The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, Pt 47

Diversity amidst Unity Pt3

Ephesians 4:7-16.

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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.

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.” [A] 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. [B] 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. [C] 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.