1 Corinthians 4:1-2 So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
Verse two is quoted fairly often in various contexts, and not without reason, because it expresses an important principle. However, the Japanese starts the verse with, “In this case,” specifically referring to verse one. It’s not that those entrusted with other things don’t need to be faithful, but rather that the burden is especially heavy when we are dealing with “the secret things of God.” (The Japanese term translates literally as “underlying righteousness.”) Paul indeed had every reason to speak of himself that way, because he wrote half the New Testament, but when you think about it, today we have those “secret things of God” in written form, so we are all entrusted with them. We take the Bible so lightly! The devil doesn’t, which is why he does everything he can to keep it out of the public sphere, getting it out of most schools and even forbidding displays of the Ten Commandments. The devil is against anything that could be called righteousness! That’s why believers need to wake up and take their stewardship of the Word of God seriously, living it out in their daily lives and teaching it to their children and anyone else who will receive it. As Paul goes on to discuss right after this, we will all be judged by God for how good a job we did with that very task. We aren’t to go around pointing fingers at others, but seek to get the best grade possible on our own final exam! However, we won’t get a very good grade unless we understand what a marvelous thing we have been entrusted with, and act accordingly.
As I am frequently reminded, I had the enormous privilege of growing up in a home that indeed valued the Bible for what it is. My parents each had their own private devotions each day, and they sought to teach the Bible to us their children. As missionaries, they sought to communicate the truths of God to all with whom they interacted, and I grew up watching their example. They were certainly not perfect, but their focus was on being faithful to their Lord. I can certainly do no better than that. As a pastor, I have the regular privilege of sharing formally the truths that God has spoken to me, but I think the opportunities He gives me in informal settings may actually be more important, because those aren’t people who would come to a church service. I am to remember that God has indeed placed His truth in me, and He certainly didn’t do it to puff me up. I am to be an open conduit for living water, for the Bread of Life, so that as many as will may receive God’s truth and be set free. (John 8:32)
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the opportunity You gave us last night to speak your truth to someone who really needed it, because he’s been bombarded with the lies of the devil. I pray that he would indeed receive what he heard last night and walk out of the trap that had ensnared him, into the fullness of all that You have planned for him, (John 10:10) for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!