Summary: As we unpack Ephesians chapter four, verses 7 through 12, we are going to answer some very important questions about Christ’s gifts to the church:
Last time we learned that God has great regard for His Church. The church is the Body of Christ. Believers are the ecclesia, and are the “called out ones”. Christians are called out from the world, called out of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son.
Jesus has a relationship with His entire church but He also graciously relates to each person individually. He is not like that greedy corporate board president who is only concerned with the bottom line of the company to the neglect of the individual employee.
Our Lord is concerned for each and every blood-bought person in the Body of Christ and so Paul writes in Ephesians 4, verse 7, “But to each one of us, grace was given, according to the measure of Christ's gift.”
As we unpack Ephesians chapter four, verses 7 through 12, we are going to answer some very important questions about Christ’s gifts to the church:
A. Why Jesus gives gifts to the individual believer? (verse 7)
B. How Jesus gives gifts to the believer? (verse 7)
C. How did He get the right to give gifts? (verses 8-10)
D. What gifts does Jesus give to the local church? (verses 11-12)
A. Why does Jesus give gifts to the individual believer?
The first things that Paul tells us in verse seven is that “each one of us is given grace” and that grace “is given according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”
The context of verse seven lets us know that there is diversity in the unity. Verses 4-7a say, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace…”
Although there is a whole bunch of Christ-followers in the US and all over the world, the Bible says, “But unto every one of us is given grace…” What this is saying is that through there is one large body of believers, none of us who are in the body are overlooked.
In the Christmas movie, Jingle All the Way, the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad movie, there is a scene near the end of the movie where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character named Howard is dressed up in the Turbo Man costume and he has to pick a child from the crowd to award him with a genuine Turbo Man action figure. Howard’s own son Jamie is somewhere in the crowd and with his neighbor’s son Johnny. They both are yelling, “Pick me! Pick me! Over here!”
Then Jamie (not knowing that’s his father) says, “He's looking at me.” Johnny says, “He's looking at me.” Jamie says, “He’s pointing at me!” Johnny says, “Naw, it’s me!” Jamie: “Me!” Johnny: “Me!”
There there’s that climatic scene where Howard, dressed up like Turbo Man hollers, “Jamie!” and Jamie says, “He knows my name.”
This is the picture here in Ephesians chapter four. We are being told that even though there is one body of blood-bought, Spirit-indwelt, born again believers…all over the globe and all throughout time…none of us who are in the body are overlooked.
Wuest says that “God’s gracious relation to all is a relation also to each individual. Not one of them was left unregarded by Him who is the God and Father of all, but each was made a partaker of Christ’s gift of grace…”
That’s what the Scripture is saying: “But unto every one of us is given grace…”
“Grace” here in this context is the power and enabling of the Holy Spirit given to each believer…not for daily living…but for service.
The Bible tells us that this grace is given “according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” In other words, each and every person in the Body of Christ gets the grace which Christ has to give in the proportion to which the Giver (Christ) is pleased to bestow it.
This means that some in the body get Christ’s grace in different measure than others, but that we get it from the same Hand and with the same purpose.
And again, this isn’t the kind of grace we ask of God for each day or certain moments of the day like: “Lord, grant me grace” or “Lord be gracious to me” or “Lord, I need grace to get through this”. This “grace” isn’t for that purpose.
This is the grace (or the power and desire) Christ has dispensed to His people in order that His work might get done through the church.
• There is serving that needs to be done in the church.
• There is administration that needs to be done in the church.