Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stewards Of The Mysteries Of God

Fr. Dale Matson

“Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” (1ST Corinthians 4:1, NASB).

Although St. Paul spoke as an apostle, I believe it is the charge to all those in Holy Orders. The verse essentially outlines the “General Orders” for the clergy of the Church of Jesus Christ. I used the term General Orders because in the military all recruits must memorize and obey the rules of a sentry. A sentry is someone expected to stand guard at a post and be responsible for that area.

As stewards of the mysteries of God, we are charged to care for and to pass on these mysteries to the next generation. What are these mysteries? The mysteries are the truths once delivered to the Saints. “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 3-4, NASB).

The central truths of the faith are the mysteries of God. If you examine the Nicene Creed carefully, it is not just doctrine or even dogma. At its foundation, it is truth as mystery received by faith. We believe that God created everything that exists, even the things we cannot see. We believe that Jesus Christ is both God and a perfect man conceived by God and born of a Virgin. We believe that He was crucified and died as a sacrifice on our behalf. We believe that Jesus Christ came back to life as predicted and ascended bodily into Heaven and will return to establish an eternal Kingdom that will include us. We believe in one God Who Is also the Holy Spirit Who is the Giver of life. There is one Church and one baptism.

The Christian Church is a Church of Mystery. It is miraculous and mystical. It also is the Spiritual meeting the material in the Sacraments and in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The Church began at Pentecost and is awaiting the return of Her Bridegroom Jesus Christ.

What we cannot fully explain, we may not adjust to suit our understanding. These mysteries are perceived by faith, affirmed by the faithful throughout generations and authenticated by God the Holy Spirit. These truths are the breath of the Holy Spirit and blood of Jesus Christ flowing through His body the Church.

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24, NASB).

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