He give these ministry gifts; when He ascended on high taking with Him the Old Testament saints, who had awaited the consummation of God’s great plan of redemption since their physical death in Paradise Abraham’s bosom. Other words, these ministry gifts came fresh from the hand of the exalted Christ where He now sits at God’s right hand in heaven.
“Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?) He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens that he might fill all things.” (Eph. 4:8-10).
For how long did He give the ministry gifts? “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13).
- He gave these gifts to men, “Till we all come . . . unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
- Until Jesus comes, “all of us” will never come to that place of maturity.
When Jesus comes, some babes will just have been born into the family of God. They will not have had time to mature. These ministry gifts are God’s programs for the maturing of the saints until Christ comes for His own. The Church needs all-round spiritual growth to arrive at her destined perfection in Christ. The ministry gift’s Christ placed in the Church helps us grow up into His image.
We cannot reach that place without the function of the fivefold ministry.
- The ultimate aim of all ministries is not for self glory or to magnify the human in any way.
- It is entirely toward the Body of Christ.
- It takes all these ministries functioning to edify – build up – the Body of Christ.
- Praise God for the gifts through which we are enabled to be in the ministry.
- Praise Him for the edifying of the Body of Christ
- Praise Him for the gifts, the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, which empower us for the ministry.
God’s Gifts are the avenue which enables us to bring to others the life-giving relationship which can take place with Jesus Christ our Lord.
We must never glorify the gifts; they are an asset to the relationship. Let us instead glorify Him who is the Giver of the Gifts for ministry and relate to Him who is the Giver of Life. God’s word solemnly warns those who discredit miracles and refuse to accept Jesus.
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so Great salvation which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard; God also bearing witness; Both with signs and wonders, and with divers MIRACLES, and GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT,” (Hebr. 2:3,4).
Jesus rebuked cities who did not believe when they saw the miracles! (Matt.11: 12). A miracle will still draw the heathen to listen to the Gospel accepting Jesus Christ as the Son of God, (Matt. 11:21).
- Jesus was “approved of God among you by MIRACLES AND WONDERS AND SIGNS,” (Acts 2:22).
- God approves His ministers the same way
“These signs shall follow the believers: In MY NAME shall they cast out devils . . . they shall lay hands on the SICK, and they shall recover,” (Mk. 1:20).