Skip to main content

Ephesians 4:11: Gifts

Ephesians 4:11
[11] And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, (ESV)

When I was a child, my father would occasionally go away for a few days. Most of the time, he was going to a Minister’s Conference. On most of those occasions he would come back home and have some sort of gift for me. It was an inexpensive trinket, but it meant the world to me. It meant that he thought about me while he was gone. A loving Father gives good gifts to his children. We have a father like that. In fact, our Father is far more giving to his children than any of our earthly fathers.

“On no one has God bestowed all things.  Each has received a certain measure.  Being thus dependent on each other, they find it necessary to throw their individual gifts into the common stock and thus to render mutual aid. . . whatever our attainments we ought not to be proud of them, because they lay us under deeper obligations to God.”
- Calvin, John. Epistle to the Ephesians, Calvin’s Commentaries, Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI, page 271.

We have all received different gifts.  God has something for each of us.  And as the great John Calvin says, these gifts should humble us.  What we have been given is to be used in His kingdom and for His glory.  These gifts listed in verse 11 are leadership gifts.  And while these gifts are very important, it is essential that they be used with humility or many in the kingdom of God will be hurt.

The Apostle Peter, who had to have his own lessons in humility, speaks to how those who have been gifted in leadership should act:

1 Peter 5:2–3
[2] shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; [3] not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. (ESV)

God has given you a gift.  If you do not know what it is consider where your passion lies and seek the Lord to show you how to use your gift.  When you use your gift exercise humility.  Do everything for God's glory.


Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 11:24: For If You Were Cut From What Is By Nature A Wild Olive Tree, And Grafted, Contrary To Nature, Into A Cultivated Olive Tree . . .

Romans 11:24 [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV) We continue looking at the illustration of an olive tree. The root of the tree is the covenant relationship relationship of God with Abraham. Abraham's faith is what this spiritual tree is built on. The first branches would have been the faithful people of Israel, who like Abraham, placed their faith in God. They believed God, just like Abraham, and it was credited to them as righteousness. There were branches of the people of Israel who never placed their faith in God. Because these branches were not true followers of God they were broken off of the tree. Faith in God was the essential element that made the branches true branches of this spiritual tree. Some branches remained. Others, the faithless unbelievers, were removed. After Jesu

Romans 15:20-21: And Thus I Make It My Ambition To Preach The Gospel, Not Where Christ Has Already Been Named

Romans 15:20–21 [20] and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, [21] but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” (ESV) We need to be reminded continually that the message of the Gospel is intended to move all across the world. Jesus said that his followers were to preach the Gospel, starting in Jerusalem, and continue preaching the Gospel to the whole world. Christians have not always been good at delivering the Gospel message as far and as often as they should. In the first century church it took intense persecution to motivate the disciples in Jerusalem to bring the Gospel to Judea and Samaria. Once the disciples fled to new regions they shared the Gospel wherever they went. Would the disciples have preached the Gospel without the persecution? We may never know. Some probably would have stayed in their co