Unity does not mean sameness. Each of us has talents which we can use to enrich and bless the church.
We Have Diverse Gifts (4:7-10) This one of the key passages in the New Testament concerning spiritual gifts (cf. Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12-14) The gifts or talents we have are to be used to edify the church and to help. build it up and to help us reach the lost with the saving grace of Jesus.
Someone said, “These gifts are ways in which we extend the ministry of Jesus on the earth. When you see gifts at work, you should adore Jesus who gave them. When someone’s gift blesses you, you should see that as Jesus blessing you.”
In verse 8 Paul refers to Psalm 68 and relates Christ’s triumph and authority. Jesus triumphed over sin, death, hell, and the grave. He gave/gives His congregation spiritually gifted people so that we might minister to His church.
In verses 9 and 10, Paul speaks of both Christ’s descent and ascent. He sees the incarnation (descent) and the ascension of Christ as evidence that Jesus is booth Savior and King. Christ is above all and fills all. We must marvel at His generosity and authority.
We Have Diverse Responsibilities. (4:11-12) Christ gave us gifts that we would USE them. Both leaders and members have been given gifts to use to reach the lost and strengthen the saved. The church needs different people playing different positions to be a unified and effective teem.
The leaders equip the saints. (4:11) Paul mentions those in positions of leadership in the church such as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
The office of apostle and prophet was temporary and ceased to exist after the first century. There are no apostles today and no need for prophets as we have the entire Word of God for us today.
Evangelists are those gifted in proclaiming the gospel (Acts 21:8; 2 Tim. 4:5). In one sense, all are to be involved in evangelization, but God has called and ordained some to publicly fulfil this “office.”
The term Pastor is the same “office” mentioned in the New Testament as elder, bishop and overseer. It does not refer to the preacher, although a preacher could be one of the elders. It is the responsibility and privilege for the shepherds to tend and oversee the flock (the church). The term teacher is mentioned here also. Elders and shepherds have a responsibility to feed the sheep (Christians).
The saints do the work of ministry. Church leaders prepare, complete, train, and equip God’s people for ministry. We all must use whatever talents that God has given to us to help reach the lost and strengthen the saved. There is room in the kingdom for all of us to do our part. We can never do enough works to be saved, but one we are saved we must be the best workers that the Lord has. There is nothing greater to do with your life than to spend it for the glory of our Redeemer-King and the advancement of His Kingdom.
-Larry Miles, June 3, 2018, Anguilla