Are we FAITHFUL STEWARDS of the MYSTERIES of GOD? "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." (1 Cor. 4:1-2)
In his third illustration of this letter, Apostle Paul portrays ministers of God as stewards in God’s household who are charged particularly with the task of feeding the household with the whole counsel of God. A steward is a servant who takes care of someone’s property, and is in full charge of the household, accountable only to the owner. Servants have no unique positions, but stewards do. A steward was a slave who administers all the affairs of his master’s household, though he himself owns nothing. If we recall, Joseph held such a position in the house of Potiphar (see Gen. 39:2–19).
A major requirement in stewards is to be found faithful in dispensing to the household exactly what had been entrusted to him. People value brilliance, wisdom, wealth, and success; but God is looking for those servants who will be faithful in their responsibilities. Similarly, ministers are to expound nothing more and nothing less than the whole counsel of God! As a personal testimony of his own faithfulness, Paul had the following to say about himself to the elders of the church in Ephesus where he had toiled for over two years: "For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God." (Acts 20:27)
Paul also clarifies that the ministers of Christ are the stewards of the mysteries of God, which refer to those truths of God that cannot be discovered by man but must be revealed by God. These are the previously hidden secrets, which have now been revealed by God to the New Testament apostles and prophets. So the responsibility of a minister is to serve as the custodian of God’s revealed truths. As stewards, believers also manage the message and ministry God has entrusted to them as well.
Now, the character of a faithful steward of God is that his ministry is centered in Christ revealing his total commitment. He must render account for the manner in which he carries out his master’s orders, and he should always be found faithful. We read in other accounts that both Moses and Jesus Christ were faithful in carrying out their responsibilities: "And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end." (Heb. 3:5-6)