Summary: From the beginning of creation man was placed under God’s authority and given responsibility. That responsibility was to be a caretaker of the resources God had provided. Learn where the seeds of stewardship are planted.
Intro: Was stewardship made up by the early ministers of the church? Did they merely preach it to fill the coffers or offering plates? Is stewardship simply the way that pastors and other “ministers” multiply their earnings? Many of you know that is not the case. However there may be as much misunderstanding about stewardship as these questions portray. I have heard it said that some people don’t come to church because “they” the church or pastor are always asking for money.
Stewardship goes far beyond money. Money can be a very good indicator of stewardship but if all we worry about is our wallets then we have missed the main teaching of stewardship. Jesus did speak more about money than anything other than hell. Possibly Jesus’ greatest statement on stewardship is this “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12.34
Paul here in Colossians is refuting a false teaching in his time. He is dealing with those that say Jesus is not divine. In Paul’s teaching we find the spiritual seed of stewardship. It is from this seed that all the other growth of stewardship takes place.
Where did stewardship begin? Genesis 1.27-38 “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
28God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
From the beginning of creation man was placed under God’s authority and given responsibility. That responsibility was to be a caretaker of the resources God had provided.
For us today where does the spiritual seed of stewardship begin?
I. The Perfect Picture
Colossians 1.15a (read)
A) The exact representation of God
Paul is very directly and abruptly saying Jesus is God. Jesus is the clear and complete picture of the invisible God. We as human beings are made in the image of God. However, we are not the exact image of God. We have intellect, emotion, and will. We have rational personalities, well some of us do.
Jesus did not become the image of God when He was born of a virgin. Before Abraham was I am. He has always been the exact representation of the invisible God. When Jesus walked down the streets of Jerusalem he perfectly portrayed God’s justice, judgment, love, forgiveness, compassion, anger and hatred of sin.
The seed of stewardship is planted when we recognize Jesus for who He really is the preexistent God.
B) The exalted rank of Jesus
Colossians 1.15b (read)
Paul is deflating and defeating a false teaching that is taking place at the Colossian church. Arians of the 4th century and Jehovah’s Witnesses today use this verse to support the false teaching that Jesus is just another created being. The word in the Greek does not merely stand for first born in time. The term translated first born here means rank or position. Esau was born first physically but Jacob received the rights and rank of firstborn. David was eighth in order of time as a son of Jesse but God made him firstborn according to Psalm 89.87.