Carry on…in unity
The Sharing of Gifts
Pray that the body of Christ would be built up and unified
Read Ephesians 4:7-16
Paul continues with the theme of unity (see 4:3-6) by discussing the different gifts given to believers. While there is one body, Spirit, hope and Lord, each believer receives a different measure of grace. In the context, “grace” refers to spiritual gifts or ministry roles (see 3:2, 7-8).
In 4:8, Paul quotes Psalm 68:18 – a psalm celebrating God’s victory over His enemies (see Psalm 68:1-3, 11-14, 19-23) and the resulting victory procession (see Psalm 68:17-18, 24-27). He employs this psalm to illustrate Christ’s victory over sin and death (see also 1 Cor 15:54-57).
God gives each of us spiritual gifts, but He doesn’t give us these gifts for our own personal pleasure. His gifts are meant to be shared with others. Spiritual gifts are the means by which we serve others and build up the body of Christ.
Paul lists several gifts – types of God-given abilities, titles or church offices – in Ephesians 4:11. What is the purpose of these roles (see 4:12-14)? Make a list of your gifts and how you could use them for building up the body of Christ. Read Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:4-14, and compare these passages with Ephesians 4:7-16. How are these passages similar? How are they different? What does Paul focus on in Romans and Corinthians?
Paul stresses that these offices and/or gifts are intended to help believers grow in maturity – a theme he emphasizes in Ephesians 4:13-14. How does he characterize immaturity? Earlier he emphasized knowledge of the love of Christ (see 3:18-19). Here he stresses that knowledge of Christ Himself is a means to gaining maturity. How does knowing Christ bring maturity? What are some ways you have matured as you have grown in your relationship with Christ?
In concluding this section, Paul again draws on the description of believers as a body, with Christ as the head (4:15-16; compare 1:22-23). How does the body grow? How can you, as a “single part,” make sure you are working for the growth of the whole body?
God not only gives us a purpose, but He also give us the gifts we need to fulfill our purpose! God gives us gifts so we can give to others. Our spiritual gifts are never meant to draw attention to ourselves, either. Gifts are never a means for self-glorification. All gifts are from God and for other and God gets all the glory.
Write it out – While writing Ephesians 4:7-16 today, give thanks for the gifts God has given you.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for giving me specific gifts that I can use to build up others. Help me to grow in these gifts. Help me to understand how to share my gifts with others in fruitful ways. Forgive me when I’m tempted to draw attention to myself through my gifts. Help me to remember that all gifts come from You. All glory is Yours. Forever and ever. Amen.
May God give you the Spirit of wisdom & revelation so that you may know Him better. Have an awesome day in the Lord!! Ephesians 1:17
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing!
Denise J. Hughes, “Word Writes: Ephesians”