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For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

4:11 he gave. Continuing the analogy with returning human conquerors, who gave gifts to their countrymen, the ascended Christ, by His Spirit, has given spiritual gifts to His subjects individually, to be exercised for the benefit of the “one body,” corporately. Many of these gifts of the Spirit are listed in Romans 12:4-8, and I Corinthians 12:4-12,27-30. Only four (or five) of the more essential gifts are listed here. As noted before, however, the gifts of apostles and prophets to the body ceased with the completion of the New Testament and the death of John, the last of the apostles (see notes on Ephesians 3:5-6).

4:11 pastors and teachers. The Greek here may be read “pastors-teachers,” suggesting that this may be one gift, rather than two. However, the gift of teaching is also mentioned in the other two lists of gifts (Romans 12:7; I Corinthians 12:28), so must be a distinct gift not necessarily combined with the pastoral (or “shepherding”) gift. The only other gift mentioned in all the three lists is that of prophecy, but this gift has ceased.

4:12 edifying. The gifts are all to be used for “edifying”—that is, “building up”—the body of Christ, both individually and corporately, adding stones to the building, as it were (Ephesians 2:22) and also strengthening the individual members.

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