PHBC April 25, 1999

Series: First Peter, Ser. #70

REQUIREMENTS FOR STEWARDS


TEXT: 1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

INTRO: I spoke to you last Sunday from verse 10 on the subject of Being Good Stewards of the Manifold Grace of God. I did not quite finish that message so I have incorporated what I lacked into another message that I have called Requirements For Stewards. Both the texts I have read give us the lesson that there are some things that are required if we would be good stewards. I would call to your attention the fact that in I Peter 4:10 there is a command. It is the imperative mood. "As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another." Note that Peter does not say, "You ought to minister the same." Nor does he say, "Try to minister the same." No, in simple terms he says, "Do it." Minister the same.

In the text taken from Paulís first letter to the church in Corinth, he says that something is required in stewards. "It is required in stewards." According to Strong, the word, as used in this verse means, "to require, demand, to demand something from someone." According to Thayer the word means "to demand, to require something." W. E. Vine says the Greek word zhtew used here means "to require or demand."

God does not simply wish that we would be good stewards of that which he has given us. He does not simply suggest that we should be good stewards of what he has given us. He does not just want us to be good stewards of the many graces he has bestowed on us. He demands and requires that we do so and if we refuse, we are in direct violation of his revealed will and will surely have to pay the price for our rebellion.

I. GOOD STEWARDSHIP IS REQUIRED IN STEWARDS

A. God will bless those who are good stewards of that which he has given, whether it be spiritual or material gifts. Matthew 24:45-46 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

B. We are to exercise our stewardship according to how God has blessed us by his direct gifts and the exercise of stewardship by others. 1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

II. FAITHFUL STEWARDSHIP IS REQUIRED IN STEWARDS

A. This is obvious from our second text. 1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

1. God will call all of us into account for how we have handle all that he has given us. 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of manís judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

2. Let me point out again that this involves all that he has given us; not just a percentage of it, though in the case of giving he does specify a percentage as a starting point.

B. We must be faithful in the little things as well as the big. Luke 16:10-12 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another manís, who shall give you that which is your own?

C. We must give an account for all of it. Matthew 25:14-29 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lordís money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

1. Whatever else this passage and its context may teach, it teaches faithful stewardship of all that we receive from the Lord.

2. Whatever else this passage and its context may teach, it teaches that we will be called to account for our stewardship of what God has given us.

3. Let us be found faithful in our stewardship of our time, our talents and abilities, and our wealth, however little or much it may be.

III. PROPORTIONATE STEWARDSHIP IS REQUIRED IN STEWARDS

A. Proportionate stewardship was required in the helping of the poor saints in Jerusalem. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

B. Proportionate stewardship has always been a standard in Godís requirements in stewardship.

1. Before the law, Abraham gave a tithe of the spoils of war to Melchizedek. Genesis 14:18-20 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

2. Before the law, Jacob vowed to give a tenth of all that God would bless him with. Genesis 28:20-22 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 21 So that I come again to my fatherís house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be Godís house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

3. Under the law, tithes were required. Hebrews 7:4-5 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. 5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham.

4. Jesus lives and receives our tithes if we give them. Hebrews 7:8-10 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. 9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. 10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.

C. I detest a legalistic doctrine on giving as much as any one else; but I love the doctrine of grace-giving and encourage you to try it if you have not. 2 Corinthians 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.

1. Such giving proves the sincerity of our love. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.

2. Grace giving should be practiced in the light of what Christ has given for us. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

D. One of the beauties of proportionate giving is that it balances things out without overburdening anyone. 2 Corinthians 8:10-15 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. 11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. 12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. 13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: 14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: 15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.

CONC: In conclusion, let me assure you that I have not preached these two message to try to make merchandise of you or for my benefit. For myself, my only concern is that I be a good steward of the ministry which God has given me in being pastor of this church. Of that I must give an account as well as the other graces which God has bestowed upon me. Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

I have preached them because I care for you and want Godís best blessings for you. I have also preached this to you and urged and admonished you to be good stewards because one day you must also give an account of your stewardship.

God has a way of blessing what we give when we give back to him as we ought. One who has an income should give with the promise he cannot outgive God. Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Though we should not give with the idea of getting back, God has promised to bless when we do give. Malachi 3:7-11 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

When we do not practice good stewardship, God has a way of blowing upon what we do receive and bringing it to little or nothing. Haggai 1:5-11 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. 7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. 9 Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. 10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. 11 And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.

Let me close with another reading of our two texts. 1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

And please, may we all remember these words from Jesus. Luke 12:48 For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required. God will not make an exception for you. He will require an accounting of your stewardship of all that he has given you. How will you fare at the judgment seat of Christ? 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

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