1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
7But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8This is why it[a] says:
"When he ascended on high,
he led captives in his train
and gave gifts to men."
9(What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]? 10He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
At first glance for the casual reader, this may not be apparent; However, Paul is telling the people of Ephesus, ‘God has given gifts to men’! Each of us has abilities that are performed as spiritual duties.
We should not be concerned for our lacking in gifts and abilities that others have. God declares he knew us before we were formed in the womb. Do you suppose those gifts were given, then? Some would say the gifts are not gifts but a product of the environment a person is raised in. I disagree as I have siblings with very different interest and temperaments.
I’m further inclined to believe that when we enjoy participation in certain wholesome activities our enjoyment is an indication of where our gifts are. I remember a saying said to me years ago; “It’s not ministry if we don’t enjoy it”. God loves a cheerful giver.
Here, in Ephesians 4:1-16, Paul writes using various nouns in reference to specific gifts. And, he writes with various adverbs and nouns with intent to identify attributes of the Christian belief structure.
Paul is declaring these things listed as being very different from one another. However, they are all a must for the Body of Believers. Used together, the Body of Believers is healthy and functional.
In verse 7, Paul actually says an account has been provided for us. This ‘account’ is translated from the Greek word for Grace; it is (Karin) – an account. With that word, ‘account’, Paul declares, “it was Christ who apportioned it”.
Grace, or the account came from Christ’s account!
I have not written a fresh blog for over two weeks. To those who regularly read my blog, thank you for repeat visits, only to find I have written nothing new. In the next post, I am considering writing more on the idea of what Christ’s gift giving is about.