Thursday, August 18, 2011
Recipients or Stewards?
(Romans 1:4-5) and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,
(Ephesians 3:1-2) For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you,
Paul understood himself to be a recipient of God’s grace, but note in both the passages above, he understood himself to be more than a recipient of God’s grace. In the first passage Paul notes that he received God’s grace in order to lead the Gentiles to the “obedience of faith.” And in the second passage Paul declares that he is a steward of God’s grace, given God’s saving mercies in order to pass them on to the Gentiles.
And this reminds us that God’s gifts only truly become ours as we purpose to give them away. We, like Paul, are not merely recipients of God’s grace, but stewards responsible to pass on the riches that God has entrusted to our oversight/administration. We are conduits, not repositories of Gospel riches.