Ephesians 4:11, 12. (KJV) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
The “He” that gave the gifts is the Lord Jesus, the one who descended, ascended, and completed all things. In 1Corinthians 12:28, we find that He gave these gifts to the church. As long as we still have the church, we still have all five of the ministry offices. However, these gifts were given to actualize God’s intended purpose in the church.
The original Greek (of verse 12) has no commas or punctuation marks. If you remove the first comma, the sentence might make more sense. The ministry gifts are “for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry.” The ministry gifts are not to do the work of the ministry [alone]. They are to perfect the saints so they can go do the work of the ministry. This is called discipleship. Jesus told us to go into all nations and make disciples of them (Matthew 28:19-20).
Ministers are not to do the work alone but are to teach the people to do the work. The minister should not have to come to your house and witness to your neighbor. He should instruct you in the Word so you can witness to your neighbor. The ministry offices are not doormats for you to walk over and use for your own whims. They are called by God to stand in their appropriate offices and instruct you in the ways of ambassadorship for the kingdom of God.
The ministry gifts are set in the body of Christ. Yes, God can and will give you personal revelations but not like those He will give you through a ministry gift. He has called and anointed that person to that office. Your own personal revelations during times of personal study will increase as your life comes into order and you submit to a pastor. Also, when you recognize the God-given authority in other known ministers, your own prayer and study life will be more effective.
God into today with this understanding; God has set the ministry gifts in the church for my edifying and perfecting so that, as I grow, I can win others and do the work of the ministry.
Prayer: ask God for grace to be humble to receive the ministry gifts sent to you.
—George Evuarherhe Djorhogba
Bible In One Year: Isaiah 7-11 (In Devotional Audio)
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