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Faithlife
Faithlife

1 Cor 4_1-6

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Secular:

Faithful Christianity… it isn’t about relief that we got off the road to hell… and now we can sit in an easy-chair from now until eternity…

It isn’t about having someone stand here and make up rules… demand action… appeal to your sympathies…

It is about the family of God… those redeemed by the blood of Christ…

Compelled by the Love of Christ… to live as Christ… in this world to bring glory to God the Father…

Biblical: 1 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy. 3 But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. 4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. 5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God. 6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.

Personal:

This may be a memory you share… Do you remember as a kid… your mother or father asking you to go out and communicate a message to a brother or sister…

“Go tell your brother 15 minutes… to get washed and ready for dinner…”

I often send my children as messengers with these messages… Bethany can you go up the street and let Josh know he needs to be home by 5:00…

I also know that my children… and I before them… occasionally got distracted…

And never communicated the message…

The first things that happened was that my parents were angry with my brother for being late…

And then mad with me for failing to bear their message…

Bridge:

How important is it that we have been entrusted with the vital message of Christ… the Gospel

And we have been commissioned to share that message with the world around us…

Paul… … asks the tough question… are you compelled by the love of Christ…

Body:

Paul asks…

Are we servants of Christ?

Are we stewards of the mysteries of God?

Then be faithful to your calling!

Servants of Christ

Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ…

… deacon, attendant, child (boy, girl)

… huperetes

John 7:32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about Him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers (huperetes) to seize Him.

Acts 13:5 When they reached Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews; and they also had John as their helper (huperetes).

-          Etes… rower… huperetes… under rower

-          Corinth… knew shipping

-          Corinth… knew wealth and position

-          Corinth… knew who was the under-rower…

o       Paul says I am not in the position of power

o       Paul says I am not the captain of this ship (the church)

o       Paul says I am straining at the oars

o       Paul says with conviction… I am an under-rower for Christ

We wrestle with wanting to be little captains…

Not pulling on the oars…

We need to give up the captains hat…

… and allow Christ to be captain of our life!!

Entrusted with of the mysteries of God

Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

·         Entrusted with the secret things… the mysteries of God

·         Mysteries…

o       Agatha Christie…

§         10 people come to dinner

§         one dies… one is very suspicious

§         the next day… the very suspicious one dies… one is very suspicious

§         the next day…. So on and so on… till all have died…

§         And until the very end… we are held by the sense of intrigue… the sense of mystery

·         Deuteronomy 29:29 "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.”

·         Musterion…. Is  that which was hidden but has now been revealed by God

·         It is disclosure from the vary mind of God

·         And unlike Agatha Christie and her weaving and twisted mysteries…

·         God is not about confusion… it is about clarity… it is about his revelation

·         Apart from God his Word is foolishness… an unsolvable mystery

o       1 Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

·         It is why we pray…

o       Ephesians 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

·         Because of the Spirit of God that dwells within the believer’s heart… has opened the eyes of our heart… we know the message of hope… we know the power of God… we know Jesus Christ!!

·         We have been entrusted with this message…

·         We are stewards…

·         Imagine… going into the Scotiabank or Squamish Credit Union… or another financial institution…

o       You hand them your hard earned money…

o       And the clerk goes… Thanks…

o       I really needed this…

o       And you can see them imagining all the ways they could spend your money

·         They are stewards… they hold your money for your purposes… so you can write checks… use your debit card… earn interest…

·         The benefit is not for the clerk across the counter…

·         As stewards of the mysteries of God we have been entrusted with the revelation of God… the Gospel of Jesus Christ… not for our benefit but for the glory of God

·         As Stewards of the Mysteries… it is not ours to bury… hide or horde…

·         The Love of Christ compels us… to disseminate the mysteries (the ultimate offer of love and hope)

·         And we now that God blesses those who are faithful… we gain a benefit while acting as stewards

·         The mysteries are about Revelation…not Speculation

o       Revelation – is a foundation built on the mysteries of God

o       Speculation is sinking sand

Are we servants of Christ?

Are we stewards of the mysteries of God?

Then be faithful to your calling!

Faithful to the calling

·         V.2 In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy

·         Moving from being entrusted…

·         To being in minitry…

·         Not just a storehouse… but a stewards… one who proclaims… disseminate…

·         Driving from a solid foundation!!

·         3 But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself.

·         Be faithful even when…

o       Examined by you… the church…

§         Don’t let the business ministry… the bits and pieces take you away from genuine ministry

§         Gossip… nit-picking…

o       Examined by human court… the world…

§         Don’t let the world’s expectation distract you

§         Don’t let the world pressures… judgments distract you

o       Examined by myself… temptation to undermine self…

§         Don’t see our depravity as a hindrance

§         Don’t see inability of self as a hindrance

§         Don’t let perfectionism make you impotent!

o       One of Satan’s greatest weapons is the weapon of Mass Distraction

§         Takes away from being

·         Under-rowers

·         Steward of Mysteries

o       We forget the privilege because of pressure

§         How do we cope?

o       Discount the distractions of church ministry…

o       Discount the  secular pressures

o       Discount the personal pressures

Deal with what is real!!

Discount the unreal and invalid!

V 5. Paul…

I do factor in DIVINE PRESSURE!!

5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God.

I will give an account as an under-rower of Christ

I will give an account as Steward of the Mysteries of God

* And my desire above all else… is to glorify God… and hear his Words… “well done good and faithful servant”.

* What is your desire…

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