“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” – Ephesians 4:11-12
In God’s Church, a gift-less Christian is a lot like a pink elephant: they simply don’t exist. As Jesus builds His Church (Matt 16:18), He provides the gifts needed for His Body to grow and thrive. In this passage, there are three things we should take note of, namely that: He gives sovereignly; He gives specifically; and He gives for serving.
First, God is sovereign in how He distributes the gifts and callings amongst His people. We are often tempted to look longingly at another’s calling and wish it was ours. But God makes no mistakes: His calling is not according to our works or abilities, but according to His divine purpose (2 Tim 1:9). And we’re rewarded according to our faithfulness, not according to the “measure” of what we’ve been given (Matt 25:14-30).
Second, Jesus gives gifts specifically. The body of Christ has many needs and God often chooses to meet them through fellow members of His body. How thankful we are when each part of our physical bodies does it part as it ought to; and how keenly aware we are when one member of our body fails. In like manner, each Christian has a vital role: no part is unimportant (1 Cor 12:20-26).
Finally, what God gives to each of us is for ultimately someone else. Wait a minute, you might say: if God has given me a gift, surely it is for my benefit. But the Servant of All would have us to be as Him, looking for how we might benefit and bless His people by using the gifts He’s give us. Never forget that the calling we have has been given to us: freely we have received, therefore freely we give (Matt 10:8). What a blessing it is to be a part of what He is doing in His church today.