Servant Hood/Stewards of the Mysteries

1 Corinthians 4:1-2

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

  • Servant hood

How many women, when they plan a meal and company is coming, ignore everything about that dinner engagement until the very last minute….They start at the beginning….They start where they are…They tear apart the food pantry or the cupboard where they have stored their food and use what they have….then they do all they can.

How many men plan  project, let us say building on to their house….they plan ahead….they start where they are….they use what they have….and they do all they can.

No one begins in the middle of a meal or in the middle of a project.  You start at the beginning.  God did the very same thing.

Genesis1:1 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

We all know the creation story and we know one of the first things God did was to make the heavens and the earth.  What would have happened if He had created man first?  No place to live, eat, sleep.  God is a God of order.

Our spiritual life must be ordered by Him and in Him.  Otherwise, we will have chaos in our life. 

  • Do you want your life to bring glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ?

Today is the very first day of the rest of your life.  You probably cannot do anything about most of the things that already have taken place in your life, but you can do something about Now.

Start where you are – use what you have – do all you can.

Mark 9:33-37 – Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?”  But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.  And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”  Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”

This passage deals with the subject “Who is the greatest?”  To be great, we must first be a servant – to all.

  • Stewards of the Mysteries – Administrators of the Gospel Truth of God

Colossians 2:2-3 – I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery! I’m telling you this because I don’t want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or “the Secret.”  (The Message)

Servant Hood/Stewards of the Mysteries – what does it all mean?  How do we understand this?  First we must know Jesus Christ personally, not just a name in a book, not just a name you hear occasionally as a swear word, not just a good man, not just the leader of one of the world’s religious beliefs.

1 Corinthians 2:14 – But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

To know Him, to have an ongoing minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day, seven days a week, 365 days a year….know Him as your Lord and Savior, your strength, your helper, your comforter, your healer, your provider.

To know Him, eat, work, sleep, dream, breath, be totally absorbed with Him in your life so ultimately nothing else matters.  To be so full of Him that we do not care about anything else but serving Him and doing what He wants.  To be that kind of follower of Jesus is to truly be His disciple.

Philippians 3:10 – that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.

To live this verse we have to totally surrender to Him 100%.  We cannot know Him like this verse says “in the power of His resurrection” unless we first have died to sin, have laid it all down.

When you say, “I can’t do this or I can’t do that,” referring to a habit or a character management issue like temper, patience, lack of control, whatever it might be, you make God and His Word a liar. 

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Start where you are – use what you have – do all you can.

You may fall flat on your face the first time you try to determine that you are going to be what God really wants you to be rather than being a false advertisement of what God says you can be.  Get your mind off “I can’t” and on “I can.”  Hold up your hands in front of you and do a ten-finger prayer.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  When temptation comes and you feel like you cannot…hold up your hands in front of you and say, “With God’s help, I can.”

As you have that close relationship with Him, be the servant of all you come in contact with.  You cannot be thinking about yourself if you are trying to help someone else.  To have this kind of relationship and be a servant – wow!  Live your life and wake up in the morning so full of His love and knowledge of His Word that you pray, “OK God, here I am.”

  • What is your will for me today? 
  • What do you want me to do? 
  • Where do you want me to go? 
  • What do you want me to speak?
  • Who do you want to put in my path?
  • How can I make a difference?
  • How can I stand between eternal punishment for sin and the sinner and point them to You?

All this cannot be done in a moment’ time.  There are the three rules to get to that point.

Start where you are – use what you have – do all you can.

Look again at our text – this time from The Amplified Bible

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 – So then, let us [apostles] be looked upon as ministering servants of Christ and stewards (trustees) of the mysteries (the secret purposes) of God.  Moreover, it is [essentially] required of stewards that a man should be found faithful [proving himself worthy of trust].

  • Faithfulness – this is where we should start. 

It is required in stewards to be faithful, not it is required of stewards to be faithful.  “Of stewards” would indicate something we do.  “In stewards” indicates something internal, inward, an ongoing developing influence of the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.

  • Faithfulness comes by way of a relationship with Christ
  • Faithfulness is not an attribute or character that is learned
  • Faithfulness is not something we put on in the morning like a garment
  • Faithfulness is a life style of one whose heart, mind, soul and body is fixed securely on Jesus Christ.

Start where you are – use what you have – do all you can.

A servant does what his master requires.  Is Christ your Master?  If Christ is truly your Master, your Lord, He has the power of life and death over you.  If He is truly your Master, you will do, go, say and be what He wants you to do, go say and be.

1 Corinthians 6:20 – For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Romans 6:16 – Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

We must do what God requires.  We are no longer a free entity.  We belong to Christ.  We are members of His body.  The parts of His body work like the parts of one’s natural body.  He is the head; we are the parts.  He controls our actions.  That is, if we truly are part of His body.

At the same time that we are servants and slaves of Him that redeemed us, we are “free from sin,” “free from the penalty of sin,” free from the final destiny that sin brings upon mankind.  We are free in Christ to live godly or ungodly – our choice.  But as we yield our bodies, lives, hearts, minds, our entire being to Him, we become His.  We become His servants, His slaves out of love, not compulsion.  Love.

When we become truly His servants, we will obey Him, be faithful to Him and serve Him.

James 4:7 – Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

1 Corinthians 13:11 – When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God

Hebrews 5:13-14; 6:1 – For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Start where you are – use what you have – do all you can.

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

The Power of God vs the Wisdom of Man

1 Corinthians 2:5

that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

  • What we do and say, the very way we conduct our lives, is many times based on the things about us, the things we have seen, the things we have heard, the things we have experienced – all man’s wisdom.
  • Our faith is simply based on the power of God, on the ability of God to move and act and touch our lives.
  • That faith, based in the power of God has its foundation, its cornerstone in the Lord Jesus Christ
  • The one who came to earth
  • The one who agonized in the garden
  • The one who died on the cross
  • The one who was laid in the tomb
  • The one who rose again the third day
  • The one who ascended on high
  • The one who is now making intercession on our behalf
  • The one who is coming again to take his children home to be with Him
  • Let’s look a moment at the scriptures to see what it says about our foundation.

Isaiah 28:16 – “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:  ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,  A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.’”

Ephesians 2:19-20 – “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

1 Peter 2:6-8 – “Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.’  Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.’  They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.”

Acts 4:8-12 – “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders of Israel:  If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’2 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’”

  • But after the foundation has been laid, after the cornerstone has been set, we build our lives based on the Word of God.  The Word of God, not the wisdom of man, the Word of God.
  • Remember the children of Israel.  Caleb and Joshua brought back a good report.  It was rejected and the children of Israel were doomed to wonder around in the wilderness for 40 more years before they went in and took the land God had promised them.
  • Whose report are you going to believe?
  • The doubters
  • The skeptics
  • The worry warts
  • The TV
  • The newspapers
  • Or the Word of God
  • Man’s wisdom – We moan, groan and complain and say within us and verbally, “I can’t get through this trial, this time of difficulty.”
  • God’s power – Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  • Man’s wisdom – “I’m sick, I hurt, and I’m not going to make it.  I’m in pain. 
  • God’s power – Isaiah 53:5 – “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
  • Man’s wisdom – I’m financially not going to be able to pay all my bills and obligations.
  • God’s power – Philippians 4:19 – “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
  • Man’s wisdom – looks at our family, the sin and degradation they are involved in and we say they are just hopeless.
  • God’s power – Isaiah 59:1 – “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.”
  • Man’s wisdom – looks at our country and says it’s going down the tubes.
  • God’s power – 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
  • Man’s wisdom – says I’m afraid.
  • God’s wisdom – 1 John 4:18 – “but perfect love casts out fear.”
  • If we have built on the sure foundation, Jesus Christ, we can be like Jairus who told Jesus, “Just say the word and my daughter will be healed.”

Don’t Doubt

Don’t pout

Shout it out

“I believe!”

  • If we really believe, if we truly have built on a sure foundation, Jesus Christ, we can agree boldly and triumphantly with 1 John 5:14 –  “This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
  • Where does your faith stand?
  • In the wisdom of man
  • In the power of God
  • My God is big enough to meet every need I have – every need you have.