1 Corinthians 4:1-5

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

Paul calls himself and his coworkers, “stewards of the mysteries of God.” What is that? In this sermon, we take a look at each word in the phrase to help us understand how it applies to our faith.

First, we look at the “mysteries of God.” We use “mystery” to mean various things:

  • Mystery Genre of novels or movies

  • Mystery as a puzzle to solve or a crime scene to understand

  • Mystery as something we can’t understand, like how the Trinity works

Mystery in Paul’s letters, however, tends to point to something different than how we use the word. In his day, Greeks and Romans had “mystery” religions, where the faithful held certain secrets from the outside world. You had to become a part of the group to know the secrets.

The gospel is such a mystery, known only through the Bible and only truly revealed to those who believe.

A steward is someone who manages the master’s or owner’s belongings. The steward can’t do whatever he wants with his master’s stuff. He can only do what his master wants. A steward of the mysteries of God can only do with those mysteries what God wants him to do.

This says a lot about how Pastors, as stewards of the mysteries of God, should act toward God’s people. Listen to the sermon to hear more.