GIFTS FOR EDIFYING THE BODY OF CHRIST
The gifts of the Lord are to be used for the edifying, or building up, of the church. Each makes a contribution to the advancement of the gospel. Such gifts are perfected by proper training.
Paul pioneered theological education at Ephesus in the school of Tyrannus. Theological institutions to train pastors have become part of the life of the church through history. Christian ministries (such as preaching, writing and Bible translation, etc) require proper training. Missionary work requires multiple skills, and professional training becomes necessary. Anyone with a gift ought to make the best use of it. Every work done for God has results. Perfecting means that the faithful will receive proper instruction to know God better and to grow unto maturation. Gifted people are required to cause the people to understand the words of God as the Levites did in the Old Testament. Teaching the words of God today, especially in the midst of many conflicting voices, is an absolute necessity. The Apostle likened believers to new-born babies who need to be fed with milk or other soft food. When they grow up they will need to feed on solid food or meat. This requirement is stated in Ephesians 4:14: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” A faithful servant will serve as a parent to new believers.
When the body of Christ is instructed faithfully, she becomes a united church standing on the fundamentals of the Christian faith. The Apostles knew Christ as He taught them Himself. He left out nothing that was necessary for their service. They were entrusted with the duty of carrying the knowledge of Christ to the church.
THOUGHT: Effective witness comes by spiritual gifts.
PRAYER: Lord, may I know my gifts and use them for Thy glory.