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Spiritual Gifts: Made Ready For Ministry

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Made Ready For Ministry*

*Ephesians 4:1-16

            The first portion of Paul’s letter to the Ephesian Church had to do with doctrinal matters.  He established the identity of Jesus and made it clear to all that God did not distinguish between Jewish and Gentile believers.  Everyone gets saved in the same way – the Holy Spirit convicts us, Jesus died in our place and intercedes with the Father that our sins are forgiven. 

            In verses 7 and following, the apostle encourages congregations to understand that God desires His people to walk in unity and harmony.  We can only accomplish the unity God desires if we are humble, gentle, and patient with one another.  Coincidently, these same attitudes are essential in producing any and every successful relationship!  We need to understand that God has gifted each of us and has made us His local congregation.  It is not for us to produce a unity but to preserve the unity God established.  We are an organism rather than an organization.  Understanding this concept makes it more likely that we will do whatever is necessary to make the whole function as God intends.

            In verses 11-16, Paul lists a few leadership gifts essential to the work of the Church.  The list is by no means exhaustive but serves to illustrate five (5) basics of all gifts.

  1. Every Believer Is Gifted.  None Is Left Out. (Vs. 7)
    1. Gifts are not natural abilities or talents.  They are specific abilities given for specific purposes

  1. Sufficient Grace Is Provided With Each Gift (Vs. 7)
    1. We are not expected to accomplish God’s purpose in our own strength.

  1. Every Gift Has Cost A Great Price (Vs. 9)
    1. Our Lord gave His life, winning the victory over sin and death that He might give gifts to those that love Him

  1. Using The Gift Insures Faithfulness (Vs. 14)
    1. Enabling us to understand and anchoring us in truth!

  1. Spiritual Gifts Are Only For God’s work (Vs. 12-13)
    1. They are not ours to be used for personal gain or profit.  They may only be used for the benefit of the Kingdom of God!
    2. The power manifest in our gifts is from God – Him through us

Paul believed that it was necessary for every member to know his/her place in God’s plan.  Gifts are given for use!  That use needs to be constant and deliberate.  The Church can never hope to grow into the maturity God intends if every member is not in place performing his/her task.

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