Stewards of Grace


1 Peter 4:7-11 


I have just a little message tonight. And the title of my message today is Stewards of Grace. I have been talking to brother Jesse earlier this week and mentioned that I was going to take this for my next subject. And I actually had a specific verse in mind I wanted to use as a text. And then when we went to do our Bible study this week, the grace of God was the subject of the Bible study, and they even used the same verse. 

So that went along very well, And I thought that was a good confirmation to go ahead with this little subject. 

And I’d like to start by reading my key passage tonight from 1st Peter, starting in verse 7


But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 

Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 

10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 

11 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 giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 

1 Peter 4 KJV


Let us pray.


Lord God, you have been so good to us . Where would be today, if it was not for your love and compassion and mercy and grace. 

Lord in the days of our deepest sorrows, you were there 

In the days of our pain and our agony, you were there 

In days that we cried out for deliverance, you heard our cry 

And Lord, before the foundation of the world, you knew us, and you loved us 

And for such a time as this we are come into the kingdom 

To do your will, and to do your work 

And this is the work of God, to believe on Jesus Christ 

And Lord Jesus, we believe 

As we look tonight at these few verses of scripture, Lord I pray you just give us little glimpse and deeper understanding and closer connection with you 

May we come just a little closer to you 

Lord the longing of our our hearts is to see you as you are 

Open the eyes of our hearts 

And let us fasten our eyes upon Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith 

Help us now in Jesus name 


I am so happy to see so many out tonight 

And I am excited that we can start having Sunday morning services next week 

I want you all to know that you are loved and you are appreciated 

I truly believe we each have a desire in our heart to walk close to Christ 

And to be witnesses of the gospel  

And over the past week, I was thinking about the subject of showing the grace of God 

And as I thought about, I don’t that is something perhaps most of us have ever actually heard anything about 

Showing grace to others 

I will tell you the truth, I never once in my life remember hearing about showing grace to others until maybe two or three years ago 

And I think that is just awful 

Now maybe you already know all about showing grace to others, and if so that is good! 

But for me, this is something I learned not all that very long ago in my life 

I honestly had never even heard about it before 

And let that be a condemnation to the preachers I listened to for 35 years of my life, how in the world do you go 35 years and never teach people about showing the grace of God to others? 

I have no idea 

But they did 

And that is probably why so few people we know practice showing grace 

Because no one ever told them about showing grace 

And this is a topic I wanted to preach back then, but I never really got around to it 

So, maybe I Lord willing, I can just share a little bit of how this is in my heart today 

And before maybe I really get to the main points I want to convey, let me just dive into these verse a bit to get the context of what Peter is saying 

First, remember who Peter is 

Peter was an apostle who walked the earth with Jesus 

When Jesus shared all the parables in the gospels, when he told his stories with their hidden meanings 

Peter was one of the men that Jesus whispered to 

He said to Peter, it is hidden from the world what these parables mean 

But unto you, it is given to understand the mysteries of the kingdom 

The pharisees and lawyers and scribes heard the parables of Jesus, and they didn’t understand 

You and I could even read the parables of Jesus and not understand 

But Peter he did understand 

So did the other apostles 

Jesus said so 

And as I read these few words here of Peter, certain things just jump out to me 

Cross references you might say, back to things that Jesus said 

And let me maybe explain that a bit 

The End Comes 

Notice there how Peter begins this section of his letter in verse 7 

He starts there saying, the end is it hand 

The end is coming 

And that is a true saying 

The end is coming 

We don’t really know when 

Some people tell you they know when, and they set their dates 

And after they get it wrong two or three times, you need to get away from them 

Those are false teachers, false prophets, the kind the bible warns you to get away from 

But truly, Jesus is coming back 

The end is coming, just like Peter said 

And he said that about 2000 years ago now 

The end was coming 2000 years ago 

The end is still coming today 

I don’t think Peter thought time would go another 2000 years when he said this 

But it did 

But the thing is, Peter never set a date down, like so very many other people have done 

There is a right way to talk about the end coming 

And there is a very wrong way to talk about 

And Peter shows us that way 

Paul does too 

And the thing is, the way Peter and Paul talk about the coming end is very different than the way you have I heard the end talked about most of our lives 

But catch the rest of verse 7 

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 

Now, don’t answer this, but I want to ask a question 

Does anyone recognize what the second half of verse 7 is? 

Peter right there is quoting Jesus, something he said in one of his parables 

And this gives us a very good clue that Peter was inspired by one of Jesus parables to say these things 

And you know, when it comes to interpreting the parables 

I trust Peter 

Because Jesus told me that Peter understood the mysteries of the kingdom 

There is a bunch of people, told me a bunch of things about those parables 

But Jesus never told me that they understood 

But he did tell me Peter understood 

So lets read what Peter understood about Jesus parables about the end 

Above All Things, Have Love 

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober (be serious about this), and watch unto prayer. (You will find that saying of Jesus using those words in the parable of the talents, as recorded in the book of Mark) 

And above all things have fervent charity (love) among yourselves: for charity (love) shall cover the multitude of sins. 

Now notice there Peter’s choice of words in verse 8, I think that is very important how he phrases that 

He says, above all things 

Above all things 

That is like saying, most importantly 

Or, as your top priority 

Have charity, love 

The end of all things is coming, be sober and watch and prayer, quoting Jesus 

And above all, most importantly, make your highest goal to have fervent love 

And the way Peter says that, above all 

I want us to realize this is not just an accidental phrasing 

Peter wants us to understand the most important thing to take away, from our knowledge that the end is coming 

In light of the knowledge that the end will come one day, there is something as Christians we need to be sure we have above all else 

We need, above all, to have fervent love 

Not more that money, not more than land, not more than knowledge, not more than understanding of mysteries 

If we truly believe the end is coming, the most important thing we need to have is fervent love 

And Peter is not the only one to preach this to us 

Let me just cross reference this with some other verses 

Turn over to Colossians 3, lets read what Paul said 

Colossians 3:14 

King James Version 

14 And above all these things put on charity (love), which is the bond of perfectness. 

Its interesting, Paul pretty well worded that the same way Peter did 

Above all, most importantly, have love 

This love is the most important thing 

Turn over to 1st Corinthians 13, let see just how important this love is.

1 Corinthians 13 

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 

Knowing all the mysteries 

Having all the gifts 

Doing the greatest of works 

Unless we have love, it is all worthless 

Above all, put on love 

Above all things have fervent love 

A heart full of God’s love will cover a multitude of sins 

A heart full of God’s love is the fruit he is looking for 

Above all, we need that love 

And I cannot look into someone’s heart and know whether there is genuine love there or not 

But there are certainly things I can look at, and say, those things are really strong indications there is no love there 

And when we look at people who have destroyed their own homes 

Destroyed their own families 

Destroyed their relationships 

And not just their own, but worked overtime to spread their own miserable ways to others 

When they show no respect, no kindness, no mercy 

Even to the extent they drive people to suicide 

Sit by and watch people be killed, and do nothing about 

Abuse and harass people 

They involve themselves with and support all manner of cruelties 

When you see someone doing all those things 

Rest assured, that person has no love 

Because if we read on here more of what Paul says in chapter 13, none of those things are compatible with kind of love God is looking for 

They will say they have love, but they will say we have a corrective love 

And you know, it is true that love can be corrective 

But the thing of it is, when you read what Paul says here, he lets us know pretty clearly God is not looking for us to have just corrective love 

In fact, Paul does not even mention corrective love in his list here 

So I will say this, if all you have is corrective love 

You are in serious trouble, because that is not good enough 

And though they have lots of so called “corrective” love 

And although they have all the knowledge, and all the mysteries, and all the gifts, and all the rest 

Their utter lack of godly love that Paul is talking about here 

Which is why they destroyed their homes, and their families, and other people’s homes, and other people’s familes 

and have perpetrated all manners of cruel abuses 

They are fruitless 

Turn with me back to 1st Peter, chapter 4 

Let me go back to the text 

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 

And above all things have fervent charity (love) among yourselves:  

So let me maybe paraphrase Peter here 

The end of the world is coming, so love each other 

The end of the world is coming, so make sure you got lots of love in your hearts 

Because when Jesus comes back, that is what he is going to be looking for in our lives 

That is the great commandment 

Have you ever heard any of the doomsday preachers ever tell you that was the appropriate response to the end of the world? 

Love one another? 

Maybe go over with me to 2nd Peter, and we will read a little more what Peter has to say about love in chapter 1 

Here in chapter 1, Peter will tell us that if we have love, we are fruitful and will have an entrance into heaven  

Let me go read that, second Peter, chapter 1, let me just read that, verse 5 

2 Peter 1 

King James Version 

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith (faith to the saving of your soul) virtue (virtue is high moral standards. If someone tells you that word virtue means something else, you go get a dictionary and see for yourselves what is means); and to virtue knowledge (the knowledge of him that called us, you see that in verse 3. The knowledge of Jesus. He is the truth.)

And to knowledge temperance (that is self control); and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 

And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (which is love). 

Now what did Peter describe here? 

Peter has described  the way the fruit of the spirit grows in our life 

And then look what he says in verse 8 

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

If we have those things, we are not unfruitful 

If we have those things in our lives, then we have exactly what Jesus is looking for 

We have exactly what he wants us to have 

And just notice how it all climaxed again with charity – which is love, there in verse 7 

If we have all these other things, and it never climaxed to produce in our hearts 

We are nothing 

Read verse 9 

But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 

So if we lack what Peter described, we end up just a blind person 

But if we actually do have what Peter is describing 

If we our lives have been fruitful, and we have of faith towards God that is virtuous and loving, like Peter is talking about 

Then verse 10 tells us what we can expect 

10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 

What things? Love, brotherly kindness, patience, temperance, godliness, faith towards God,  the knowledge of Jesus Christ 

The things he just told us about 

The things he just told us mean we are not unfruitful 

And if we do that, we will never fall 

You will never fall 

If we are fruitful, if we have those characteristics of godliness in our lives, we will never fall 

Do you believe the bible? 

I do! 

I believe this bible 

If I have that kind of fruit, I can be assured, I will never fall 

I believe Peter knew what he was talking about 

Read verse 11 

11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

I believe Peter knew what he was talking about 

Peter understood the mysteries of the kingdom 

He knew what it took to make it 

He knew what it took to be fruitful 

And if we have what Peter was talking about, he it is going to be an abundant entrance 

It’s a big wide entrance, we can’t miss it 

Of course, I know people who will tell you that’s good enough 

We know people who will say if all you have is what Peter talked about, you won’t make it 

But at the end of the day, I have to conclude they don’t know what they are talking about  

Let me go back to my text in 1st Peter, chapter 4 

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 

And above all things have fervent charity (love) among yourselves:  

I hope reading those other verses can help us understand why peter would say in verse 8 above all, have love 

That is really the truth, above all, have love 

And the people who tell you above all, have some other thing 

They are deceivers 

Run away from them 

And as we read on into these next verses, Peter is going to explain to us a few of the ways this love will manifest in the lives of Christians 

And he says 

for charity (love) shall cover the multitude of sins. 

That covering there, that is the same word as being covered by the blood of Christ 

Its talking about a forgiveness 

But is not talking about Christ showing love to us, and Christ forgiving us 

But its talking about us having love among ourselves, and forgiving each other 

Love will cover a multitude of sins 

And that is so true isn’t it? 

You know I have children, and sometimes, children will do things they shouldn’t do 

But love covers a multitude of sins 

I remember one time, one of my kids got a sharpie marker 

And they drew all over the couch 

And there was no getting it out 

You might be a little upset at first 

But love covers a multitude of sins 

You know, my wife and I, we get along so good 

I am so thankful for that 

There is a love there 

She is not afraid to say, Charles, I put another dent in the car 

Because she knows I love her, and I forgave the last five dents 

I don’t think I ever raised my voice 

And if there gets to be one more dent, well I can forgive one more time 

Because I love her, and fussing over a dent in the car is not worth anything 

And my goodness, I could stand here for hours and tell you about the love that has covered a multitude of my sins 

My wife is a saint 

All those times I was not all I should have been 

Love covered a multitude of sins 

And it is how are relationships should be 

Let there be love 

Above all, let there be love 

I have more to say on this, but I will go a little further 

Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 

This is another thing this love will do 

Hospitality, there is a freindliness, a welcoming, a kindess 

Hospitality sets people at ease 

I been down to visit Bro. Tim Humes a couple times 

And let me tell you, I don’t think I ever knew what hospitality was until I met Bro. Tim 

Oh my goodness 

I think if you looked up hospitality in the dictionary, you might see a picture of Bro. Tim next to it 

And I am not talking about giving me a nice meal or anything like that 

But when someone can set you at ease 

That is a big part of showing hospitality 

And we show that one to another 

When we are together, when we meet people, 

That ability to show hospitality and set other people at ease 

That is one of the ways our love shows 

Jesus was a very easy person to be around, he was meek and lowly 

People were at ease in his company  

And it goes on to say, without grudging 

Which means willingly, because we want to, because we love to 

And that brings us to verse 10 

And this is the main verse that drew me here tonight 

10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 

I want to take a little time to unpack this verse, and analyze it 

And lets start by looking at the first word in this verse 

As – verse 10 starts out with the word as 

So this verse is further explaining what came before 

What Peter was describing in verses 8 and 9, he is explaining the same thing in verse 10 

He is just using different language to explain the same thing 

That is what the word AS indicates  

And what really jumps out to me in this verse is the very last part 

Peter says, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God 

That is where I draw my title, stewards of grace 

And Peter here tells us something really important 

You and I are stewards of the grace of God 

there’s something we are responsible for, as children of God, a servants of God,  

We are stewards of this grace 

Stewards are caretakers, they have oversight of things that have been entrusted to them 

And in that way a steward is empowered both to protect and to put into use whatever has been entrusted to them 

And you and I, we are stewards of the manifold grace of God 

The manifold grace of God has been entrusted to us 

Stewardship has different areas of responsibility 

One area would be to protect and preserve what is in your care 

to guard it like a valuable treasure 

To ensure its not lost, not diminished, 

But stewardship entrails more than just protecting something, a steward is also responsible for taking that asset and putting it to good use 

And we can go back to the parables where Jesus talks about being a steward, and compare it to what Peter is saying here 

And this again, gives us a solid indication of what parable Peter is thinking of when he says these things  

Because it’s the same parable where he says watch and pray and be sober (You will find it in Mark 13, but also in even more detail in Matthew 24 and Matthew 25) 

And Peter here, is telling us one of the most important things that stewards of God are responsible for 

And it is the manifold grace of God  

If we diminish the grace of God, we are not a good steward 

If we fail to protect the grace of God, when others try to diminish it, we are not a good steward 

If we fail to employ the grace of God, share it, and keep its understanding alive, we have failed as stewards 

if we fail to employ and put the use the grace of God, if we fail to serve it due season, when it is called for 

Then we have failed as stewards 

If we fail to model the grace of God for others to see 

Then we have failed as stewards  

Because ss stewards, we have to model the grace of God for others to see 

We have to put in on display 

We have to put it to use 

As steward we are empowered to use and share that grace 

not take what the Lord has given us, and bury in the ground 

But actually to put it to use 

That is it responsibility that belongs to the true servants of God, the true stewards of God 

But it is a responsibility that will be neglected by the bad servants and the bad stewards 

Manifold Grace 

Now notice there that Peter uses a word to describe this grace of God that we are stewards of 

The word he uses to describe it is, manifold 

it’s not simply the grace of God, we are the stewards of 

But the manifold grace of God 

The many folded layers of the grace of God, it’s full depth it’s full richness 

the grace of God in its totality 

that is what we are stewards of 

And the very word manifold, means all the different aspects 

that lets us know that Grace is not a narrow thing 

it is not a narrow topic 

But it’s deep, it’s multifaceted 

it’s aspects are manifold  

And if we take a narrow view of the grace of God, that by itself makes us a bad stewards of it 

because the grace of God has many aspects. Many aspects that we’re responsible for as stewards 

And I want to remind My listeners tonight of just a few of those areas, and a few of the different aspects of God’s grace 

because we’ve come from places where the grace of God that was shared with us was not manifold, but it was narrow 

Places where the grace of God does not have broad application, but narrow application 

where we come from, you’re saved by grace, if you were predestined 

But that is where grace ends, it was narrow 

But I am not a steward of a narrow limited grace, I am a steward of a manifold grace 

I could tell you and teach you that you were saved by grace, and that is true 

But if that’s as far as I go with God’s grace, then I have left out a whole lot of it 

But God’s grace will take you farther just the immediate salvation of your soul 

The saving grace is not limited to our immediate salvation, that is just one of its manifold aspects 

And I’m a steward not just of God’s grace for salvation, but I’m a steward of all the manifold aspects of God’s grace 

And if I deny or diminish or limit any of those other aspects, I’m not a good steward 

And We certainly don’t have time this evening to deep dive into the other aspects of The manifold grace of God, But I want to mention tonight just a few highlights 

Sustaining Grace 

God’s grace does not just save us 

But is also sustains us once we are saved 

His sustaining grace preserves us and keeps us 

In Romans 5 Paul explained that we stand in God’s grace 

It’s a place where we stay 

You don’t get saved by grace, and you stay saved by your works or your knowledge or your performance 

The grace by which we are saved is also sufficient to keep us through whatever comes our way in in life  

In this life, we strive to do our best 

To live for the lord as best we can, but when we come up short, his grace is there 

When God looks at us, he see Jesus 

When God looks at us, he sees our perfect savior 

We are perfect in the eyes of God, because our heart is right with him 

And Jesus has reconciled us 

But in practice, we are still growing in grace 

We are growing to become more like Jesus every day 

And we all got a ways to go 

And every day we are hear, is an opportunity to grow a little more 

But until we are changed to be like him, we are bound to have some shortcomings at times 

But that sustaining grace, that sufficient grace, its enough for those shortcomings 

I can do my best, and let God’s grace of what is beyond my best 

Until I am changed, and have my glorified body, I will never be as perfect as Jesus 

But I don’t have to be as perfect as Jesus today, because Jesus is perfect 

If I could be as perfect as Jesus today, I wouldn’t need Jesus 

I could just save myself 

But I have shortcomings, and God knows I do 

That is why he sent Jesus 

That’s why I need Jesus 

And that’s why I am thankful for his sustaining grace 

When we are saved, we are perfect, in the sense that God sees us a completed work 

But we are not perfect in the sense that we already are that completed work 

That is coming, when we are changed 

When we see him, then we shall be life him 

But are not yet what we will be 

But his grace is there, not just to save us, but to look beyond our definicies, until that day comes when we are like him 

So God’s grace overlooks our shortcoming 

And God’s grace help us to grow to overcome them 

And God himself, is personally showing that kind of grace to us 

And that is one more aspect of this manifold grace 

And there are plenty more aspects we could talk about 

But I am going to just stop with these two aspects tonight 

His saving grace 

And his sustaining grace 

And he shows us both of those in our lives 

Showing grace 

But here is the thing, we are stewards of that manifold grace of God 

We ourselves have been entrusted with that very grace 

And as stewards, we have to put that grace to use 

And one important way we do is by showing that grace to other people, just like God shows it to us 

Which brings me to the last part of verse 10 to look at 

Let me read it again 

10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 

This grace is a gift from God 

And we are called to minister this grace to one another 

Grace is kind, it is merciful, it is willing to overlook shortcomings 

Grace is understanding, it is compassionate, looks beyond what we are today and see us for what we will be in the future 

That is grace 

And we are called to minister grace to each other 

We are called to show each other this grace, and be good stewards of it 

We can’t withhold it 

We can’t be stingy with grace 

But as we have received the gift, we need to minister that gift to each other 

Let us show each other grace 

And you know, we have come from different places, different walks 

We have had different experiences 

We have been through different trials and tribulations 

We are not yet what we are going to be 

But one thing is for sure, we are all God’s children 

We have all found his saving grace 

And if we can find it within ourselves, to be good stewards of God’s grace, and minister that to each other 

I believe it will heal our wounds 

Like a good healing salve 

If we can show each other a little grace, a little understanding, a little mercy 

If we can model that grace to each other, and to whoever the Lord sends our way 

I think God will be very pleased with us, as the good stewards of his grace 

And those around us, maybe they can get a little taste of what God’s grace is like, when they see us model it to them  

We have been called to be like Jesus 

And Jesus showed a lot of grace to people, didn’t he? 

We are empowered to be stewards of that same grace 

We are empowered to show that same grace to other people 

We are empowered to overlook the shortcomings of others, and to see them as what they will be one day 

And as a good steward of God’s grace, that is exactly what I want to do. 

Think back to the old testament, when the temple in Jersualem had been destroyed 

And Zerubabel had come back to Jersualem to rebuild the temple 

And they had to dig and dig and dig 

It was not easy for them, but they had to dig and dig to find that corner stone of the temple 

It had been buried under so much rubble, they had to dig to find it 

And you know, Jesus, my precious Jesus, he has been buried under so much rubble where we come from 

We have had to dig and dig to find him 

We have had to dig to find that chief corner stone of our faith 

But thanks be to God that we discovered the foundation stone 

And when Zerubbabel and finally found the cornerstone buried under all the rubble 

He cried out, grace grace grace grace! 

He cried out Grace as he uncovered the corner stone 

Because it was grace that let him find it 

And grace was the great revelation of finding the cornerstone 

Today, as we go forward, as we uncover that cornerstone, and as we set to work building the temple of the Lord 

Let us cry out grace, grace 

What was buried has been uncovered 

What was hidden has been found 

What was covered over with debris has been made clear 

And here we are today, rejoicing over the goodness of the Lord 

And we are stewards of the manifold grace of God 

We have been empowered to put it to good use 

Let us not simply pay grace lip service as some people do 

But let us actually practice Grace, let us actually put it into action 

Let us actually obey the Bible 

because remember how Peter opened this, the end is at hand 

a proper response to the end of being at hand, is being good stewards of the grace of God 

And those who Tell you the end is upon us, yet fail to be good stewards of the grace of God, are people who are in rebellion against the commandment of the scripture. 

But as for me, I’ve chosen to be a good steward. 

And I pray that is the desire of all of our hearts 

And in Jesus name, let us do that 

Let me closing in prayer 

Lord I thank you that you have been so wonderful to us 

As we look and see the turmoil, the confusion, the perplexity of many 

In you we find peace 

In you we find rest for our souls 

In you we find confidence 

In you we find understanding 

You have delivered us from great turmoil 

Truly you have proven to us that you are a deliverer 

And we thank you and worship you for it 

Thank for you saving grace 

Thank you for your sustaining grace 

In Jesus name we pray