Summary: Every Christian has a place in the body of Christ because every Christian is given a gift to use in the body of Christ. There should be no one asking, “Where do I fit in?”
Griffith Baptist Church – 9/14/08
Text: Ephesians 4:7-10
Key verse: Ephesians 4:8 - Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Premise: Every believer has a place and function within the body of Christ in the local church.
A well-known conductor was holding a rehearsal one night with a vast array of musicians and a hundred voice choir. While the mighty chorus sang out there was also the peal of organ, blare of horns, and clashing of cymbals. Far back in the orchestra the piccolo player thought, "In all this noise it doesn’t matter what I do." So he stopped playing. Suddenly the conductor flung up his hands stopping the music. Someone, he knew, had failed to play his instrument.
Every Christian has a place in the body of Christ because every Christian is given a gift to use in the body of Christ. There should be no one asking, “Where do I fit in?”
You may not know what your spiritual gift is, but that is no excuse for not serving in the body of Christ.
Some people feel:
That should never be the case in the body of Christ. Every believer has a place that they can fit in.
Transition Statement: In our passage I want you first to notice the giver, Jesus Christ.
1. The Giver, Jesus Christ
A. Grace Giver – 7 (grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ)
i. We are saved by grace (Eph. 2:8-9)
ii. Jesus Christ is the ultimate grace giver
iii. 1 Corinthians 1:4-7 - I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
B. Freedom Giver – 8 (led captivity captive)
i. This is the divine work of the Messiah, Jesus Christ - Luke 4:18-19 - 18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
ii. Christ conquered sin, Satan, and death (Col. 2:15)
iii. It is because of this that Christ has already given us victory (1 Cor. 15:55-57)
C. Life Giver – 9-10 (descended [burial] and ascended [resurrection and ascension])
i. Here we have what is called a parenthetical thought – an expansion and explanation of a previous statement that is felt needs further clarification:
a. We know Christ descended from heaven as God in flesh (Jn. 1:1-14; Col. 1:16-19; Phil. 2:5-8)
b. Descended refers to the grave and to His pronouncement of victory (Ps. 63:9 [death]; Matt. 12:40 [Christ referring back to Jonah]; Is. 44:23 [created earth]; Ps. 139:15 [womb]; 1 Pt. 3:18-19 [preached to the spirits in prison, not gospel but victory])
ii. He came to give eternal and abiding, overflowing life - John 10:10 – The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
a. Eternal Life is the reason Christ came, died, was buried and risen again (Jn. 3:15-16)
b. As part of the wonder of eternal life was the bestowing of gifts on each person.
D. Self Giver – 10b (that He might fill all things)
i. He is sovereign in His church – Ephesians 1:22 - And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
ii. He operates through every part of His church – Ephesians 1:23 - Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Transition Statement: We can now turn our attention to the gifted, and that would be every Christian.
2. The Gifted, Every Christian
A. The skills and abilities which God gives through His Spirit to all Christians, which equip Christians to serve God in the Christian community. (Holman Bible Dictionary)
B. God’s grace is the basis of our gifts (Eph. 4:7; Rom. 12:6)
i. Grace is undeserved goodness that is granted to us
ii. God gives us gifts not because we deserve them but because He is good to us
iii. God gives those gifts for His glory and the proper operation of the church
iv. It is his way of including us in His plan for the ages.