Recently I have been made aware of a newer doctrine floating through the church. It’s author/authors believe that we are stewards of God’s money based upon Mtw 25:14-30. We must understand what the currency of heaven truly is. It is in no way “mammon”, or earthly blessings. The doctrine teaches that God owns everything and anything we possess is what he has entrusted us with. Let’s look at some other scriptures that explain further what we are entrusted with.
1 Corinthians 4
1Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and
stewards of the mysteries of God.
2Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
What does the bible define as the mystery or mysteries of God?
1 Corinthians 2
1And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
6Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
7But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
8Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10That 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:
11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
1For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
3How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
7Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
8Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
9And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
25Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
26Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
1 Peter 4
4Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
5Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
6For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
7But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
8And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
9Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
10As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as
good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11If 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 giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
So we see then that in these two texts that we are stewards of the mysteries of God and stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Now for a breakdown of the parable in Mtw 25:14-30.
In defining a parable, it is paramount to understand that parables are Jesus using natural examples to further explain spiritual principles. Many parables start out with the phrase “The kingdom of is like…”, as in Luke 13 & Mtw 13:31, or
14For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The above parable actually reminds me of a time in which I shared my faith with a business contact and then inquired of his faith. He was obviously very upset that I had asked and was reluctant to tell me much of it besides that he had once accepted. He made it clear that religion to him was a private matter and nothing to be discussed further, even ever again. I cannot ever read this parable without thinking of that instance.
I cannot help but to see the similitude between the above parable and the parable of the sower in
1The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
2And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
9Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever
hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
17For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
18Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
19When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
23But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Verse 12 reminds me of verses 28 and 29 in Mtw 25, Can you see the similarity?
If they are defining the same thing, which I believe is clearly evident, the definition is spelled out in verses
14-16 of Mtw 13. Another parallel exists in
23If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
24And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.
25For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
46Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had,
and bought it.
While the above passage uses money as a topic, it describes rather the person valuing what was found as great and what was previously possessed as worthless. It should be completely obvious that it is explaining the value of God’s kingdom.
8Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
9And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
10Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
Another parable here in Luke uses money to illustrate something valuable, in this case the sinner that repents.
Of interest is this text in Acts
1But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
3But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
5And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
6And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
This text should destroy the idea that all money is God’s and we are just stewards of it.
Why would Peter, the apostle to the Jews, say “Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power?”
You mean to tell me here by scripture we can see that this man owned possessions?
How about what Jesus said to the would-be followers:
Matthew 19:21-23 (King James Version)
21Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Mark 10:21-23 (King James Version)
21Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
Or what is written of those in the first church:
Acts 2:44-46 (King James Version)
44And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man
If the stewardship doctrine is true, why then are these scriptures in multiple places that show men as owners of possessions?