Eph. 4:7, “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”
Maintaining the unity of the Spirit, the unity of the body of Christ, takes grace. God through Christ has given that to us.
God is a gracious God. When Moses asked God to reveal His glory to him, God declared that He was the LORD and He is gracious (Ex. 33:18-34:9). Everything Paul writes about in Ephesians is because God is gracious because of Christ alone. We have been elected in grace (Ephesians 1:4). We were adopted into God’s family, given redemption through the blood of Christ because God is gracious (Ephesians 1:5-8). Without grace, we would not be saved but would still be dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-9). And without grace, we would not be able to walk in a manner worthy of the calling we have received.
God is a God of grace. We should all be thankful for it and practice graciousness with others. How does this grace relate to the worthy manner in which we are to walk and eagerness to maintain the unity of the Spirit?
To Each one of Us
Paul says that grace was given to each one of us. Every member of the body of Christ is a recipient of grace. If not, we would not be in the body of Christ. We all have been given grace.
Grace is the great equalizer. No one in the church is more important than anyone else because we have all received the same grace of God. Since we are recipients of and have experienced God’s grace, we can maintain the unity the Holy Spirit created and to live in a worthy manner.
According to Christ’s Gift
Each of as Christians have received grace in salvation. Additionally, when Christ saved us by grace, He gave each of us a gift. The gift was given according to the measure of Christ. The gift we have from Christ is the exact one He desires us to have.
But how are we to use this gift? God has gifted us as individuals to serve the church. Therefore, no matter what gift we have or to what measure we think we have that gift is it not meant for our good but the good of our brothers and sisters.
Later in chapter four, Paul will outline the gifts that have been given to the church at large (Ephesians 4:11-12). But here he focuses on the individual gifts we have been given.
What we have in this passage is what we typically call spiritual gifts. Every Christian has one because Christ has given it to them.
But, as much as we hear this phrase for some of us, we may still be wondering what our spiritual gift is. There have been countless suggestions for determining what your spiritual gift is. You can take a test and answer the questions, and they will spit back an answer to you. While something like that might be helpful, I think there is a better, more sure way to determine what your gift is.
Here is my magical and mystical way to determine your spiritual gift, do something, serve someone. It is hard to determine what your gift may be if you never take action. Taking a test may help to get you started but if you never do anything with what you learned the test was useless. When it comes to spiritual gifts, we need less test taking and more action.
There is an essential element here. You and your church leadership need to be comfortable with failure. Let’s say you think your gift is teaching, specifically teaching children. So, you talk to your elders, and they give you some training, and then you begin teaching.
As you teach the children, your elders begin to notice certain things that stand out in your teaching. When teaching children, you use big words like supralapsarianism and propitiation. They notice you have a very good grasp of biblical truths and explain them very well, but not in a way a child can understand.
Does this mean you do not have the gift of teaching? No. It may just mean you need to teach an adult or college age class instead. But even though this could be viewed as a failure, it can also be viewed as you have this gift, but we need to use it differently to a more appropriate audience.
The same can be applied to any spiritual gift. We will never know if we have it or not unless we do something.
The Good of Others
Later in Ephesians Paul will command his readers to be imitators of God. God takes what is His, and He uses it for the good of His people.
When God gives us a gift, He aims for us to use it for the good of His people. No matter the ability we may think we have, large or small, when we use the gift Christ has given to us for the good of His people, to encourage them, then God is glorified. This is the key to use what God has given us for the good, and the unity, of the body of Christ.
There are two actions we could take from this verse.
One is to begin discovering what your spiritual gift is. You have one and God in His grace will show it to you.
Second, use your gift. How will you go use your gift to encourage someone at your church this week?