As we continue to look at Ephesians 4, we must answer our first question; Why did Christ give gifts to individuals in the Church? To start answering that question, we must go back to the verses and the context of the verses. “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, (1) to equip the saints for the work of ministry, (2) for building up the body of Christ” (4:11-12).
Before I comment on these two purposes, I want you to look at the larger context. Chapter 1 reveals the enormous scope of God’s blessing on us who believe “that we…might be to the praise of His glory” (1:12-14). Chapter 2 bases our salvation on grace alone through faith, not by works. This reconciliation to God through Jesus Christ is in view of “being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (2:22). Chapter 3 unfolds a mystery in God putting together both Jew and Gentile in one body “so that through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (3:10). That is a divine view of God’s plan for the Church!
When we come to Chapter 4, we see God’s plan for accomplishing this comes through certain gifts used so everyone is equipped for doing ministry. Every ministry should have as its goal that it produces greater maturity for “building up” the body. Ask yourself, is my part in the Body of Christ helping to mature others? It does not matter what gift you have, small or great, it must have this element as its goal.
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