Stewards of the Mystery of the Gospel

Stewards of the Mystery of the Gospel

Stewards of the Mystery of the Gospel.

“A person should consider us in this way: as servants of Christ and as stewards of the mysteries of God. Think of us as Messiah’s official underlings and as those who are entrusted with the mysteries of God.” (1 Corinthians 4:1).

SERVANTS: (Greek, “hyperetas”); literally the under-rower, the lowly person pulling the oars on the lower deck of the ship; the underlings; the subordinates who have special orders. A servant of Christ is one who is content to decrease while Christ increases, who considers it a privilege to serve Jesus in a way that is hidden, humble, and full of trust in God’s purposes.

STEWARDS: (Greek, “oikonomos”); literally the manager of a household responsible to dispense what is needed; the custodian in a home given the responsibility to carefully distribute the necessities when needed; managers; caretakers; trustees, or those entrusted with important responsibilities from the owner of the house. In this context, to responsibly take care of the revelations of God and disperse the knowledge of God’s mysteries in a way that would honor the owner’s wishes; to carefully explain the revealed secrets of God’s in a responsible way; to guard the sanctity of what God has decided to reveal. A competent and faithful steward would be one who “holds the mystery of the Faith with a pure conscience.” (1 Timothy 3:9), since we are also called to be “stewards of God’s grace.” (Ephesians 3:2).  So if God has anything to do with it, these stewards of God’s mysteries must “speak the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15).

MYSTERY: (Greek, “mysterion”); a sacred secret hidden in the heart of God until the appointed time of revelation; a truth that can only be known by divine disclosure; spiritual insights into God’s way of thinking and planning; hidden truths revealed by God that are beyond human intellect and reason; divine knowledge that can only be understood through the Holy Spirit; God’s thoughts and plans revealed to believers and hidden to skeptical doubters and those who choose not to believe.

“If you read what I have written, you will be able to understand my insight into this mystery concerning the Messiah. In past generations, it was not made known to mankind, as the Spirit is now revealing it to God’s holy apostles and prophets; This mystery is that through the Gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together with the Jews in God’s promise in the Messiah Jesus.” (Ephesians 3:4-6).

Being a steward of God’s mysteries, Paul is inspired in Romans 11:17-24 to provide for us a picture of God’s arrangement regarding the Chosen People of both the Old and New Covenants. The cultivated olive tree represents Israel, and the wild olive tree represents the Gentiles. The farmer tending the cultivated tree enables it to bear fruit by pruning and nurturing it carefully. He trims and discards the branches that are unproductive, and he keeps the roots of the tree intact. Out of tree’s holy root will come the Chosen One. The Gentiles have weak roots, because they are wild and uncultivated. The branches of this wild olive tree were thus incapable of bearing fruit. But then the farmer, out of sheer mercy, took an unproductive branch from the wild tree and grafted it onto the cultivated tree. This grafting would succeed in nourishing the wild branch, giving it new life and enabling it to bear fruit. This is a picture of how Gentile believers can now share in Israel’s blessings through its Messiah, who is the root of the cultivated olive tree. Paul says that the Gentile believers do not replace Israel, that they were grafted onto the Jews through Jesus. Israel remains God’s cultivated tree, His Chosen People even now, and through the Messiah is the source of salvation for all Gentile believers. Christians are branches growing from the Jewish tree, from the root of Christ. Both Israel and the Christian Church are a part of one cultivated olive tree and are given life through Jesus Messiah.


(1.)  Jews and Gentiles alike are part of God’s chosen people through the Messiah Jesus.

(2.)  The Gospel of grace has grafted the Gentiles, (“branches from a wild olive tree“), onto Abraham’s tree, (“a cultivated olive tree“), through Messiah. Paul expands on this mystery in Romans 11:17-24, as well as here in Ephesians 3:4-6. He mentions this mystery in many other parts of his epistles.

(3.)  Because of God’s grafting, Jew and Gentile have become equal sharers in the rich nourishment of the roots of Abraham’s tree.

(4.)  Both Jew and Gentile are partners together in the same body of faith, the Messiah Community.

(5.)  Both Jewish and Gentile believers share equally in God’s inheritance by being called God’s children. As mutual partakers, they both enjoy the promise of God’s eternal blessings, because they are in union with Christ.

(6.)  God’s revelation concerning salvation was directed to the Jews first as His chosen people in the early covenant.

(7.)  Gentile believers are extensions of God’s chosen people. They are included, but they do not replace the Jews as the original people of God.

(8.)  Jewish and Gentile believers are bound together in Christ, in anticipation of the restoration of Israel, when all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:26).

(9.)  The restoration of Israel will include the blessing of all nations.

(10.)  It is Messiah Jesus who gives significance to everything in the body, including Jew and Gentile, which is the basis of equality among the many varieties of believers.

(11.)  Gentile believers remain Gentile, Jewish believers remain Jews, but there should be no division between them, since they are united in Christ.

(12.)  To be included in the mystery of salvation, both Jew and Gentile alike must believe in Messiah Jesus. Their body of fellowship is made up of those who call on the name of Christ.

“Now all the glory to God, who is able to make you strong, just as the Gospel says. This revelation about Jesus Christ and His plan for you Gentiles, this mystery that has been kept secret since the beginning of time. But now as the prophets foretold and as the eternal God has commanded, this message is made known to all Gentiles everywhere, so that they too might believe and obey Him. All glory to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.”  (Romans 16:25-27, NLT).