Summary: You have been entrusted with necessary and effective gifts. You are a gift from God to the church! What you feel about this is not so important as to what you do about it.
God’s gifts to men
Introduction - Jesus has gifted the church
Ps 68:18 You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the LORD God might dwell there.
Paul changes this verse in light of his understanding of Jesus and what Jesus did.
Eph 4:8 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men."
What were these gifts?
Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well…
John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ’Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."
Salvation, people, Holy Spirit and gifts of.
This lead me to the passage that I want to focus on
When the Master went away on the long journey not only did he entrust to His servants His estate but he was fully intending to return to receive back that which was entrusted and more besides.
This is a picture of Jesus as we have already seen. When he ascended into heaven he left us with the Holy Spirit and all the gifts that come from the Holy Spirit as well as those who Jesus gifts to the church.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Let’s look at what God gifts to His own
Firstly they are given according to God’s wisdom and grace
Secondly they are given according to ones’ ability.
We know from reading the Bible that gifts differ and we should not naturally expect to be given the same gift as another for a very simple reason.
The one given five talents was fit and able to handle five, two talents would have been too few. The one given two talents was fit and able to employ two talents whereas five talents would have been too much. The master knew his servants and what they were able to handle.
Thirdly with what God gives to us there is an expectancy that we would employ it, use it and improve it.
Undeserved. The servants up until this point had nothing, deserved nothing and had no claim on their masters’ estate and yet he gives them a share of his possessions. This was not given for the Masters benefit but for the servants blessing, comfort and salvation.
Just as we have been blessed with salvation not for God’s benefit but for our comfort and benefit. And those things that have been gifted to us by God are for our blessing and for the blessing of those who come under our influence.
Could you imagine coming to church week after week, month after month, year after year and doing nothing? There is a great blessing, satisfaction and joy knowing that God has given us gifts so that we may in some way bless God through faith action and obedience. After all, we were created by God to fulfil His purposes here until he either calls us home or He returns.
An empty purposeless life is one that has not employed the gifts that God has given.
No one forgotten. Just as we are diverse in character and experience so are the gifts that God has given.
Envy and despising
Don’t fall into the trap of envying those who, in your opinion, have been given much; from these much will be expected. And for those who feel that they have been given much, the trap is to despise those who in your opinion have been given little.
1Co 12:12 - 26
This comparison between the members of the natural body and the spiritual body shows that there are some members of the natural body that are less honourable, and some that are more honourable. We put more honour, take more care over, the less honourable members by a decent covering and modesty, but upon our more honourable or attractive parts we put no covering.
Spiritually there may be a temptation to look down on what we consider to be least or envy those who hold what we consider to be high offices. We must neither envy nor despise any member of the church as each one is appointed according to God’s wisdom and love for the church as a whole. Each has a value and should therefore be respected by the rest.
If we despise and belittle there will be dissension and disharmony within and amongst the churches. In today’s climate it seems to be OK to look upon another denomination or local church and either despise it or envy it.
Therefore all members of Christ’s body, the church, ought to have the same common interest, the same common concern, the same common care, and the same mutual sympathy, with each other, both in joy and sorrow.