Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:7-10
“But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Ephesians 4:7)
Paul has been emphasizing the importance of unity among God’s people. He wrote that Christians are to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace” (v. 3). The Lord Jesus prayed for unity among His people — a similar unity to that which He and the Father have (John 17:21). We are to work diligently at being one with Christ and one with each other in the body of Christ.
However, we must also realize that unity does not mean uniformity. All Christians are not just alike; we have different gifts and abilities given to us by Christ Himself. Christ is the great giver of these gifts and He gives them to us according to His grace. It is not that we earn these gifts or that we deserve them. Christ graciously gives us these gifts as He sees fit.
Christ has the right to give us gifts as He desires because “when He ascended on high He led a host of captives and He gave gifts to men” (v. 8). This is a quote from Psalm 68:18, where the one who ascends is the triumphant Lord God. Paul sees Him as the resurrected Christ who is Head of His Church, who is the giver of gifts to His chosen people.
Christ descended from heaven where He had existed throughout all eternity. He emptied Himself of His glory and came to this earth in human form (Philippians 2:6,7), In fact He “descended into the lover parts of the earth” (v. 9), where He suffered, died and was buried. He defeated death and rose again. He then “ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things” (v. 10).
Upon the completion of His mission, Jesus graciously gives gifts to believers so that they can continue His work on earth. He sovereignly distributes these gifts according to HIs gracious provision.
Paul’s main point is that the sovereign King and Head of the Church, Jesus Christ, gives gifts to men and women as He sovereignly chooses. These gifts are to be used in ministry to further Christ’s work on earth. Therefore we are to appreciate the diversity of God’s people and we are to give all the glory to Christ who gave each of us the gifts we have.
Lord Jesus, You who descended into the lower parts of the earth, are the One who ascended far above all the heavens! You have graciously given me gifts. May I use them wisely and effectively, all the while giving the glory to You.
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