Stewardship: Understanding Christian Freedom

There are 2 types of commands given in scripture: the “do” commands and the “don’t” commands.

Do commands includes baptism (Colossians 2:11–12 ), loving your neighbor (Romans 13:5-10), and being kind (Ephesians 4:32).

Don’t commands include not lying (Colossians 3:9), not tolerating false doctrine (Colossians 2:8), and that a man should not fail to provide for his family (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

These are just random examples.

There are many more do and don’t commands throughout the New Testament.  

This is the part that many people don’t understand: unless something is specifically commanded as right or wrong in scripture, it falls into a category called your Christian stewardship.

You can divide every part of your life into 3 categories:

The Dos.

The Don’ts.

And the Stewardship.

See below for the definition of stewardship and an explanation.

 “Stewardship: we are accountable to God for what we do and with what he has trusted to us.

“The word stewardship comes from the Greek word oikenomous, which means somebody who manages a household. A person doesn’t own the household but manages it. And stewards in the ancient world, of course, were trusted with everything from seeing that the floors were clean, to the finances, to the public face of that household. Joseph is a good biblical example of that.

“We are not the owners but have been trusted with resources and the care of everything—Creation, gifts and talents, money, time, the gospel—for the sake of God’s purposes in the world.”

More than once in scripture, we see someone criticizing another Christian for their “disobedience” in matters which are not specifically addressed in scripture.

One such incident is in Romans 14:1-12 where some people are insisting that Christians should be vegetarian.

Scripture does not address the issue of vegetarianism.

This is not a right or wrong issue according to scripture.

This falls, quite simply, into each person’s stewardship.

This means they are to do the best they know how, praying for God’s guidance, and they will answer to the Lord for how they managed their lives given the resources that they had.

It is not our place to decide if they are doing “good enough” or not.

There are many things that fall into Christian stewardship that might not seem as obvious. Many people misinterpret scripture and extrapolate commands based on their misunderstandings or preconceived ideas.

Here’s an example of a controversial topic: Does the Bible say that we have to attend church? The answer, to the surprise of many, is no. It does not.

What does Scripture say?

The early church met weekly on Sundays, but that is an example and not a command (Acts 20:7).

What is the command?

The command is not to stop getting together with other Christians.  

The truth is that getting together can be done in many ways, and formal church is just one of many ways.

Is going to church good? Yes.

Is it the way most people will choose to gather? Yes.

Is it the only way to gather? No.

Is it commanded to attend church? No.

Do I recommend going to church? Yes, if you can find a church that you agree with, one that teaches the truth.

That is getting even harder to find as we get closer to the end times.

Many people will use the topic of church to gauge a real Christian.

Many people will judge a person’s faith based on how often they attend church.

You know what? If you do that, you are judging another man’s stewardship.

You are doing exactly what we aren’t supposed to do.

If it is wrong to not attend church then logically even someone who is hospitalised for cancer would be sinning to not attend church. That is not a reasonable conclusion.

This is why it is so very important that we read scripture and take it at face value without our biases.

We need to read scripture for exactly what it says understanding that if something isn’t specifically stated then it falls into our stewardship.

We also know that it is not God’s character to condemn us for sins which we never knew existed.

So we can trust the plain understanding of scripture.

A lot of judging, harsh treatment, and misunderstandings in the church and among Christians would be resolved if we just understood this basic concept of Christian stewardship.


Sarah Forbes

More on stewardship.


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