Word of God. Sadly, many do not fully trust the very Words in Scripture, but lean to others understanding.
A modern rendering of Acts 17:11 would probably go something like this:
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Twitter post with all readiness of mind, and searched YouTube, and their favorite theologians daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11 Today’s Modern Version)
His method goes hand in hand with the message. The method must be a consistent, historical, literal rendering from the very pages of Scripture. Context, context, context! These are the three most important things to look for in a steward’s message. The method should also be a method of grace:
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (Colossians 4:5-6)
There is an old maxim, which stands true today, says:
If the plain sense of Scripture makes sense, seek no other sense.
Unfortunately, these things are lacking in Christendumb today! What is the solution to the lack? Being faithful in those things which pertain to the Lord.
In closing: the greatest motivator for us is this:
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:13-14)
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)