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Stewardship 82

STEWARDSHIP
Series: Stewardship
Lesson #3
We have looked at the tithe, and at the responsibility of stewardship to God. Now we look at
the steward himself.
I. The Steward.
1. The proper place to begin a study of stewardship is with the steward himself. We,
who are Christians, are not our own, we have been bought with a price (1Cor. 6:19-
20), and that price was the death of Christ on the cross.
1Cor. 6:19 What know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,
which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Cor. 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit,
which are Gods.
2. How glorious that we, who are slaves of Christ, have been made stewards in His
household.
3. We have been given charge of His goods and of His possessions. We shall look at
this man, this bondslave, as a steward of God.
II. The Steward And His Body.
1. First of all, if we belong to God, then our bodies belong to Him and are a part of our
stewardship privilege and responsibility.
2. Paul states it plainly for us when he says, The body is...for the Lord, and the Lord for
the body...Do you not know your bodies are members of Christ?...Do you not know
that your body is a temple (tabernacle or dwelling place), of the Holy Spirit (1Cor.
6:13,15,19).
3. Paul, in the letter to the Roman church, based on what he had said in the preceding
eleven chapters, exhorted the Roman Christians as follows:
Rom. 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies
a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
4. Since you belong to God, then your body belongs to God, and so He says to you:
Rom. 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield
yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as
instruments of righteousness unto God.
5. As stewards of God we have charge and control of this body. Where it goes and what
it does, we will decide. We are the stewards of this body. We shall answer to God as
to what we allow this body to become involved in and as to where we allow it to go.
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III. The Steward And His Personality.
1. The body is only one phase of ones personality.
2. By personality we mean to include such things as ones disposition, temperament,
talents and attitudes; these things we are stewards of.
3. When the Bible tells us to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and the
spirit (2Cor. 7:1), in a certain sense, God is telling us that we are stewards of these
things.
4. Since I am a steward of God, then my attitude and disposition as a whole gives
testimony of my relationship with God. So I must present everything in light of
Christ.
5. The founder of the Salvation Army, General Booth, prayed: Let me so live as to
make God famous. I believe that is what is meant in really being a steward of the
body and the personality.
IV. The Steward And His Time.
1. If we belong to God, then we are responsible unto Him for what we do with the time
that He gives us.
2. This has to be a frightening thing to look back on the time we have wasted in things
that have been totally unprofitable.
3. I know we feel that we have a right to enjoy this or that. Im not here to tell you all of
your rights, but I am here to tell you that God said for us to redeem the time, for these
are indeed evil days (Eph. 5:16). We indeed have little time to do what we are called
upon to do. We dare not waste it.
4. Our time is perhaps our most valuable commodity. How much time have we wasted
in watching useless things, not necessarily evil things, but things that have nothing to
do with the spiritual advancement of our own lives or those around. Weve wasted so
much time on the unprofitable, and as a steward we shall give an account to Him
whose time it is.
5. Although a steward cannot at all times be involved in specific Christian services, we
have to work, eat, sleep, etc., but we can, and must, avoid using our time for activities
that discredit the cause of Christ. We should guard against the waste of time.
6. When you come to the close of a day and look back, there are twenty-four hours that
have come and gone in your life that can never be recalled again. Do you realize that
this time, now gone, was a gift of God? To have wasted it is criminal.
You know I never feel so bad as when I realize how much time I have
actually wasted.
When I talk with young men starting out in the ministry, who feel the call
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of God, I plead with them to give themselves to prayer. Set a time to pray
and see that there is a good part of the day spent in prayer and the Word
of God. Let nothing rob you of time with God, because no matter what
you do with that time, it is going to pass. If you waste it you will look
back and weep. I can tell you, it can never be regained. The time you
have lost can never be made up for.
Talking to young people about their education, especially those just out of
high school, I ask the question: What are you going to do, are you going
to continue your education? I can tell you the four years or more are
going to go by whether you go to college or not. Remember, that at the
end of that four, or six years, whatever it takes for your education, if you
have accomplished that, then you have very valuably used that time as far
as your life here on earth is concerned. But, if you didnt use the time
wisely, it is wasted and is still gone, and if you are ever going to do
anything, then you will have to start all over.
7. {The same is true of our life with God.} If you waste time that could have been spent
in prayer and the Word of God, it has passed, and what you spent it on will have put
no value in your life whatsoever, and you will have lost forever an opportunity for
knowing God. You must guard your time!
8. Weve talked about the steward, his body, his personality, and his time. We come
now to the steward and his influence.
V. The Steward And His Influence.
1. This is an area of life that is somewhat intangible, but is of tremendous significance.
We are responsible unto God for our influence.
2. When you work on a job or go to school what do you peers think of you? In the
everyday course of life what kind of an influence are you? Do people want to be a
Christian because of what they see in you?
a. {We can live a consistent Christian life.}
3. {Every child of God is influencing others.}
a. Every child of God is influencing someone else, Christian or non-Christian,
more than anyone else who touches that particular life. If that doesnt make us
think soberly then nothing will. The unsaved, the saved, those we touch, there
is someone out there that you influence more than anyone else. How tragic if
our influence leads them away from God, but how glorious is the influence that
leads them to God or closer to God.
b. If their association with us has influenced and inspired them to turn to know
God in a greater, more profound way and they become born again, then surely
in our influence, we have been good stewards of God.
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VI. The Steward And The Gospel.
1. All other phases of stewardship find their completion and fulfillment in the
trusteeship of things spiritual.
2. The Gospel is committed to disciples of Christ, and His command is that we go and
teach all nations (Mat. 28:19).
a. Romans 10:13-15 shows that each one of us has his particular responsibility
concerning the Gospel being preached in all the world:
Rom. 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Rom. 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall
they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a
preacher?
Rom. 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it written, How beautiful are
the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good
things!
3. Whether or not you and I accept the responsibility, every one of us is charged with
the responsibility of going in all to the world and preaching the Gospel to every
creature. We are debtors to all men with the Gospel of Christ.
4. Some of us go and others have to send, but all of us are responsible for every creature
hearing the Gospel. We have been charged by God to carry the Gospel into the whole
world without excuse.
5. We have the personnel in the youth of the church, if only we would have laid it before
them and challenged them, to go and carry the Gospel, many of them would have
been called into ministry who otherwise have wasted their life in religious activity.
6. Those who were not called to go would certainly feel the call to send.
7. That Christian individually, or that church collectively, that does not have a mind for
missions does not have the mind of Christ and is out of sync with Christ Himself.
8. Since we have been charged to go into all the world, we have no alternative.
Jas. 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
9. You and I know that we are called of God to carry this Gospel into all the world. We
are accountable to God to see that every creature hears the Gospel wherever people
are. It does not matter whether they are in Mexico, South America, Russia, or
Georgia, we must go.
10. It does not matter about the economic condition, we are still charged by God to carry
the Gospel into all the world.
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11. We who know this Gospel must take it to other people. We are charged by God with
this responsibility.
12. I must give what I can. If God calls me, I must go where He leads me.
13. Every human being on earth has a right to hear the Gospel. I cannot make them
accept the Gospel, but I must carry the Gospel to them.
14. One way or another I must be involved in seeing that every human being will hear the
Gospel.
15. When this life is over we are going to meet God.
Heb. 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
16. When we pass through the door that the Bible calls death we will meet God, and in
that day we shall give an account of this stewardship and of this body.
a. Have we yielded these members to righteousness or unrighteousness?
b. We shall give an account for the stewardship of this personality and of our time.
17. To illustrate the proper use of time for God I will refer to the late Pastor Robert
Murray McCheyne.
a. Mr. McCheyne was born in 1813 and lived only thirty years till 1843. In only
seven and a half years as a minister of Christ he influenced and is still
influencing millions because he used time as it should have been used, seeking
God. He was a steward of his time.
b. After Mr. McCheyne died, a man visiting Mr. McCheynes church asked the
custodian how well he knew Mr. McCheyne. Mr. McCheyne was a personal
friend of mine, replied the custodian. The visitor then asked to know the secret
of McCheynes power.
c. The custodian said, follow me. He led the man back into the office where Mr.
McCheyne studied and prayed. He turned the chair around, and said to the
gentleman, kneel there. The man in obedience knelt. The custodian said, lift
your hands, and for the next four hours weep and beg God to make you a holy
man.
d. He was a steward of his time and of his influence. Mr. McCheynes life, one
hundred and fifty-one years later, is still a powerful force.
18. We are stewards of the Gospel. Some people will never hear unless they hear from
you.
19. The church that you pastor will be no more of a missionary than you are. The people
will have no more burden for the lost than you have.
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20. If you dont care whether they hear or not, the church you pastor wont care as well.
That is as simple as a man can put it. We are stewards.
VII. The Steward And His Material Possessions, Mirrors Everything.
As a pastor for a lot of years, I watched this very closely and I saw the
relationship between a mans giving and his God. I noticed that those
people who did not consistently bring the tithe and offering to the house of
God were very unstable souls. They would attempt to be spiritual by
imitating something of the spiritual. They were always wanting to have
the limelight, giving messages in tongues, giving forth prophecy and
trying to make up for what was not there, because they were poor
stewards of what God had given them.
1. Everything is mirrored here. If, like the rich young ruler, I am too covetous to give to
God, then I really dont know God.
2. If you are one of Gods sheep, you not only can hear, but you know His voice.
3. If pastors faithfully preach the Gospel, that man or woman who does not support the
Gospel, willfully sins against God and has never really been born again. If they hear
it preached, the Gospel of giving, then the true sheep will give.
4. If they dont hear, the pastor will answer to God. If they do hear, they are responsible
for what theyve learned.
5. That man, who after hearing, doesnt bring his tithes to God, is willfully rebellious to
God or else never knew God.
A pastor told me about an article in the Pentecostal Evangel that stated
that only 29% of all church members tithe. The pastor then made the
comment, Brother Clendennen, if all Christians would tithe, there would
be enough money for everything. My answer to him was, all Christians
tithe. That man who goes to church and hears the Gospel and does not
tithe, does not know God.
6. Since we belong to God, all we have belongs to Him. This means that if we are
thoroughly convinced that we are stewards, it will not be hard to persuade us of our
stewardship of our material possessions.
7. What an indictment against a people who claim to know God and yet God cannot be a
part of what they have materially.
8. The rich young ruler turned down Christs offer of eternal life because he loved his
wealth so much that he would not give it up.
9. {Man will die for his money covetousness.}
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VIII. God Is A God Of Law And Grace, But Basically, God Is A God Of Law.
1. I want to read again, Leviticus 27:30 and 32.
Lev. 27:30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree,
is the LORDS: it is holy unto the LORD.
Lev. 27:32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even whatsoever passeth under
the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
2. In Matthew 23:2 and 3, Jesus is speaking:
Mat. 23:2 Saying, the scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses seat:
3. He put them right where they belong.
Mat. 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do ye not
after their works: for they say, and do not.
4. God is a God of law. We see that in these scriptures very plainly: He is a God of
cosmic law. The planets move in orbit with precision (Gen. 1:14).
5. He is a God of natural law. The seasons without flaw produce everything after its
kind (Gen. 1:11).
6. He is a God of physical law (Ps. 103:3).
7. He is a God of social law. The Ten Commandments are the foundation stones of any
well-ordered society (Ex. 20:1-17).
8. He is a God of moral law. whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal.
6:7).
9. He is a God of redemptive law (Jn. 3:16).
Jn. 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
10. He is a God of stewardship law, The tithe is holy unto the LORD (Lev. 27:30).
IX. ...God Is Not The Author Of Confusion... (1Cor. 14:33). It Is Not To Be Supposed
That God Would Ordain Laws To Govern Every Phase Of Life And Then Leave To
Chance The Matter Of Gods Ownership And Mans Stewardship.
1. God owns everything, man merely possesses it.
2. In mans possession, God has given him a trust agreement to regulate the agreement
of that trust. The basic element in that agreement is the tithe, one-tenth of that which
he possesses.
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3. Beyond the tithe, man is responsible for the whole.
4. The nine-tenths proves mans love. The one-tenth tests mans legal obedience to God
(Mal. 3:8-10).
X. How About Jesus And The Tithe?
1. Some say the law of the tithe does not apply to the Christian, for we are not under
law, but under grace.
2. That is well and good, but to what law do they refer?
3. Paul asks, Do we then make void the law through faith (grace)? God forbid: Yea,
we establish the law (Rom. 3:31).
4. We must understand that the only law which ceased to operate under grace was that
body of regulations laid down by Moses concerning the rites and ceremonies of the
Levitical system which found their fulfillment in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
5. We have seen that the law of the tithe antedates that system.
6. Did the dispensation of grace destroy the law of gravity? Are idolatry, murder, theft,
and adultery any less sinful under grace?
7. One of the basic commandments expressly says, ...thou shalt not covet... (Ex.
20:17).
8. Jesus confirmed this law with, ...beware of covetousness... (Lk. 12:15).
XII. In Jesus Death And Resurrection, The Ceremonial Laws Were Fulfilled. We No
Longer Sacrifice Sheep And Goats.
1. The remainder of the law stands, including the tithe.
2. The Ante-Levitical people practiced it, Moses commanded it, and the prophets taught
it. Jesus did not destroy it (Mat. 5:17). Until heaven and earth pass, it stands.
Mat. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments (including the
tithe), and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:
but whosoever shall do and teach them (including the tithe), the same shall be called
great in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat. 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of
the scribes and Pharisees (who tithed meticulously), ye shall in no case enter into the
kingdom of heaven.
XIII. Jesus Never Stopped With The Surface Of The Law. He Went Deeper To Probe Its
Eternal Meaning.
1. He evaded the surface teaching concerning divorce to emphasize Gods basic law of
marriage (Mat. 19:4-6).
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2. He went beyond murder to warn of deep seated hate (Mat. 5:21-22).
3. From false swearing He urged unquestionable veracity (honesty or sincerity) (Mat.
5:33-37).
4. Applying this overall principle to the law of the tithe, are we to suppose that He
would say less here?
5. Instead, He repeatedly taught that we are to regard all of our possessions as a trust
from our heavenly Father, which are to be administered for Him, and for which we
will give an account.
6. One out of every six verses in the Gospels deals with stewardship.
XIV. Jesus Not Only Believed In Tithing, He Practiced It.
1. Whatever Jesus possessed you can be sure He gave a tithe of it through the temple or
synagogue.
2. God said that in all things Jesus pleased Him.
3. That means Jesus perfectly kept the law and never lowered the Old Testament
standards; He raised them.
4. His enemies criticized Him at every turn. The slightest deviation from their rules and
regulations brought forth a storm of protests.
5. The Pharisees tithed meticulously, yet not one note of criticism about tithing is
directed against Jesus.
6. Jesus tithed and is our example. The man and woman who know God will obey this
basic law of the stewardship with which we are charged.