August 20, 2009

God's Gifts to His People

Ephesians 4:11-13

Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers …
Ephesians 4:11


God cares for the well-being of the church.

Christ himself made provision for the building up of its members by equipping various individuals with the gifts needed to achieve that goal. Everything needed in the church is covered by this provision. The function that each person fulfills will vary, but within that diversity of functions is a unity of purpose: “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”

Sometimes we tend to give credit to individuals for their leadership in the church—and we forget the Giver of those leadership skills. It’s good to be reminded that it is “Christ himself” who does the equipping. It is appropriate for us to be diligent in humility about the gifts that are given us.

The gifts we receive are not merely for personal enhancement. The one purpose of all the gifts Christ gives is to benefit others so that they are empowered to render “works of service”—“that the body of Christ may be built up.”

The church as an institution serves a variety of social and relational functions, but the most important of these is that the membership of the church be strengthened so that the mission of God in the world can be more effectively carried out.

We are grateful to you, O Christ, for making provisions for the needs of your people. May we be found faithful in using the gifts received for the purposes you intend. Amen.

About the author — Peter Borgdorff

Dr. Peter Borgdorff has been a pastor and administrator in the Christian Reformed Church for 40 years, most recently serving as executive director till his retirement in 2006. He and his wife, Janet, have five children and 14 grandchildren.

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