Text: Ephesians 4:7-16
- Spiritual Gifts and the Character of God
Spiritual Gifts go a long way in revealing the character of God. So, before we get into our lesson, let’s have a look at what they will reveal to us about God. To begin, consider the following:
- God is generous
He is a generous God: He gives us gifts beyond our own human potential, power and abilities. To put it another way, He is a generous giver to provide things for you in life that will enable you and I to travel farther in life, to enjoy life more, do more in life, to have greater impact, and to experience more joy and fulfillment than we could have ever known without Him.
- God is creative
God created all of these gifts; they are His idea. He initiated all of these gifts and He chooses the individual who receives the gift and how it is manifested through them.
- God is industrious
God is on a mission. He has a purpose and a plan, and the gifts are tools to accomplish that, and He is allowing us to help.
- God has given gifts to His people
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:
“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”
Our God, who set aside the glories of heaven and came down here to the earth in the Person of Jesus Christ, did a great deal more than just to provide for our Salvation. Yes, I know that sounds a little strange, but He actually did. He had a plan, a really big plan, to build His Kingdom on this earth, and as incredible as it may seem, He wanted each one of His followers, you and me, to have a role in building it to achieve His Purpose for creating Mankind. Doing that rises beyond human limitations, and to ensure that we could each play our parts in this great project, He gave each of us a spiritual gift to help us through.
(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (4:9-13)
Can you see His plan in these verses? He spread His gifts through the Body of Christ, so that some would teach and train others, while still others would fill supporting roles, so that when each does his part, the Kingdom is built up.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (4:14-16)
As each one of us does their part in building up the Body of Christ, we all become mature followers of Christ, no longer infants in the faith, but strong, mature and steadfast people who can withstand the perils of this life. We will be sustained in His love, steadfast in His strength and guided by His wisdom as we carry though our lives in Christ. I don’t know about you, but to me, this is the best news I’ve every heard anywhere… and we haven’t gotten to our glorious eternity yet!