I like how the ESV renders verse 2 in this passage,
…you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you.
A steward of God’s grace. That’s what we are called to be. God hasn’t given us his grace simply to bathe in it for our own benefit. He has called us to be stewards of his grace as we deal with the people around us.
Of course, Paul’s stewardship was quite different from ours. The stewardship God gave him included starting multiple churches and writing scripture which teaches us all about God’s grace and the “mystery” of the gospel.
There are certainly people today that God has gifted with the ability to plant churches, but not everyone has that gift. And there are certainly no people today that can write scripture, although God has gifted some with the gift of teaching so that they can help illumine the scriptures to others.
But whether you have these kinds of gifts or not, each of us in our own way are to be stewards of God’s grace.
What do I mean? First of all, we should be sharing the gospel with other people. But also we should be reaching out to others, touching them with the love of God. When people see us who are the church, they should see stewards of that grace we have received.
That starts first of all with showing grace to each other. Paul says,
This mystery (that God has revealed and Paul now shares) is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (6)
When God first called Abraham, God promised that all nations would be blessed through him. (Genesis 12:3)
For years, it was unclear just how that would happen. Now, Paul says, the answer has been revealed. Through Christ and his death on the cross, all of us, Jew and non-Jew, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, male, female, or whatever, have together become God’s heirs. Together, we have become part of one body with Christ as our head. And together we share in the promises given to us through Jesus Christ.
Now through the church, Paul says that God’s intent is that,
the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. (10-11)
When all the angels and demons see the church, they start to see the many facets of God’s wisdom. In particular, they see the wonder of a plan that brings people of all races and genders together, loving each other because of the love God has showered upon them, fulfilling the purpose for which God created them, and reflecting his glory.
But not only should they see this, the world should too. And when it does, it can’t help but be astonished by God’s grace and be drawn to it.
That’s the way it should be, anyway. But is it? Too many times it’s not because we aren’t faithful stewards of his grace toward each other and to the world.
How about you? Are you a faithful steward of God’s grace? Is your church? When people see you, do they see God’s love and grace pouring out of you in your actions towards them and your brothers and sisters?
What kind of steward are you?