Our Stewardship of God’s Grace

Our Stewardship of God’s Grace

Eph. 3:1-5




1.  In this passage Paul refers to the special responsibility give him by God to make know to the Gentiles the revelation of Christ.  He describes it as a “stewardship.”

2.  The word is from the Greek “oikonomos” and denotes the one who manages the household or an estate.

3.  Paul uses it more than once to refer to preachers of the gospel and teachers of the word of God (cf. 1 Cor. 4:1).

4.  Elders or overseers in the Lord’s church are described as “God’s stewards” (Titus 1:7).

5.  All believers are stewards, for 1 Pet. 4:10 says, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”  Verse 11 says, “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies.”  Speaking and serving as empowered by God is a stewardship.

6.  What gifts has God given you to manage in His service?  How well are you doing in your stewardship?




I.  God gives each one gifts of grace to be used in His service (1 Pet. 4:10).


    A.  That our God is a God of grace is evident everywhere in Scripture, but nowhere 

          quite as evident as the cross.

          1.  Rain and fruitful seasons are evidence of God’s grace (Acts 14:17).

          2.  But in the cross we have the preeminent evidence of God’s grace (Rom. 5:8-

               10).  God paid the penalty of death for our sin in the sacrifice of Himself.  

               Thus, Eph. 2:8 says, “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that 

               not of yourselves it is the gift of God.”

          3.  God’s grace involves giving us what we do not deserve.

    B.  But it goes further.  He gives us gifts to be used in the accomplishment of His 

          work.  If we do not recognize our gifts, we are ill prepared to be good stewards.

    C.  What are some of the gifts that God has given His people?  Some are 

          specifically identified in Scripture.

          1.  The work of apostleship is a stewardship (Eph. 3:2; 1 Cor. 9:17; Col. 1:25).  

               But none of us has been given that gift.

           2.  Lists of gifts given in Scripture.  Some miraculous; some not.

                a.  Rom. 12:4-8.

                b.  1 Cor. 12:4-11.

                c.  1 Cor. 12:27-31.

                d.  Eph. 4:7, 11-16.


II.  From the instruction surrounding these lists of gifts we learn something about their purpose and how they are to be used.


    A.  From Rom. 12:4-8 we learn that the gifts are to be used enthusiastically, 

         diligently, deliberately and cheerfully.

    B.  From Rom. 12 and 1 Cor. 12 we learn that not everyone has the same gift and 

         that each one is to be used in an overall scheme “for the common good” (1 Cor. 


          1.  Two students graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law.  The 

               highest-ranking student was a blind man named Overton.  When Mr. Overton 

               was honored as the highest-ranking student he insisted that half the honor 

               belonged to his friend Mr. Kaspryzak.  Mr. Kaspryzak was armless.  They had 

               met one another in school when the armless Kaspryzak guided the blind 

               Overton down a flight of stairs.  Their acquaintance ripened into a friendship 

               and an interdependence.  The blind man carried the books which the armless 

               man read aloud in their common study.  Each had deficiencies, but each had 

               a gift that compensated for the others deficiency.  After graduation they 

               planned to practice law together (Gary Ingrid, Life In His Body).

          2.  God has gifted us each differently.  Our tendency is to look at our

               deficiencies and allow them to eclipse our gifts.

          3.  But together we form a team.  IF we each use what we have.

          4.  We are deficient to whatever degree youwithhold your contribution.

     C.  From Eph. 4:12 the purpose of gifts is identified:  “For the equipping of the 

           saints for the work of service.”

     D.  Spiritual gifts are to edify (1 Cor. 14:3-5, 12).

     E.  These gifts are not to be used for self-exaltation.  They are not to be used to 

          create a following (1 Cor. 3:1-5).  They are not to be neglected (1 Tim. 4:14).  

          They are to be used to accomplish the Lord’s work, because they are gifts of 

          stewardship.  Gifts are not to be used selfishly, but in recognition of the 

          objective of the gift giver.  God’s gifts will be used selflessly when we are 

          transformed by gratitude for the greatest gift of all (2 Cor. 8:9).


III.  Other areas for consideration . . .


      A.  James acknowledges that every good thing givenand every perfect gift comes 

            from the Father of lights (1:17).  The implication?  Everything that God gives we 

            should regard as something to be used in His kingdom.

            1.  If God gives you a house, use it in His work.

            2.  If God gives you a car, use it in His work.

            3.  If God gives you children, use them in His work.

     B.  We are financial stewards (Eph. 2:8; 2 Cor. 8:7; 9:8).  Cf. also Acts 2:44; 3:32ff.

     C.  We are stewards of our words (Eph. 4:29).

     D.  We are stewards of our relationships (Eph. 4:31ff).

     E.  Every area in which God has blessed us involves us in a stewardship of those 



IV.  It is required of stewards that they be faithful in the execution of their stewardship (Lk. 16:1; 1 Cor. 4:2).


     A.  “Kindle afresh the gift of God in you” (2 Tim. 1:6).

     B.  Employ your gifts in serving one another (1 Pet. 4:10).




1.  A black woman was raised in poverty.  When she was raising her family they had very little.  She had no modern conveniences, until her children were old enough to get jobs.  They bought their mother a variety of appliances and gave them as gifts.

2.  She had three toasters, all left in their original boxes and kept on top of the refrigerator.  At breakfast she would do the toast in the oven.  The boys would say, “Use one of those toasters.”  “Leave them on the frig,” she would say.  “I’m used to doing it the old way” (Detroit News via Daily Bread, Mar. 4, 1990).

3.  Folks you can have all the gifts that God has to give and not be any better off unless you use them.  So, take advantage of what God has given you and use them in His work.

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