Stewardship of God's Creation

Steve Viars November 8, 2003 Luke 16:1-12

1.  Definition of Stewardship

Stewardship = God-given responsibility with accountability!

-  That responsibility applies to all areas of life – not just money

-  Stewardship applies to ALL areas of life:  our marriage, teaching our children, how we use our eyes, ears, hands, feet, the care we give our homes, how we make use of the resources God provides for our growth (church, pastors, each other, books, and THE WORD of God!)

- Secondly, we need to ask what exactly is a steward?

2.  What Is a Steward?

Input: Can someone explain the biblical concept of 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

Major Point: 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

#1:  God Owns Everything, and I Own Nothing.

- This principle is articulated by Paul in . . .

  • 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.

- The text doesn’t say that the master gave his possessions to the steward for the steward to keep for himself – he entrusted the steward

#3:  I Am Responsible to Increase What God Has Given to Me. I May Increase It or Diminish It.

Point:  A good steward uses his/her gifts / responsibilities / possessions for spiritual benefit. 

#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.

4.  Stewardship of God’s Creation – [READ Genesis 1:26-31]

A.  We Should Recognize God as the Creator.

- We’re not going to rehash everything we studied the last 3 Sunday nights, but there were some definite points made in the study of Creation

# 1:  The Nature of Scripture – Either you believe the Genesis account or you don’t!

> If you reject it, then you must also reject the rest of the bible supporting creation.

> If you embrace it, then the rest of the scripture is true – God is not only our Creator, but also our final Judge; Jesus Christ, the Son of God/God the Son (Co-Creator) is our Redeemer!

# 2:  God as Creator – The God of the Bible is the Almighty God, and all He had to do was SPEAK and the elements of the universe came into being one day at a time!

# 3:  God Rested on the 7thDay (set it apart from the other days)

  • completed– 2:1 “on the seventh day God completed His work”
  • rested– 2:2 “He rested on the seventh day”
  • blessed– 2:3 “God blessed the seventh day”

Point: God did it – by the words of His mouth in six 24-hour days, “And God said . . . “

>“In the beginning . . . God created the heavens and the earth.”

>  Out of nothing, He formed all that there is – a supernatural process only accomplished by an omnipotent God, then on day 7, He rested from His work!

Q: Why is this so important? 

A:  To be a good steward of creation, we should glorify and praise the Creator for His work!

- You could summarize this with Isaiah 40:26

  • Isaiah 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing.
  • Isaiah 41:20 That they may see and recognize, and consider and gain insight as well, that the hand of the LORD has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Input:  Why is it that so many do not want to recognize the God of the Bible as the Creator?

[various answers – but one is, if there is no God of the Bible, then I don’t have to be accountable to him, so I can live whatever way I want!]

B.  We Should Remember the Purpose for Which We Were Created:  To Rule Over Creation

- Man’s 1stpurpose is to glorify God

  • Isaiah 43:7 “Everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made."

- God also gave Adam the direct responsibility of:

1)  Naming the animals

2)  Keeping the garden [the perfect job!! – no curse of sin]

3)  Exercising dominion over the rest of creation

  • Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."  [them = the whole human race, not just Adam]

- God reiterated this purpose again in v. 28

  • 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."

- In other words, man is a dominion haver’

- When human being lived in submission to the rule of God, the Creator, in their lives, they were to subdue the creation

- They were not to worship it . . . they were not to be ruled by it . . human beings were created to “have dominion/rule” over creation

- But right after Genesis 1-2, you walk right into Genesis 3 and the curse of sin – that ‘dominion’ was lost!

- Interesting point when you consider counseling problems:

>  Counseling problems (sin in general) are often the case of persons worshipping the creation or being subdued by creation

>  . . . . the exact OPPOSITE of the way God designed man to be!

Quote:  “It is ironic that man was originally given dominion over all of creations, and yet in his fallen state, even the tiniest microbes can bring him low.” – MacArthur, The Battle for the Beginning, p. 174

Input:  Discuss examples of how man, due to the curse of sin, has NOT subdued creation or has wrongly USED creation to advance sin rather than righteousness.

[various answers – mention how technology plays into this – computers (great tool – but used for advancement of porn; phones – but used for sexual call lines and 900 numbers; television/media – used to promote a sinful agenda / alcohol/drugs used for medical purposes can result in drunkenness and addictions] – cf. Romans 1:18-32

- Jesus refers to Satan as being ‘the ruler of this world’ (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11)

- But one day, in the millennium, Jesus will regain that dominion and establish Himself as the ruler of this world.

Quote:  “But we do not yet see all thins subjected to him. There is still war and disease and poverty.  Most of the technology humanity has developed has created new problems while attempting to solve old ones. Man sometimes has destructive effect on his own environment. Above all, man is unable to subdue his own sinful tendencies.” – Ibid, p. 174

Quote:  “. . . the dominion of Genesis teaches man both to respect and to subdue nature, so as to shape it in a direction that will reflect the beauty, order, and glory of its Creator.” – Douglas F. Kelly (from Ibid, p. 173)

C.  We Should Be Rejoicing and Enjoying What God Has Created.

  • Isaiah 65:18 “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create . . . .”

Input: What thoughts or ideas should come to your mind when you stop and look closely at what God has created?

[various answers – the glory and majesty of God – the fact that He would even think of us – Psalm 8!!]

- One of these days, God will receive the glory from His creation:

  • Revelation 5:13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, " To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."

- Paul makes a reference to this:

  • 1 Timothy 4:3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.  4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude.

* Apply this to enjoying good food (but not being mastered by it)

* Apply this to enjoying the benefits of marriage (part of being a good steward of God’s creation is respecting and honoring the institution of marriage)

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video