Steward is a person who manages the property or affairs for another entity, particularly (historical) the chief administrator of a medieval manor. A custodian is a person entrusted with the custody or care of something or someone; a caretaker or keeper.
1Pet 4:10 KJV As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Peter said as every hath received the gift. it means each and every member of the body of Christ in involved here. Every member has a gift. The word “gift” in Greek is”Charisma” and it means any endowment of grace. That is it is not necessarily acquired by nature but given.
We are called to minister ‘the gift’. They are not to be kept and un utilized. They are to be discovered, improved, developed and used. The word “minister” here “diakonountes” would refer to any kind of ministering, whether by counsel, by advice, by the supply of the needs of the poor, or by preaching. It has here no reference to any one of these exclusively; but means, that in whatever God has favored us more than others, we should be ready to minister to their needs. 2Ti 1:18; 2Co 3:8; 2Co 8:19-20.
The ‘gift’ is to be understood generally, not of official gifts merely, but (as in Rom 12:6; 1Co 12:4; 1Co 12:28) of spiritual gifts of all kinds. The receipt of the gift is represented as having taken place at a definite period in the past ‘received,’ not ‘hath received’ as the R. V. puts it. It is not explained, however, whether the period referred to is the time of one’s first entrance into the truth, or the time of baptism, or that of the laying on of hands, in connection with which the special spiritual gifts of the Apostolic Age seem usually to have been communicated (comp. Acts 3:28, Act 8:18-20, Act 19:5-6; 1Ti 4:14).
These gifts are called ‘Special’. Originally something freely given:. gift of grace’. The word rendered “special gift” is used in other places to apply to spiritual gifts (1Co 12:4; 1Co 12:9; 1Co 12:28; 1Co 12:30-4). But it is also used for natural abilities and talents (Rom 12:6-4). 1. Every Christian has at least one talent! 2. Even our natural abilities are manifestations of God’s grace.
No one receives these gifts, spiritual or temporal, as his own; he is but a “steward,” and when he offers them to the Church it is not as a benefactor, but as a servant, “ministering.”
The ministration is to one another. In 1Cor 12:7 the Bible says the manifestation of the Spirit is given for everyone to profit withal. Technically speaking, it is not even meant for the benefit of the steward but for the others. Of course, he may benefit and partake but it is meant for others to be edify and build up as the book of 1Cor 14 says. They are for the glory of God, and the public good of mankind; and more particularly of the Christian church; that the Christians might promote divine knowledge, experience, and piety in each other. Rom 12:6-8.
If the gift be special grace though yet the knowledge of it may be imparted; and it becomes such who have an experience of the grace of God upon their hearts to make it known, both to particular friends in private conversation, and to the church of God in public, for the use and edification of others, and the glory of God’s grace: if the gift be a ministerial one, whether it be greater or less, for it is not in all alike, it is not to be wrapped up in a napkin, and hid in the earth, or to lie neglected, but to be stirred up, and used for the benefit of the souls of men: and if it is a temporal one, the good things of this life, according to the measure of them, that a man has, he is to minister to the supply of the poor; and as God has prospered him, he is to distribute to the necessities of others; as men freely receive, be it what it will, they should freely minister it, according to the nature and measure of it.
Whatever “the gift” is, whether it be money, or talent, or grace, “even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” God gives much to you that you may give it to others; it is only meant to run through you as through a pipe. You are a steward and if a steward should receive his lord’s goods, and keep them for himself he would be an unfaithful steward. Child of God, see to it that you faithfully discharge your responsibility as one of the “good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
We are steward of the manifold grace of God.—“Grace” is here used, not in its theological sense, but, as in 1Pe. 3:7, in the sense of bountiful giving; and the beautiful word rendered “manifold” brings out the subtle and picturesque variety with which God arranges and distributes His bounty. But the emphatic word of the sentence is “of God.”
Good stewards will use their talents efficiently and regularly. 2. Each spiritual gift and even each natural ability are manifestations of God’s grace. ‘the grace of God that manifests itself in various ways.
The manifold graces which God variously distributes to us, so that each might confer in common his own portion. If then we excel others in any gift, let us remember that we are as to this the stewards of God, in order that we may kindly impart it to our neighbors as their necessity or benefit may require. Thus we ought to be disposed and ready to communicate.
But this consideration is also very important, that the Lord hath so divided his manifold graces, that no one is to be content with one thing and with his own gifts, but every one has need of the help and aid of his brother. This, I say, is a bond which God hath appointed for retaining friendship among men, for they cannot live without mutual assistance. Thus it happens, that he who in many things seeks the aid of his brethren, ought to communicate to them more freely what he has received.
Peter must have remembered the Lord’s teaching on stewardship. Peter had heard the parable of the steward who “wasted his lord’s goods” (Luk 16:1-12) and his Lord’s question, Who then is the faithful and wise steward? (Luk 12:42).
What are you doing with the gifts given unto you?
KIng James Version of the Bible
Barne commentary of entire Bible
Clarke commentary of entire Bible
Vincent word studies of New Testament