A note from our Pastor:
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”Ephesians 4:7
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
The Apostle has spent the last several verses speaking of the unity we, as believers, have in Christ and the unity that should be present in the Church. Now the Apostle is going to pivot and speak to the gifts unique to individuals. However, the established message of unity is important because it serves as a reminder to avoid competition and jealousy over unique gifts. Unity in Christ comes first and individual gifts should grow and sustain unity.
The principle of context is important to the process of interpretation with this verse. It is easy in this situation to see the word “grace” and immediately attempt to apply this verse to eternal salvation. Many times in scripture grace given by Christ is referring to his work upon the cross to make our salvation sure. However, the context of this verse does not support an eternal salvation understanding.
First, in this verse the Apostle says grace is given in measures unto men. When we measure something we limit the quantity of a substance. For instance, if a recipe calls for me to use 1 tablespoon of salt it is calling for me to limit the amount of salt. If I ignore the instruction and use 4 tablespoons of salt I will likely ruin the dish I am preparing. When it comes to the eternal saving grace of Christ we are told, where our sins abound grace doth much more abound. In other words, the grace which is given us in salvation is not measured but is rather overflowing. As such, we understand verse seven must be speaking to a different manner of grace.
In the following verse the Apostle says Jesus has ascended into heaven and having done so he gave gifts unto men. These gifts are linked back to the grace which the Apostle says in verse seven was given unto us in measures. Certainly, eternal salvation is a gift of God, but it was not given once Christ was ascended. It was given upon the cross and made known when Christ was risen from the tomb and seen of his disciples. However, these gifts which are in accordance with the measured grace of the verse before entered into the world after Christ left the world.
Finally, after the parenthetical, which is verses nine and ten, the Apostle begins verse eleven by saying “he gave some”. After this, he is going to list out some of the gifts given to men. With this, the argument, that the grace referred to in verse seven is not in conjunction with eternal salvation is completed.
In fact, the grace referred to in verse seven is the grace of God necessary to minister to one another. It comes in many forms and it is given in different measures. This grace is unique to each individual. This grace should be used to glorify the one who gave it and to bring together the people of God.
Our Prayers are with you daily,