SPIRITUAL GIFTS IN EPHESIANS 4

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  • Teaching (2-16): Paul exhorts the Ephesian church to maintain the unity (3-6, 13a) of the universal church (12b, 16a) by exercising their gifts of the Spirit (7, 8b, 11b) given by Christ (11a) in love (2, 15a, 16c) to build to up the congregation to minister to the universal church (12, 16b) using Christ as their model (13b, 15b) so that false teachers will no longer have their way (14).
  • Four Spiritual Gifts (11):
  • Gift

    Definition

    Authentication

    Formal Leaders in their Local Church Because of Their Gift?

    Available Today?

    Apostle

    For a discussion concerning if there are more than the Twelve plus Paul, click here.

    A believer with the full authority of Christ (Matthew 10:20; 2 Corinthians 11:10; Galatians 1:11-12).

    Signs, Wonders, & Miracles (2 Corinthians 12:12)

    Yes (Acts 6:1-7; 15:2, 4, 6, 22-23).

    No!

    (1) No one with authenticating miracles (2 Corinthians 12:12).

    (2) No one qualified (Acts 1:21-22; 1 Corinthians 9:1).

    (3) Gift was used to establish the church, not to maintain it (Romans 15:20; 1 Corinthians 3:9-17; Ephesians 2:20).

    Prophet

    A believer who receives Revelation directly from God (2 Peter 1:20-21; Revelation 1:1-3, 19; 19:10; 22:6).

    Received Revelation must agree with Apostolic teaching (1 Corinthians 14:29, 37). Otherwise it is not from God.

    No!

    (1) There is no indication prophets are formal leaders. However, prophets and teachers participated in the recognition of missionaries (Acts 13:2).

    (2) Philip’s daughters, who could not be leaders (1 Timothy 2:12), were prophets (Acts 21:8-9).

    No!

    The gift was used to establish the church, not to maintain it (1 Corinthians 13:8-10; Ephesians 2:20).

    Evangelist

    A believer who presents Christ and His work to those who have not trusted Him and who baptizes converts (Acts 8:5-40; 21:8). Philip’s ministry can be summarized by this description. Only Timothy is also called an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5). The use with Timothy is not definitive.

    (1) His Gospel must agree with the Apostolic Gospel (Galatians 1:8-9). Otherwise it is not from God.

    (2) The miracles of Acts 8, that drew the Samaritans, were to authenticate that they (verse 14) could be baptized with the Holy Spirit like the Jews (Acts 2) and, later, the Gentiles (Acts 10). These miracles are not met to be normative authenticators of the Gospel message.

    No!

    While Philip was a leader in the Jerusalem church (Acts 6:5-6), there is no indication that Timothy was ever a leader of the Ephesian church. Rather he was Paul’s assistant or designee (e.g., 1 Timothy 1:3) and carried Paul‘s authority.

    Yes (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)!

    Pastor-Teacher*

    (1) Pastoring involves observing believers to note advances made by false teachers (Acts 20:28-31). This ability is similar to the elder qualification in Titus 1:9.

    (2) Teaching involves educating others in the Word so that they are equipped for good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

    His teachings must agree with Apostolic teachings (Acts 2:42; 2 Timothy 2:2). Otherwise his teachings are not from God.

    No, but . . .

    when definitive, the Greek words for pastor/pastoring, if not used for Christ or for literal shepherds, are only used in the context of elders (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2). However, it may be possible that a person has the gift but has not yet become qualified to be an elder or has not yet been recognized as an elder.

    Yes!

    Apparently a pastor (the office) and an elder (a gift) can be held by identical believers. This should always be true in the case of an elder (see cell to the left). Thus the gift must be active today because elders are authorized to lead local churches today (Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Peter 5:1-4).

    (1) *The Greek indicates this is one gift, not two. (2) If you are pressed for time, at least look up the underlined verses. (3) There are others gifts not mentioned in Ephesians 4 that probably involve the ministry of the Word: exhorting (1 Corinthians 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:2; 1 Timothy 4:13-14), speaking (Acts 11:19; Philippians 1:14) and teaching (Acts 13:1). (4) Other lists of spiritual gifts are found at Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-31; 14:1, 37; 1 Peter 4:11. (5) The role of the Biblical elder-overseer/pastor-teacher does not corresponded to the assumed role of some contemporary "pastors."

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    HOME 2004, Ken Bowles -- September 30, 2010, Edition

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