Ephesians 4:7-13 – Spiritual Gifts
Ephesians 4:7-13 – Spiritual Gifts
Paul was a Rabbi of Rabbi’s, a Pharisee of Pharisees. Who knew and loved God’s Law, His Torah. Law or Torah refers not merely to God’s Commandments as in the 613, or something that we are no longer under. The word Law or Torah means God’s Word. Jews understand it as Halakah, meaning “the way to walk.”
Walking according to God’s commands – This has not changed but we now operate under the New Covenant Jeremiah 31:31-33. God’s commands are no less authoritative today than when it was given on Mt. Sinai. However when the New Covenant came we died with Messiah and now walk in a different way. With God’s Spirit working in and through us.
We walk in a New way – We still love God’s Law if we are born of God’s Spirit. What is different is in the New Covenant we die with Messiah and walk in a different way. We walk with God’s Spirit working in and through us. We don’t walk in our own strength but in the power of the God’s Spirit.
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Messiah’s gift.” In our previous study, We saw that we are one body, and we are to strive to keep the unity of the Spirit. We are not only a unity, we are a diversity. We each have different gifts
Ephesians 4:7 – We are all gifted differently. These gifts, given by God, are to be used to strengthen believers. They are given also to reach the world by serving them. The Lord gives us grace to use our gifts. Grace is God’s means by which we use our gifts. Whatever is needed to use the gift, His Spirit gives us. Our gift is from Messiah. We should not be displeased with our gift, nor covet to be like someone else and have their gift.
In Ephesians 4:8-10 we see the cost our Messiah paid for our gifts to be given. Therefore it says, “WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.” Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.
Ephesians 4:8-10 – This comes from Psalm 68:18. A picture of an ancient King after He has conquered his enemies. Following in his train is his army. Followed by his enemies in chains. They waged war against the King and were defeated. They offer gifts to the Conqueror. He bestows these gifts to his people. Paul’s picture is as the psalmist who pictured the Exodus laden with the spoils of Egypt. The spoils are not physical plunder but spiritual gifts. Authority over the spirits that rule in this world.
Ephesians 4:8-10 – Yeshua has gone to war on behalf of man & conquered His enemies that fill us with despair and hopelessness. That imprisoned and held us in bondage. His death and Resurrection set His people free giving us life & endowed us with the spoils of victory that we may serve Him joyfully.
Walk that leads to Life – Until we fully give ourselves to Yeshua, deny ourselves and follow Him, we won’t be able to serve the King and utilize the gifts He has given. Real life is found only in service. God has ordained it so. Walk that brings Life
Matthew 16:25: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
Walk that brings Life – Either you will live for the flesh or you will live in and for the Spirit. Galatians 6:8: The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Death & Resurrection – Believers who died before Yeshua could not go to heaven until He came to die for their sin and rise for justification. Yeshua led them from captivity to heaven. The Scripture taught Messiah had to experience death & resurrection to set God’s people free and give gifts to them.
The great cost – That is the enormous price our gifts cost. Messiah has died, and conquered all the enemies of man. (Colossians 2:15), “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them”. The Gifts from Messiah.
Ephesians 4:11 we learn that every believer’s gift is from Messiah. “He gave.” It is Yeshua who gives spiritual gifts to men.
How the gifts work – Paul lists Apostles & Prophets = Sent Ones & Spokesmen. Others gifts are listed in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. Gifts are important but what is the best? 1 Corinthians 12.31, “earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.” Then Paul describes love in 1 Corinthians 13.
God’s love empowers the gifts – How the gifts work. The best gifts are the ones God has given to you. Best for you and for the Body of Messiah! Not serving in your gifting will make you and others miserable. We are part of a Body. Paul uses the analogy of the Body to describe the church. Serving in the wrong place is like trying to make a foot do what a finger was designed to do. Sadly this happens to often. The work of God
In Ephesians 2.10 we learned we were created for good works, that God prepared that we should walk in. Those works that He has prepared are found by walking in your gifts. Some guidelines that may help you. Discerning your gifts. What comes naturally? When a need is placed before you? What moves you spiritually? Blesses your soul as you do it. What is blessed by God when you do it?
Gifts of His Spirit – God works through His People in His Body. As we understand this it will help us not be offended by someone who is gifted differently. We need to understand the way the gifts work is in an orderly way we will consider that next week.
Want to know your gift? – There are many sites on line that will help you to discern your gifting. Here is one: http://www.churchgrowth.org/cgi-cg/gifts.cgi?intro=1. Go to Mcchicago.org to get a copy of these notes and the link to find your gift.
Closing Questions –
Have you given yourself fully to God?
Is He King over every area of your life?
Have you fully surrendered to Him?
If you haven’t will you do so today?
If you have then begin serving.
If you see something that needs to be done let leadership know
May God move each of us to operate in our gifts through His Spirit.