Household Rules #3

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God (Colossians 1:25 KJV).

And, just what is this “dispensation of God which is given to [Paul] for [us]?”

In addition to oikonomia being thrice rendered “stewardship” in our King James Bible (Luke 16:2-4), it is translated four times as “dispensation.” We will now briefly highlight those four instances:

  • 1 Corinthians 9:17: “For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.”
  • Ephesians 1:10: “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”
  • Ephesians 3:2: “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:”
  • Colossians 1:25: “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;”

Having familiarized ourselves with the above verses, let us us review the definition of “steward” once again: “the manager of household or of household affairs.” A more extended definition is as follows: “esp. a steward, manager, superintendent to whom the head of the house or proprietor has intrusted the management of his affairs, the care of receipts and expenditures, and the duty of dealing out the proper portion to every servant and even to the children not yet of age.” If necessary, go back to our earlier comments about Luke 16:2-4—the story of the steward being accused of unfaithfulness, or not properly managing his master’s goods.

With those definitions and Luke 16:2-4 in mind, we reflect on the Apostle Paul’s declarations in 1 Corinthians 9:17, Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 3:2, and Colossians 1:25. Paul himself claims to be a “steward,” “the manager of household or of household affairs.” Exactly what is Paul managing? A household, yes—but whose household? Someone has designated Paul as the manager of His household. It is the God of the Bible Himself…!

Our first Bible Q&A for 2017: “Is a Christian a ‘poor testimony’ for taking medication?

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