Stewardship of the Truth

November 18, 2006 Luke 16:1-12

Introduction:
1.  For the next two weeks, we’re going wrap up our study of STEWARDSHIP
- While we haven’t been studying that topic in ABFs, we have spent the last 4 weeks in our worship service on that idea
- . . . and it’s a very important idea and a major emphasis in the Scripture
2.  We’re going to do this for several reasons:
1) This is a very important subject in the NT – Jesus referred to it, and the epistles address it
2) Many are new to our church family and stewardship is a new concept to them – we want our entire church family to be ‘on the same page’ and be thinking the same way
3) This subject/teaching has been an important part of the development of the ministry of FBC – we’ve done a lot of what we’ve done in an effort to be good stewards of what God has given to us
Example:  That’s what the counseling ministry is all about – passing the training on to others so they can others – that’s stewardship of what God has taught us
Example:  Building a Community Center – is in part, a stewardship issue: Stewardship of our Property or our Resources (dollars, people, and land)
[READ Luke 16:1-12:
- Let’s first of all . . .
1.  Definition of Stewardship
Stewardship = God-given responsibility with accountability!
- We have to recognize that even from the point of creation, and before the curse of sin, God delegated responsibilities to Adam and expected him to follow through with those:
Input: What were those?
• Genesis 1:28 God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
- Adam had to name the animals and was responsible to keep the garden (work)
- Secondly, we need to ask what exactly is a steward?
2.  What Is a Steward?
- here is a good answer to the question: What is a Steward?
“In Bible times, because of limited means of travel, householders (men who owned large farms or livestock) would often be gone from their land for long periods of time.  In their absence, they would appoint one of their servants to manage the business.  This person was responsible for his master’s household and was to consistently manage it just as the householder would if he were there.  This important position was described as a steward. As Christians, God has called us stewards.  We do not choose to become stewards, we are stewards!  The question is, “What kind of steward are you?”
- Let’s review the Four Factors of Stewardship
3.  There Are Four Important Factors in Stewardship – Input: Can you name each of them?
Factor #1:  God Owns Everything, and I Own Nothing.
- Paul clearly states this:
• 1 Corinthians 4:7 For who regards you as superior? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
Point:  All that we have comes from God – He is the Creator, so He has a right to say how everything we have gets used – it comes from Him in the first place!
Factor #2:  God Entrusts Me with Everything I Have.
- The master mentioned in Luke 16 entrusted his possessions to the steward. 
- The text doesn’t say that the master gave his possessions to the steward for the steward to keep for himself. 
>  The master expected the steward to guard and keep them secure for a specified time.  Just like the master in this parable, God entrusts His possessions to us to use.
Factor #3:  I Am Responsible to Increase What God Has Given to Me. I May Increase It or Diminish It.
-  Like the steward in Luke 16, you can chose to diminish what God has entrusted to you . . .
-  but He didn’t give it to you to squander, or to diminish, . . . but to USE IT, to INCREASE it, to as some would say, to “ADVANCE THE BALL” spiritually
- what has been entrusted to us is a RESOURCE whereby we can bring God more glory in the way we use and what we accomplish as a result of using it!
-  The point Jesus made in this passage was that a good steward would use his gifts and possessions for future spiritual benefit. 
Factor #4:  God Can Call Me into Account at Any Time.
-  While we don’t know exactly when it’s coming, we are promised that our day of accountability is coming (not for our sins – those were paid for at the cross; but for our works, for the stewardship of what God has entrusted to us!)
• 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Key Area:  Stewardship of the Truth
- let’s take a quick look at the process of the specific area of stewardship


I.  You Hear the Truth


 Colossians 1:5-6 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; :
 Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
- that’s part of what are worship services are all about: Proclaiming the truth
Input: What are some other avenues [i.e. the means through which God communicates] that God uses to get His truth to us?
> ABF, counseling, discipleship, friends, radio, music, TV, literature, books . . .
Q: Once you hear the truth, what is the NEXT STEP in the process?


II. You Choose to Believe the Truth


- basically, you have to decide: Am I going to believe this – am I going to accept this as God’s will for my life?
 Ephesians 1:13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation -- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
- of course, there is another option . . . a person can REJECT the truth
 2 Thessalonians 2:12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
believe = have faith in (with God or Christ as object);have confidence in someone or something
- God in His grace allows you to choose NOT to believe the truth – you can reject it – that doesn’t’ change the truth, it only changes the consequences (from blessing to curse!)
Q: Once you’ve heard the truth, then believe the truth, what is the NEXT STEP?


III. You Have to Obey the Truth


- this is the bottom line of stewardship – Are you going to OBEY? – Are you going to DO what God commands you do?  Are you going to FOLLOW His counsel – ‘walk in the light’ ?
- the following verses are very important one:
 Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. 10 With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. 11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.
 James 1:22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
- that leads me to a question:
Input: What are the dangers of hearing truth and doing nothing about it?
- before you answer – listen carefully to the following passage:
 Hebrews 4:7 He again fixes a certain day, "Today," saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS." 
> there is a warning to those who keep hearing the truth and rejecting, hearing the truth and rejecting, hearing the truth and rejecting!
- how would you answer the question:
 Loss of blessings
- referring to Judah being warned about an alliance with Egypt:
 Isaiah 30:9 For this is a rebellious people, false sons, Sons who refuse to listen to the instruction of the LORD; 10 Who say to the seers, "You must not see visions"; and to the prophets, "You must not prophesy to us what is right, Speak to us pleasant words, prophesy illusions. 11 "Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, Let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel." 12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel, "Since you have rejected this word and have put your trust in oppression and guile, and have relied on them, 13 Therefore this iniquity will be to you Like a breach about to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose collapse comes suddenly in an instant,
 Bitterness
 Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
- the context is not responding to the discipline of the Lord
Example: Esau – he made his choice got
 Greater consequences
 1 Samuel 15:23 "For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king."
Input: What can you do to AVOID these?
 Listen to the Word
 Receive it and believe it
 Act upon it and grow!

Closing Verse:
 Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.



Adult Bible Fellowships
Stewardship of the Truth
Luke 16:1-12

Introduction:

1.  Definition of Stewardship
Stewardship = God-given __________________ with _____________________!

2.  What Is a Steward?
“In Bible times, because of limited means of travel, householders (men who owned large farms or livestock) would often be gone from their land for long periods of time.  In their absence, they would appoint one of their servants to manage the business.  This person was responsible for his master’s household and was to consistently manage it just as the householder would if he were there.  This important position was described as a steward. As Christians, God has called us stewards.  We do not choose to become stewards, we are stewards!  The question is, “What kind of steward are you?”
3.  There Are Four Important Factors in Stewardship – Input: Can you name each of them?
Factor #1:  God Owns _______________-, and I Own ________________.
Factor #2:  God _______________ Me with Everything I Have.
Factor #3:  I Am Responsible to _________________ What God Has Given to Me. I May ________________ It or _______________ It.
Factor #4:  God Can Call Me into ________________ at Any Time.
Key Area:  Stewardship of the Truth

I.  You _____________ the Truth


Input: What are some other avenues [i.e. the means through which God communicates] that God uses to get His truth to us?


II. You Choose to ________________- the Truth


Believe = have faith in (with God or Christ as object); have confidence in someone or something)


III. You Have to _____________ the Truth


Input: What are the dangers of hearing truth and doing nothing about it?




Input: What can you do to AVOID these?


Closing Verse:

 


Adult Bible Fellowships
Stewardship of Our Fellowship

Introduction:
*  We’re going to do this for several reasons:
1) This is a very important subject in the NT!
2) Many are new to our church family and have never done a study of stewardship.
3) This subject/teaching has been an important part of the development of the ministry of FBC.
1.  Definition of Stewardship
Stewardship = God-given responsibility with accountability!
• Genesis 1:28 God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
2.  What Is a Steward?


3.  There Are Four Important Factors in Stewardship
#1:  God Owns Everything, and I Own Nothing.
• 1 Corinthians 4:7 For who regards you as superior? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
#2:  God Entrusts Me with Everything I Have.
#3:  I Am Responsible to Increase What God Has Given to Me. I May Increase It or Diminish It.
#4:  God Can Call Me into Account at Any Time.
• 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Key Area:  Stewardship of the Truth

I.  You Hear the Truth
 Colossians 1:5-6
 Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Input: What are some other avenues [i.e. the means through which God communicates] that God uses to get His truth to us?
II. You Choose to Believe the Truth
 Ephesians 1:13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation -- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
 2 Thessalonians 2:12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
believe = have faith (in) (with God or Christ as object);have confidence in someone or something)
III. You Have to Obey the Truth
 Psalm 119:9-11
 James 1:22-25
Input: What are the dangers of hearing truth and doing nothing about it?
 Hebrews 4:7 He again fixes a certain day, "Today," saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS." 
 Loss of blessings
• Isaiah 30:9-13
 Bitterness
• Hebrews 12:15
 Greater consequences
• 1 Samuel 15:23
Input: What can you do to AVOID these?
1) Listen to the Word
2) Receive it and believe it
3) Act upon it and grow!
Closing Verse:
 Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.