Summary: Have you ever considered the fact that everything that God gives you as abilities, gifts and knowledge are opportunities for others sake? If your salvation were just for your benefit, then God would have taken you home the moment you were saved.
The grace of Stewardship.
Ephesians 3:1-12 07/31/05
This is our forth study in our series amazing grace. We have talked about saving grace. We used our text from Ephesians 2 verses 8 and 9, “For by grace are you saved through faith, not of works lest any man should boast.”
Last Sunday morning we talked about sustaining grace. We drew our text from 1st Peter 5:12. You see we are not only saved by grace but it is God’s grace that sustains us. When the storms come in life, God’s grace sustains us. Thank God for His saving grace and His sustaining grace.
This morning we want to talk about another grace that is amazing and that is stewardship grace. Did you know that stewardship is another grace of God? That is using what God allows you to have to be used to better serve Him. You do know that you don’t have anything that wasn’t given to you? A loving Father gave all that you have to you. Now He owns it all and allows us as believers to be stewards of what is His.
Now in way in introduction to this message, I believe it is helpful to know something of the setting here in our text because Paul makes rather an interesting statement in verse 1. Paul has been arrested and put in prison because of his stand that Jew and Gentile Christians are equal in the eyes of God. Now the Jewish adversary saw Paul’s teaching as radical and destructive to temple practices. So they had him arrested and put in prison. So Paul was placed in prison because of his stand for the Gentile believers and many were in Ephesus.
But an interesting statement in verse 1, Paul says I am a prisoner of Jesus Christ. He didn’t say I am a prisoner because of the Gentile or because of the Jews but a prisoner of Jesus Christ. You see Paul knew that his imprisonment was the will of God. How did he know that? A person can almost endure any what as long as they have a why. Now how could Paul endure the suffering that he went through for his stand for Jesus? Because he knew that nothing could come his way without first of all passing through nailed scared hands. He had a why for the what.
Now there are about three things I want you to see in our text this morning that talks about the grace of stewardship. Number one is THE PRESENTATION OF A MYSTERY.
When a letter had been written to a church by an apostle or leader as Peter, John and Paul, it would be read aloud in the congregation by one of the leaders of the church. Now Paul assumed as you read in verses 2 and 3 that the Ephesians knew about his calling to preach the good news to the Gentile and the church in Ephesus were Gentile. The administration of God’s grace means stewardship; trust that Paul had been given on their behalf.
Now Paul talks about a mystery that had been hid for some time but now revealed to him by the Lord Himself. The mystery that Paul is referring was hid until after the death and resurrection of Jesus and that is that Gentile can be a part of the church. And Paul had been given the stewardship of carrying the Gospel to a Gentile nation.
Paul was true to his calling from God to share the Gospel to a lost and dying world. You know we have Paul to thank primarily for bringing the gospel to Gentile nation? When Paul was preaching the gospel to people other than Jews, it was not the popular thing to do. He would be laughed at, mocked and often times called a fool. But you know what Paul had to say about that; if I am going to be a fool, let me be a fool for Jesus Christ. There is another type of fool in the Bible and it is the fool who says in his heart there is no God. Now when someone says there is no God does that make it no God? No, it does make him a fool.
Now I want you to notice something here and that is Paul said my ministry is for your sake. Have you ever considered the fact that everything that God gives you as abilities, gifts and knowledge are opportunities for others sake? If your salvation were just for your benefit, then God would have taken you home the moment you were saved. The reason God keeps us here is for the benefit of others. You are a steward of the gospel and what are you doing with it?
We see not only the presentation of the mystery but also THE PREACHING OF THE MYSTERY. Look at verse 8.