But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” 9 ( In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Eph 4:7-16 (ESV)
To whom was grace given? How did we receive grace?
God has given special gifts to some men – the apostles, prophets, shepherds, teachers. These men are to equip the rest of us. What specific task did God give to these men? The emphasis is on what the gifts of the men will do to equip us.
“Saints” means holy ones – those of us who are set apart through salvation.
“Equipping” is the translation of the Greek word used in the New Testament for mending nets, setting a bone, realizing a purpose. It means to put right.
On Monday, we read:
… eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Eph 4:3 (ESV)
Today, we read:
… until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ… Eph 4:13 (ESV)
What is the difference between the two? How are they similar? Do we have the same responsibility toward each? What is our responsibility?
Do we need anything else to mature? What measure do we have for our level of maturity?
How do you measure up? Which areas need more maturity? Which areas are strongest? How can you help others gain maturity?
On Friday, I will discuss ways to attain maturity. I pray that you will take some time for God-inspired evaluation of your life to determine where your walk is most Christlike, where your walk is least Christlike, and what steps you need to take to better walk the talk. Remember to ask Christ – don’t just navel gaze. Only God can give you the answers you need!
See you Friday.