A Sermon on Ephesians 4:7-11
But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says,
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”
(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, (ESV)
Do different people inside the church receive different gifts? How does this play out? Is this fair? Preaching from Ephesians 4:7-11, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones works through these questions and more, helping us understand gifts in the church. First, he says, it is vital to understand that Christ alone is the head of the church— not any man. This is important because, secondly, God has given what Dr. Lloyd-Jones calls “special graces” to each member of the church through Jesus Christ. Sometimes referred to today as “gifts,” these help us to function as part of the church body. One of our duties as individual believers is to discover these graces in our lives and utilize them for the glory of God. How do these relate to the needs of the church or an individual’s calling in his or her life? Dr. Lloyd-Jones goes to great lengths to demonstrate from Scripture and personal experience that individual needs do not call people— rather, God calls some people to help with one need and others to serve in a different capacity. God uses people’s different calls and gifts individually for the harmonious working of the whole body of Christ. Finally, how are believers to view their gifts in light of those belonging to others? Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows us that we must not focus on what others have, but rather, be wise stewards of the gifts that God has given us— that is what we are held accountable for.