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Ephesians 3:2: Steward of God's Grace

Ephesians 3:2
[2] assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you,

Do you know that you have been given gifts to use for God?  Paul has already established in Chapter 1 of Ephesians that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.  The question is, "What are you doing with what you have?"  Everything that God gives to us requires us to be stewards. So, how do we define stewardship?

Dr. John MacArthur says:

“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.”

God chose Paul to be the steward of God’s grace. He chose to use him to declare this unity of Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female. This unity between God and man that was without the dependence on human effort to keep God’s Law. At first glance, we may not find this truth to be particularly important. But to those who know a little bit about Paul’s history it is actually an astonishing thing that God would use Paul to be a steward of God’s grace.

Acts 7:54 - Acts 8:3
[54] Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. [55] But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. [56] And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” [57] But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. [58] Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. [59] And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” [60] And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

[1] And Saul approved of his execution.  And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. [2] Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. [3] But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.

Saul, who would later be named Paul after a dramatic salvation encounter with Jesus, is near to the action of the first killing of a Christian. He not only approved of the hostility between Jews and Christians, he promoted it, and sought to put Christians to death. He was a Pharisee. Full of self-righteousness. Paul knew the difference between a life of hostility and a life of peace. I wonder if Paul ever forgot the look on Stephen’s face as the rocks bludgeoned that poor young man to death. I wonder if he was haunted by the sound of his own voice laughing and cheering as the angry mob put Stephen to death.

God grace is so amazing, so divine, so beyond our comprehension. That he could take a man like Saul, a murderer of Christians, and make him into a steward of the gospel of grace, what do you think he has in store for you?

God made Paul to be a steward of God’s grace. You may not have been given the same level of revelation that Paul had received, but you are a steward of what you have received. What are you doing with what you have?


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