Diocesan Mission Statement on Stewardship: Orthodox Christian Stewardship

Diocesan Mission Statement on Stewardship: Orthodox Christian Stewardship

Diocesan Mission Statement on Stewardship: Orthodox Christian Stewardship is a Christcentered lifestyle, which acknowledges accountability, reverence, and responsibility before God. Orthodox Christian Stewardship is a call to all of the faithful to share willingly and cheerfully the gifts that God has bestowed on them including sharing these gifts for Gods work in His Church. GODS ECONOMY - OUR STEWARDSHIP A Word Study on Stewardship XXII Diocesan Council-Sobor Christ the Saviour Cathedral and Educational Center Johnstown, Pennsylvania October 21, 2013 The word stewardship comes to us as an English translation of the Greek

word for economy: oikonomia. We are going to talk about the economy of God. How the word stewardship originated, and how it is used in its original form both from a Biblical and Patristic point of view. ? ? ? ? ?

? ? ? The economy of God incorporates the answer to every question raised by man: What is the purpose of human existence? What is the goal of human life? ? ? ? ? Why is God one yet threethe Father, Son, and Spirit? Why does God so love the world? How is Gods tremendous love for man

manifested? What will be the consummation of every matter in the universe? Gods economics answer all the questions we have: How can we know Gods plan? How does He carry it out? How can we participate in it? Oikonomia is a compound noun composed of oikos, which means house, and nomos, which means law. Hence, economy denotes the law, administration, or

management of the resources of a household. Butmore generally economy refers to a plan or arrangement designed to carry out Gods economy is his plan to carry out His eternal purpose in man. Ephesians 1:5 speaks of the good pleasure of His willsomething that makes Him happy. The crucial focus in Gods economy is the provision of a way for man to return to the image in which he was created. God provides this

Way through Himself and the Holy Trinity. In Gods economy, Christ is everything. His person and work constitute the center as well as the circumference of the entire sphere of divine activity in the economy of God. According to Ephesians 3:11, God initially made His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus. Process Accomp lishments Incarna

tion Bringing theinfiniteGod intothefinite man (Jo hn 1:1,14;Colossi ans2:9) Human Living Express ing thebountiful God in His rich attr ibutesthroughChristshuman virtues (Luke7:13-16) Crucifix ion

Redee ming all thethingscreat ed by God and fa llenin sin (Colossians1:20) Termina ting all thingsof theold crea tion (Romans6:6)Releas ingthedivinelife (John 12:24) Resurrect ion Being begottenastheFirstborn Son of God (Acts13:33; Romans 8:29)

Beco ming thelife-giving Spirit (1Corinthians 15:45b)ege R nerat ingall thebelievers(1 Peter 1:3) Ascens ion Being inaugurat ed to be theLord of all (Acts 2:36) Pouring out theSpiritof powerupon Hisbelievers(Acts2:2 -4) Christs human nature

is the very nature of all people, making possible their full salvation and growth back into that image in which they were created. So, as we Orthodox teach, we live both in heaven and on earth at the same time. The goal of Gods economy is to transform us by Christ1 and to conform us into His glorious image.2 Those in the process of this transformation constitute the church, the Body of Christ in the present age.3 Ultimately, Gods economy will consummate in the New Jerusalem, which will exist

throughout eternity as the complete expression of the Triune God in humanity. 1. 2 Corinthians 3:18, 2. Romans 8:29. 3. Ephesians 1:22-23 and Colossians 1:18. The New Jerusalem, Worship before the throne of God, Bamberg Apocalypse, 11th century, Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek, MS A. II. 42 Bible translators have employed a variety of English words in their attempts to translate the term oikonomia. In some instances, such as 1 Timothy 1:4 and Ephesians 1:10 and 3:9, oikonomia denotes Gods overall plan.

Other verses, such as 1 Corinthians 9:17, Ephesians 3:2, and Colossians 1:25, refer not to Gods economy in a general sense, but to mans participation and service in Gods economy. The Burden of Christ In such cases, oikonomia is more accurately described as stewardship. Stewardship in the Scriptures The term oikonomia can be found at: Luke. 16:2-4; 1 Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 3:2, 9; Colossians 1:25. A related term oikonomos (a steward, a freed-man or a slave of what God or others give us or we are trusted with), can be found at: Luke 12:42; Luke 16:1, 3,8; Romans

16:23; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; Galatians 4:2; Titus 1:7. These words are used in the context of money, management, economy and stewardship. The oikonomia, stewardship, described in the book of Ephesians refers to a distribution of Divine treasure which has been committed by God to chosen representatives, that they may be faithfully administered by them. Stewardship in the Scriptures To Paul was committed the 'stewardship' or administration of God's grace. Pauls specific calling was to reveal this previously unknown grace, revealed to him through the Person of Christ, to the Gentiles. Ephesians 3:2, 9

The revelation of that secret is in effect, the world-wide distribution, through the steward of God, of the good news and the blessings of the Gospel. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. This exhortation by Peter (1 Peter 4:10) for one to minister (diakoneo) as good stewards (oikonomos) certainly recalls the Lord's word to Peter to feed His sheep/lambs (John 21:15-17). . . The word is preached and regeneration results (1 Peter 1:23); the newborn is fed by the milk of the word (2:2); and each

believer is built up into a spiritual house with others (2:5). This is God's stewardship. St.Peter and Tabitha The Just Steward Just who is the steward? Every apostle is a steward of God. As an apostle, Paul was a steward who dispensed the riches of God to His children. Here "stewardship" can be clearly distinguished from "economy. The Unjust Steward All the saints, no matter how insignificant they may seem to be, have a stewardship

according to God's economy. This means that every saint can instill Christ into others. We should never separate money and finances from our spiritual life. The distinction that the material world is not for the Christian is an old heresy called Gnosticism. The material world is Gods too, and we are the stewards, the caretakers, of it. How we allocate the resources that God places in our care is a prime Christian duty. All the areas in our life of work, learning, relationships, spiritual gifts, and resources will come through our obedience or our laziness--to Gods glory or to waste. Patriarch Bartholomew is sometimes

calledthe green patriarch for his support of environmental causes. Your Heart IRA Money Marke t $ y t i u n An

$ Your Soul $ Trust Fu nd use Your Ho Your Body The concept that is missing God owns everything! God does indeed own everything, including even what is in your name!

The Church is the oikia (that is, the house); the Churchs members are the oikeioi (that is, the ones living in the house), the plan on which God distributes His blessings is called the oikonomia (that is the great economy, the great Plan of God). God Himself is the great oikonomos (that is the owner, the dispenser of everything to those living in the house). (Titus 1:7) Paul tells Titus that one "of the qualifications of the elders" is that of "being the overseer as a steward of God." The overseer referred to here is, of course, the bishop. The commission of the episcopos (bishop) is, in the end, from God and not from man. He is God's steward, the steward of His

mysteries (1 Corinthians 4:1) and of His manifold grace (1 Peter 4:10). It is to God, not to man, that he is responsible for the due discharge of his office. Paul and Titus Holding the Island of Crete Toward a Definition of Stewardship Stewardship is the care of someone elses resources. All we have is Someone elses resources. We do not truly own anything. God owns all and we are only stewards, caretakers of Gods things. We give Him gratitude for what He did for us and recognize His sovereignty, which is His control and ownership of all things. In this way we can honor Him with our worship as well as with our material goods and abilities. Stewardship is a priority! We need to take what we have and put it to the right use.

Stewardship is exercising the gifts He gives, not letting them waste away. We are to find them and put them to use with joy. To do otherwise is a waste and a travesty. Stewardship is being His faithful servant. It is the understanding of who we are in Him and being grateful for that. Stewardship is recognizing that we belong to Him. It is recognizing that the Church is not the building, but the Body of Christ! Gods special gifts at Pentecost. Coptic Icon. Stewardship is proportionate to what we are able to give. The poor persons

small gift is just as important as the rich persons big gift! The Widows Mite Sometimes, we cannot give as much as we would like to, due to economic realities, job loss, business not good, sickness, etc., so, we give honestly whatever we can. Stewardship is the wise use of our materialistic goods and abilities, as well as with our time. Stewardship is being neither reckless or hiding from

our duty by playing it safe. Stewardship is the comfort of knowing that everything comes from God. He gives us our clarity and the vision and character of what to be and do. We can trust in Him, and not in our materialistic goods. Stewardship is the giving of ourselves and our resources with joy and gratitude for what we have been given. Stewardship is not something that results from a forced obligation or a bad attitude. Joyful Giving: St. Nicholas Stewardship is not worrying, but rather, trusting in Christ. Stewardship is not just focusing on our self-interests, but on His interests and on the interests of others as well.

Stewardship means knowing that God is concerned with us personally--what we go through, deal with, and how we manage what He entrusts to us. Stewardship is focusing on God and not on the material things in and of themselves. We are always to view the material world with the perspective of being Gods caretaker of it, not with a view toward accumulating wealth, nor of wasting what is His. Stewardship is the attitude of gratitude, being thankful in all things, even when we do not feel gratitude or see it. Stewardship sees every purchase as an

investment, from food and gas, to houses and cars. Camp Nazareth, 2009 Stewardship is about being in community, working together and complementing one anothers gifts, and abilities, and with what we can offer. It is the way we use the gifts He has given us in order to benefit the people in our church and those around us Questions at is the h W : 0 3 4 Matt. 25:1

fulness? h t i a f n u f o meaning Psalm 24 :1 ; A c ts 2 0 :3 Corinthia ns 9:7; Ja 5; 2 mes 1:17 are the st

: W h at andards f o r stewardsh are to hav e? ip we Ho w : 4 3 5 2 : 6 w e

h tt Ma ability e th d n a y rr o w are ther? to give tied toge Hesychast, Oleg Korlev Ephesians 5:15-21: What are the

priorities in my life? How do they line up with Gods? What must I do to line them up the Gods? Romans 12:3-8, and 1 Peter 4:10: What are your gifts and abilities? Are you using them for the glory of God? Why does Our Lord so often use money as an illustration? Hebrews 6:10, 13:16: Our giving for God is never in vain. Why do most people including Christians hate sacrifice. What can you do to sacrifice wisely and pleasing to God? Proverbs 20:10, 22:7; Luke 12:15; 16: 10-11; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Timothy 6:10: Why is money

important to you? Why and how is it important to the Lord? 2 Corinthians 9:6-15: gives principles of giving. Peter finds tribute money in the fish (detail) Mark 12: 41-44; Romans 12:10; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19-20; 3 John 2: What does it mean to you that God considers you His temple? With this information in mind, how are you going to respond to Him, and with the time, treasures, and talent in your life? How can you take better control and care of your body?

Psalm 50: 14-15; Proverbs 22:9, 28:13; Job 36:11; Isaiah. 48:17; Luke 6:38; Philippians 4:19: What are Gods promises regarding stewardship? A Sampling of Modern Definitions of Economy 1. (a) Careful, thrifty management of resources, such as money materials and labor: learned to practice economy in making out the household budget. (b) An example or result of such management; a saving. 2.

(a) The system or range of economic activity in a country, region, or community. [Use development in 19th and 20th centuries] (b) A specific type of economic system. 3. Efficient, sparing or conservative use. Theologys Definition The method of Gods government of and activity within the world. Stewardship in Saint John Chrysostom If we were to seek the closest term in John Chrysostom, such a term would most certainly be eleemosune, in

English, almsgiving. In fact, the English word "alms" is an abridged form of that Greek word, eleemosune. He understood the plight of the poor and the necessity of almsgiving. Saint John wrote at least three sermons that we have that have come to be titled On Almsgiving. He also wrote a seven-sermon series on Lazarus and the Rich Man. St. John frequently used the theme of investment for the benefit of his rich parishioners, who believed there was an uncrossable social gulf between themselves and the poor. Saint John poured scorn on the pursuit of money and social

status as both unchristian and, here is where we find Chrysostom less modern and politically correct, unmasculine. On the other hand, Chrysostom insisted that real wealth and lasting prestige should be pursued. Here is where his investment imagery comes in. Real wealth and lasting prestige should be pursued more effectively, through almsgiving. Almsgiving is an investment in ones long-term future, ones eternal future.

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