The Christian's Lifestyle: Our Gifts

"But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ." (Ephesians 4:7)

The grace that is given (Greek charis) is a distribution by the Holy Spirit of gifts (same Greek word) to every believer (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). Seventeen different gifts are listed in three New Testament passages (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-10; Ephesians 4:11), all of them intended by the Holy Spirit to minister to the church and to enhance her unity (Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:12).

Three reasons are cited for these gifts (Ephesians 4:12). "The perfecting of the saints" is a process that describes making something useful or suitable that is not yet adequate. James and John "mended" their nets (Matthew 4:21). And Paul prayed that he might supply that which was "lacking" (1 Thessalonians 3:10). So, the gifts of the Holy Spirit mend that which is lacking in the saints. The work of the ministry is a joint effort of service (2 Corinthians 6:1) that recognizes the public visibility of that service (2 Corinthians 4:1-2) and steadfastly displays those gifts so that the "ministry be not blamed" (2 Corinthians 6:3). The edifying of the body of Christ focuses the use of the gifts on the enrichment and betterment of the local assembly of believers (1 Corinthians 14:5, 12, 26).

The goal is to bring all (the saints) to a state of doctrinal unity (the faith) so that our maturity can be compared to the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13), eliminating susceptibility to "every wind of doctrine," growing up into Him in all things, and building the "body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love" (Ephesians 4:14-16). HMM III

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