The Book of Ephesians: God’s Steward.

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of 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,” (Ephesians 3:1-2)

Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “Paul begins a prayer that his Gentile readers will be filled with presence of Christ and be able to grasp the truth about their Redeemer’s love and power. Yet Paul’s mention of his special call to serve the Gentiles leads him to interrupt himself to explain the nature of his own ministry and insight into the union of Jew and Gentile in Christ.”

This extended parenthesis by Paul comprises Ephesians 3:2-13. Beginning today, we will examine each verse within this discourse. Today, we will study vs. 2.

What is a steward? If you have ever been on a river, or an ocean cruise, a steward is a person who looks after the passengers on the ship, aircraft, or train and brings them meals and anything else the paying passenger may need. A steward may also be an individual who is responsible for supplies of food to a college, club, or other institution.  

What the Apostle Paul had in mind when he used the word stewardship was similar and yet different. Stewardship (οἰκονομία; oikonomia) refers to the administration of a household (Luke 16:1-4), a task or job implying the need for administration (1Cor. 9:17), and also a plan involving a set of arrangements (1Tim. 1:4).

However, the stewardship to which the apostle referred to was that stewardship of God’s grace. God gave Paul the important responsibility to administrate the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15). Paul calls the Gospel “God’s grace.”

Dr. John MacArthur writes, “Stewardship” means an administration, or management. Paul did not choose the stewardship of his apostleship or ministry. God had sovereignly commissioned him with the calling, spiritual gifts, opportunities, knowledge, and authority to minister as the apostle to the Gentiles (see Acts 9:1–191 Tim. 1:12–13; cf. Rom. 15:15–161 Cor. 4:1; 9:16–17Gal. 2:9).”

To what, and to whom, has God called you to be a steward? Is your stewardship of God’s grace to your family, friends, and/or co-workers? If so, than pray that not only that God will use you as His steward, but that you and I will be faithful and responsible to this God given stewardship.

Soli deo Gloria! 

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