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The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, Pt 46

Diversity amidst Unity, Pt2

Ephesians 4:7-16. (read 1 Cor 12:12-20)

II. THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE GIFTS AND GRACES
What we are, we are by the grace of Christ. It is “according to the measure of the gift of Christ,” verse 7. He dispensed to us what we have and they are the fruits of His victory at the cross, 8-10.

1. At the cross the Saviour triumphed over His enemies and we were given the spoils. (Col 2:14-15.) This quotation comes from Psalm 68 where David is tracing the glorious interventions of Jehovah on behalf of His people and the victory spoils they enjoyed as a result, verses 1-4; 6-7; 12-13; 18-19.
Our Lord Jesus finished the work which was given him to do on earth, John 17:4, ascended unto heaven,  Acts 1:9-10, was exalted with that  glory which he had before the world was, John 17:5, poured out His gifts and graces upon the church, Acts 2:32-33; took possession of heaven in our name, Eph. 2:6, and there prepares a place for us, John 14: 2.

2. See how Paul proves his doctrine from Holy Writ. How complementary is the Bible. There is a unity in it that helps us understand the unity we should seek. This obscure portion in the psalms serves to assist Paul prove this great truth.

3. Here is proof of the deity of Christ. Psalm 68 is speaking of Jehovah, verse 4, and Paul applies it to Christ.

4. See how Paul develops this point. He does not pass over the reference quickly but presses the use of the word “ascend”,  verse 8-9 and shows the inferences of the word. Christ laid aside His glory in order to deliver us, John 17:5. He assumed the nature of man in order to suffer the consequences of sin for His people.

5. The dispensing of gifts to the church indicates that Christ has ascended to the highest glory. He fills all things. Sin empty all things for the sinner. As the prodigal was reduced to nothing so sin has emptied us of all good, comfort and hope. Christ, by His death and resurrection fills up our cup again. That which was marred and ruined by sin, He the divine potter, has renewed and made whole, Jer 18:4. He is a fountain that is inexhaustible. To Him we may go for refreshment; for an increase of grace.

6. Let us learn that the removal of one joy is but in order to introduce a greater joy. Christ ascended in order to pour out His grace and power upon His people to a degree unknown before. Let us ever trust the wise providences and loving rule of our King.it is the spirit in which we receive whatever providence send to us, Titus 3:2.
Longsuffering — Self-restraint. What God has shown toward us, 1 Tim 1:16; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:15.
Forbearnace — “To hold up under.” 1 Cor 4:12; 2 Thess 1:4 – “endure.”
This is the second great commandment stated in a different form. Matt 22:39.

3. This appeal is all the more powerful for it is addressed from prison. Paul was bearing with the opposition of men and devils as a Christian should. “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,” Ephs 4:1. He beseeches. It is an earnest call from the sufferer’s prison cell. It reminds us of the cost of the unity we enjoy. First, that of Christ on the cross and then those who endured devil and man’s hatred to bring us the gospel.
As this age gets darker, we will have cause to consider more the example of the servants of God of old, James 5:8-11.

 

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, Pt 47

Diversity amidst Unity Pt3

Ephesians 4:7-16.

Stream or download The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, Pt 47


We are considering the diversity of gifts distributed to the church by Christ, our risen and glorified Head. In the very 11, we have the gifts labelled, as it were. Here is a the third main heading of our study of this section.

III. THE DESCRIPTION OF THE GIFTS AND GRACE
The gifts Christ gave to His people are here mentioned under the titles of the offices for which the gifts fit men. Chief amongst the gifts of Christ are those graces which enable a man to fill one of these offices mentioned.

1.The Appointing of office-bearers is in the hands of the King alone. “He gave.” It is not for men to interfere or put their hand to this matters. C of E — bishops appointed by the Prime Minister. This is a travesty of Christ’s order. Those duly appointed ought not to be resisted in the proper function of their duties. “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you,” Hebs 13:17. Those appointed by Christ should labour diligently within the borders of their calling. “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5.
What is to be noted is the absence of any reference to popes or priests etc.

2. As such appointments are made by Christ, the maintenance of them are His also. The Saviour has promised to build His church, Matt 16:18. He will not want labourers to carry on this work. The office of apostle and prophet were not meant to be permanent. We do not have such today but He will continue to raise up evangelist, pastors and teachers. He is the Lord of the harvest, Matt 9:38. The words “send forth” denotes a very powerful thrusting forth. The call of God is a power not easily denied or refused, Jer 20:9. The labours of those trust out by Christ will be honoured by Him. He wil work with them, Mark 16:20.

3. The liberality of the Saviour is seen in the number of the offices. It shows liberality to the church that she should be attended by so many, each with their pecuilar labour. It also speaks of liberality to the labourers in that the work is very much shared out. Farmer with his many farm implements.

4. Let us recognise the blessing of God in the such gifts bestowed upon us. Men and women, it is a dreadful thing to be without the ministry of God’s Word. 1 Sam 3:1; Pro 29:18; Hosea 4:6; Amos 8:12; Matt 9:36; Rom 10:13-14; Ps 119:9-11; Luke 11:27-28 ( a word for RCs); John 14:23; Rev 22:14.