Leader to Leader, Ministry

Stewardship and the Apostles’ Creed

September 3, 2015 | Posted by John Kieschnick

There aren’t many Sundays when God’s people gathered for worship don’t confess their faith in the Triune God. Creedal churches regularly speak either the Apostles’ or the Nicene Creed. These are very good words to say. However, do we really pause to consider the implications of what we confess when it comes to our lives as Christian managers of what has been entrusted to us?

Years ago, I was personally convicted that the words of the three articles of the Apostles’ Creed speak beautifully to my life; not only as a child of God but as a steward of what He has given to me.

The first article is a wonderful affirmation that I believe the “created” order, e.g. all material blessings in my life, come from the hands of my gracious Heavenly Father. In his explanation to this article Martin Luther lists many of these, but then he reminds me of something profound, “and all this, purely out of fatherly divine, goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me.”

The second article states that I believe God graces me with His gifts of the “redeemed” order, e.g. the mystery of the gospel as Paul refers to it. Again Luther reminds us that Jesus “redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature…not with gold or silver, but with His holy precious blood and with His innocent sufferings and death.”

The third article allows me to confess that God has also blessed me with what I call the “sanctified” order, the treasures given to me by the Holy Spirit in the Church. Luther captures these blessings with the words that “the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the truth faith.”

Talk about a life of stewardship as receiving all the riches of God’s grace, none of them earned or deserved! And how will we respond? “For all which it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him. That I may be His own, and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence and blessedness. This is most certainly true!”

We believe, therefore, we live!

John Kieschnick
Born in Walburg, Texas, the second youngest of nine children, John Kieschnick received a B.S. in Education from Concordia Teachers’ College, River Forest, Ill. Throughout his ministry, John has served on a variety of synodical boards and committees, both national and district (Texas). He has authored numerous stewardship Bible studies and programs.