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GIFTS TO THE CHURCH EPH 4:7-16 I. GIFTS TO ALL IN THE CHURCH (vs7-10) A. EVERYONE IS GIVEN GRACE (vs7) 1.[Illus.] Mainframe can become saturated, slow down, even stop a.All the memory is being accessed b.Not so with God 2.The Spirit dwells in every one of us a.How many Christians throughout the world's history? b.Our God is that big c.Can you number the grains of sand? d.Can you number the stars? e.Can you number the hairs on every head in the world? 3.God does not grow tired, confused or exhausted a.God has no saturation point b.He knows the number of water drops that hit you in the shower c.God gives every one of His children grace 4."according to the measure of the gift of Christ" a.What is the gift of Christ? (1)Salvation (2)LOOK @ Rom 8:32 b.Why would God withhold what we really need? (1)He won't (2)LOOK @ Phil 4:19 c.We must discern what is really need (1)LOOK @ Matt 6:33 (2)Seeking first the Kingdom will cause us to see our need for spiritual gifts to minister to the body (3)Are you asking God to give you gifts that will help perfect the Saints? (4)Are your needs oriented to the work of the ministry? (5)Do you ask God to enable you to edify the body of Christ? B. EVERYONE IS GIVEN GIFTS (vs8) 1."gave gifts unto men" - This is the place for diversity a.Eph 4:1-6 teaches unity: hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God c.We do not have a diversity of hopes; our hope is in Christ d.We do not have a diversity of Lords and Gods; there is only one e.We do not have a diversity of faiths; there is only one gospel of saving faith--the faith of Jesus Christ f.We do not have a diversity of baptisms; we are baptized into Christ g.But we do have a diversity of gifts among men 2.We have a diversity of gifts among the one body a.What do you have that has not been given you? b.We must recognize our gifts as gifts and not think they are results or products of our own skill or invention c.And our gifts are but one among many d.We should use our gifts for the glory of God and the benefit of His Church 3.Pride can interfere with our gifts a.We can think too highly of ourselves and over estimate the importance of our gifts b.We can begin to give ourselves credit c.We can fail to use our gifts for the benefit of the body d.This can cause others to think their gifts are less important and therefore they cannot benefit the body 4.Jas 1:9 says, "Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:" a.Great or small, you received your gifts from Christ b.You must use them for the benefit of the body c.None of you have gifts that are perfect and so large that you can be self-sufficient and satisfied with yourself apart from the brethren d.Sufficiency of spiritual gifts is found only as they are used among the body e.Does anyone think that God has given you all things as an individual that you don't need the brethren? f.Part of the need God supplies for you is fellowship g.You need the brethren, you need their gifts, and they need yours. C. THE GIVER IS ABOVE EVERYONE (vs9-10) 1.vs 10 says, "above the heavens" a.How large is our solar system? b.How large is our galaxy? c.How large is the universe? 2.Christ is above and beyond all this a.Yet He fills all things b.He is gone in bodily presence; He is in Heaven c.Yet His Spirit fills all things d.His Spirit is boundless II. GIFTS FOR ALL IN THE CHURCH (vs11-16) A. THE GIFTS DIFFER (vs11) 1.vs 11 says, "and He gave" 2.Christ gave the foundation for the Church and continues to give men who minister in the Church 3.The Apostles did not make themselves Apostles; they were chosen by a Sovereign God 4.If Christ does not continue to raise up pastors and teachers and evangelists, there won't be any 5.Seminary doesn't raise up a pastor B. THE GIFTS PERFECT (vs12-13) 1.Gifts are for perfecting the saints and work of the ministry a.Could not God have done this work of perfecting the saints? b.Could God not have done this work of the ministry? c.Yes, but He chose to have men do the work LOOK @ Eph 2:10 d.The ministry of the Word in the body is required by God 2.Can you think of a more excellent work than to form the true Church of God? a.This is why fellowship with the assembled saints on Sunday and Wednesday is so important b.If you neglect this means of grace, you are mad if you think you will be made perfect some other way c.God set this up; men did not create this work d.People who think they can just read the Bible alone and get by are crazy e.People who think they can be perfected apart from the ministry of the saints assembled as the Church are blind to this scripture 3.What greater walk, what greater vocation, what greater calling can there possibly be, than forming the true Church of Jesus Christ to worship with the assembly? 4.Obviously, Christ could build up and perfect His Church without the help of men a.But this is exactly what He has willed b.God has willed that you assemble with His people c.Think of the honor God has bestowed on you d.He is using you to build His Church 5.vs13 says, "till we all come" a.Means we will never outgrow our need for Church while we are in this world b."unity of the faith" LOOK BACK @ vs 5 - one gospel c."unto a perfect man" - Christ is our role model (1)Full manhood is not in womanizing (2)Full manhood is not in sports (3)Full manhood is not in fighting wars (4)Full manhood is in Christ C. THE GIFTS PROTECT (vs14-15) 1.vs14 says, "every wind of doctrine" - sound doctrine protects a.The Church is charged with teaching sound doctrine b.The Church is not to hide doctrine and keep the saints in infancy 2.Submission protects a.You cannot "grow up into him" if you fail to submit to the body b.Christ is the Head of the body, the Head of the Church 3."in all things" work, play, whatever we do we must grow up into Him a.How would Christ work and play? b.As we grow up into Him we will become more like Him c.We will not worship the god of "cool" (1)[Illus.] Boss comes up to say she's going to the MD - chest pains (2)I say, "I don't want to do CPR in our office, it might not look good." (3)Why couldn't I say, "I'll pray for you"? D. THE GIFTS BUILD THE CHURCH (vs16) 1.And the builder provides the gifts a.All the health and gifts of the Church come to the members of the Body from the Head b."unto the edifying of itself in love" - All growth and increase must affect the whole body c.If a man tries to grow alone apart from the body, he would become a deformity or a mutation 2.Every gift must be exercised in love and for others within the body of Christ


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