As Good Stewards

1Peter 4:8-11 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man has received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God gives: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 

‘Fervent’ [Greek: ektenes] earnest; zealous and abundant. Translated fervent (4:8) and without ceasing (Acts 12:5; 1Thess. 5:17; Rom. 1:9). ‘Charity’ not that our love will cause God to pass up or pardon the sins of others, but that it will enable us to pass up the faults of others and not hold grudges ourselves.

‘Grudging’ [Greek: gongusmos] grudging (4:9) and murmuring (John 7:12; Acts 6:1; Php. 2:14). Do nothing merely because it is commanded, but do it from love to God and man (1Cor. 10:31).

‘Gift’ [Greek: charisma] a gift or an ability given by the Holy Spirit through grace (1Tim. 4:14). Every man is to minister through his daily walk-of-life to others according to the ability he receives from God (4:10-11; Rom. 12:3-8; 1Cor. 12:4-11).

‘Manifold grace of God’ seven manifold things are mentioned in the Word: God’s manifold works (Ps. 104:24); man’s manifold transgressions (Amos 5:12); man’s manifold temptations (1:6); God’s manifold grace (4:10); God’s manifold wisdom (Eph. 3:10); God’s manifold mercies (Neh. 9:19, 27); man’s manifold reward (Luke 18:30).

‘Oracles’ [Greek: logion] a divine answer to a question. It always implies a speech purely celestial, in which man has no part (Acts 7:38; Rom. 3:2; Heb. 5:12). Heathen gave the highest respect to oracles from their gods. They held them as sacred and inviolable and did scarcely anything in business, war, making peace, or making laws without an oracle. How much more should Christians obey the Bible which they hold to be the oracles of God! Heathen gave many presents to their priests to get an oracle that could be interpreted either way a matter happened, but Christians have an infallible revelation in all affairs of life – and it is free.

‘Let him do it as of the ability which God gives’ let him not try to minister beyond his own ability, or imitate the ability of another (2Cor. 10:11-18).

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