Summary: Being a good steward means that we transfer ownership of our lives to God and then properly manage what He has entrusted to our care.
Stewardship – It’s All About Ownership
The book of Genesis tells us that in the garden before the fall, God gave Adam the responsibility of tending the earth. He was to fill it, subdue it and have dominion over it. Adam was going to be responsible to care for the earth, the birds, the fish and every other animal that lived on it. He was a steward of what belonged to God. You see, none of those things belonged to Adam. We can easily see the truth of that when it occurred so close to the Creation. God created, put man on His creation and told Him to tend to it, to manage it. It was God’s! But man was given the responsibility to manage it for the honor and glory of God – and what a great responsibility and privilege it was!
"Thou art worthy O Lord to receive glory and honor and power, for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Rev. 4:11
Why did God make Adam a manager or a steward of His wonderful creation? He desired for Adam to bring Him glory and honor and power, to please Him through faithfulness in fulfilling his job. The degree to which Adam would be a good steward of Creation was the degree to which God would receive pleasure.
God is sovereign over all of His creation, yet in His own infinite wisdom He has allowed you and me the awesome privilege and responsibility of being stewards over what He places in our care. "To whom much is given much is required." When we think on this subject of stewardship, I suspect that money often comes to mind, but I hope today to impress upon your minds this great truth – that stewardship is not just about money – it is instead a way of life, and it is good, because just as in the case of Adam, the degree to which we fulfill our responsibilities as stewards today is the degree to which God receives glory and honor and power from our lives. The better stewards we are with that which has been entrusted to us, the more pleasure God receives from our lives, and isn’t that what its all supposed to be about anyway?
That’s why the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:20,
"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s."
Every child of God has been bought with a price, the precious blood of Christ. As a matter of fact, every soul on earth, lost or saved, has been bought with that same price, but many reject the payment. You see, God demanded payment for sin, for all the sins of the whole world, but also for your sins, and without that payment every one of us would be condemned to hell. But God who is rich in mercy sent His only begotten Son to die on the cruel cross of Calvary to shed His blood and die so that our sin debt might be paid. It is when we come to God in repentance and faith and admit to Him that we recognize our complete inability to make that payment ourselves and that we want to receive Christ’s payment that we can be saved. If you’ve never come to the place in your life where you’ve recognized your need for Christ, you can do that right now.
"You are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." Every child of God has been bought with the same price. Jesus Christ bought us with His redeeming blood, and now we who once belonged to the god of this world belong to Him, so Paul says, "therefore, since you belong to Jesus, glorify Him in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s."
In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul began to deal with a problem they were having in the Corinthian church. Clicks had begun to form as some would say, "I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos…" Paul said that they weren’t of either. They were saved as the result of God’s working through those men. He went on to say that God was doing a work in them and had given them a life that was to produce fruit, like a farmer would work a plot of ground and expect to yield a crop. Now I want you to glance at some verses with me because they lay the foundation for what we’re about to read. Notice that in verses 11-15 God speaks about a day when all believers are going to be judged, that is, their works are going to be put to the fire and God is going to see whether what we did with the lives He has given us produced anything worthwhile. Then He begins in verse 16 the idea that we are temples of God that the Holy Spirit lives in. You see what His point is? We’re stewards! Managers!