B1 First: Ephesians 4:7-16 WPNT Now to each one of us the grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift was given. That is why He says, “When He ascended into the heights He captured the concentration camp, and distributed gifts to men.” (What does ‘He ascended’ imply if not that He also first descended into the interior regions of the earth? He who descended is the very one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) Yes, He Himself gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints into the work of the ministry, so as to build up the body of Christ, until we all attain into the unity of the faith and of the real knowledge of the Son of God, into a complete man, into the resulting full stature of Christ; so that we no longer be ‘infants’, tossed about as by waves and carried off by every doctrinal fad, through the underhanded dealings of the people who collect the fee for the error; rather, speaking the truth in love, let us in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, Christ; from whom the whole body, being fitted and knit together by what every joint supplies, as each individual part does its work, promotes its own growth, its own edification, in love.
B2 Second: Ephesians 4:7-16 WEL To every one of us is given the grace according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8 Therefore, he says, "When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive and gave gifts to people.” 9 Now, this "he ascended" implies that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth. 10 He who descended is the same one who also ascended far above all heavens that he might fulfill all. 11 He gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 Until we all come into the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God into a full, complete man, into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 So that we would no more be children tossed back and forth and carried off by every wind of doctrine by the cunning deception and sneaky craftiness of men lying in ambush so as to deceive. 15 Instead, speak the truth in love. We must grow up into Him in everything who is the Head, that is, Christ, 16 From whom the whole body is harmoniously joined together and united by every joint's contribution according to what is required for efficiency from each part. This causes growth of the body into building itself up in love.
B1 God's Gifts
C1 Jesus Christ gives
D1 To each believer
D2 The amount He wishes
C2 Prophesied—Ephesians 4:8 WPNT That is why He says, “When He ascended into the heights He captured the concentration camp, and distributed gifts to men.
D1 Difference between our passage and Psalms is interpreted differently.
D2 “He captured the concentration camp” doesn't sound very much like “He led captivity captive” now does it. The point is that ‘captivity' refers to people held in captivity, and they are freed. When an invading army takes a concentration camp, the prisoners are set free (usually). We have here a quote from Psalm 68:18, where the second half says, “You have received gifts from men,” just the opposite of ‘distributed'. What to do? The Targum (a Hebrew commentary) interprets as, “You have given gifts to the children of men.” Upon reflection this would appear to be obvious. When you put tithes and offerings in the offering plate at church, you are giving to God, but does that money literally go to Heaven? No, it is redistributed down here—some goes to the preacher's salary, some to a missionary, some to pay the light bill, etc. God does indeed receive gifts from men, but He doesn't stash them in Heaven somewhere; they are redistributed down here. When done properly He gets the credit: “He distributed gifts to men.” Wilbur Pickering New Testament Note on Ephesians 4:8.
D3 "...gave gifts unto men—in the Psalm, "received gifts for men," Hebrew, "among men," that is, "thou hast received gifts" to distribute among men. As a conqueror distributes in token of his triumph the spoils of foes as gifts among his people." JFB comment on Ephesians 4:8.
D4 The Lord Jesus is the conqueror who receives gifts to give them to the prisoners who have been freed. Similar to the Hebrews when they left Egypt. They had not been paid for their hard work for years, (Exodus 3:21-22 NKJV) And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed. 22 But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.
D1 Paul interprets the passage for us.
D2 To go up you have to go down first.
D3 The going down is into Hades (Paradise) (the interior parts of the earth). Some interpret this to refer to the incarnation or even the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
D4 The going up is the resurrection.
D5 The resurrection is an awesome victory over the devil and his demon followers, the Jewish leaders, and death itself.
D6 He ascends into heaven itself.
C1 These are spiritual gifts. There are three lists.
D1 Ephesians 4:11-13 NKJV - And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
D2 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 NKJV Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
D3 Romans 12:1-8 NKJV I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
C2 The first list, Ephesians, are the offices, while the second are the abilities, and the third for encouragement to use them.
C3 The choosing for the offices, the abilities, and the amount are all the decision of the Holy Spirit.
C4 These are based on the love and wisdom of God.
C5 They are wholly of grace, not works. We deserve nothing.
C6 These gifts are to accomplish the mission that Jesus has for us.
C7 These are to
D1 Equip the saints for service
D2 Edify the saints
C8 When we are converted by God’s grace through our repentance, confession, and trusting into the Lord Jesus, we are just baby Christians. God expects us to grow. We grow by eating food; this food is the Bible. We need to study and live it. We need to be taught it and encouraged in the faith by the ministry. God’s goal is, Until we all come into the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God into a full, complete man, into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. The purpose of this full, complete, mature Christian is, So that we would no more be children tossed back and forth and carried off by every wind of doctrine by the cunning deception and sneaky craftiness of men lying in ambush so as to deceive.
B3 We all need to be solid in the faith. Doctrine is important. A Christian life is imperative.
B4 There are many deceivers who want to lead us away from sound doctrine and living a Christian life.
B5 We must interpret the Bible in its plain, normal sense.
B6 We must speak the truth, not in anger, not in arrogance, not in any controlling, narcissist, psychopathic method, but in love. We care about people’s souls, not to win an argument.
B7 Every believer is to grow into the person God wants us to be, and the model of this faith is the Lord Jesus.
B8 We need each other. We are a family. I need you, and you need me. We need each other. It is a must. If you can do nothing else, you can pray.
B9 Be encouraged, be steadfast, be praying, be studying, be serving, be at peace. (Hebrews 13:20-25 WPNT) Now may the God of peace—who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep— equip you for every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Now I appeal to you, brothers, bear with this word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words. Know that brother Timothy has been released, with whom I will see you, if he comes quickly. Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you. The Grace be with you all. Amen.