The Grace comes with the gift
Ephesians 4 is a fascinating chapter that will help us to understand how God's will and calling works.
Verse 11 tells us about five of the callings God gives to men: 'And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.'
Verse 8 tells us where these callings came from: 'When he [Jesus] ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.'
Verse 12 tells us why the callings were given: 'For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.'
Verse 13 tells us what these callings will ultimately accomplish in the church: 'Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.'
Not only did He give the gifts, He also gave grace according to the measure of the gift.
Although we aspire to be like Jesus more and more, the truth is that none of us as individuals will ever attain to the full status of Christ's perfection or power in our mortal lives. But as a collective body not only can we attain to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, but also we will! And God has given His church five gifts to help us reach that fullness: the apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists, and teachers. You will notice that these five gifts that were given to mankind when Jesus ascended to heaven are not just random callings; they are five facets of Christ's own ministry. Jesus was the greatest apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher, and evangelist who ever lived, and when He ascended to heaven, He made provision for His agenda to continue on the earth by giving men and women the gifts needed to equip the saints to do the work of His ministry. According to Ephesians 4:13 the end result will be that the body of Christ (the people of God) will attain 'unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.' What a glorious destiny!
The reason these five ministry gifts are so important and so powerful is because of what we read in Ephesians 4:7: 'But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.' Grace comes with every gift! Jesus is the fullest expression of all of the five ministries, but when He ascended He distributed 20 percent of His ministry to the apostles, 20 percent to the prophets, 20 percent to the pastors, 20 percent to the teachers, and 20 percent to the evangelists. But not only did He give the gifts, He also gave grace according to the measure of the gift.
Did you ever receive some special gift for your birthday as a kid, then after you had torn open the package you realised it needed batteries to operate? When Jesus gives a gift, He also gives the batteries the gift requires to operate. The battery for 'the gift of Christ' is grace. But He will give you only the measure of grace you need for the gift He has given.
What gift has God given you? How are you using that gift to help build the body of Christ? Do you realise that you have a gift for the body of Christ? Comment back and let us know...
God has a plan for everyone.
Do you know yours?
This Bible Study has been taken from Chapter 4 of Daniel Kolenda's book, LIVE BEFORE YOU DIE, which is not only a 'wake up call' for you but also offers practical and scriptural insights on how you can discover and fulfil God's will for your life.