Reading Text – Ephesians 4:7-17
But to each one of us, grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore, He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts to men.” What are these gifts? Let’s continue reading in verse 11, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints …”
I want to pause here to explain that the gifts that Christ gave as He ascended on high were “people” gifts. As believers, we have received the gifts of people who are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Let’s look at these gifts and what these roles mean to believers.
The gifts that Christ gave as He ascended on high were “people” gifts. As believers, we have received the gifts of people who are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.
Apostles are messengers sent on a mission – they are sent to help establish the work of a community of believers. They are usually overseers for several churches or ministry organizations, helping them stay true to God’s word. Prophets are ‘forth-tellers’ who are gifted people who hear specific directions from the Lord for a person or organization. They perceive what God is doing in the present or for a time in the future. Working with Apostles, they help guide spiritual communities toward making disciples of Christ.
The Evangelist is the person who brings the good news of salvation wherever they go. They are compelled to share Christ with others. Pastors are the caregivers of the body of believers, demonstrating compassion and care to those in need. Teachers are the instructors, helping believers understand God’s word and how to apply it in their lives. These “people” gifts are given to believers to help us become disciples and continue to advance the Kingdom of God.
Let’s continue with verse 12: “ … for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
We see that we are all part of one body, with Christ being the head of the body, and every person who is a believer has a part. We are all connected and knit together to accomplish the full work of Christ. It is a privilege to be impacted by these “people” gifts and to recognize that each one of us is important to accomplishing the body of Christ coming into the fullness of Christ.
Lord, we thank You for the gifts You gave us to help us grow into the body of Christ. Give us Your wisdom and grace to see the value of these “people” gifts and how to allow them to impact our lives for Your glory. Help us to recognize the part You have given to us that we will walk more fully in that gift to be a blessing to others. Amen.