"He... GAVE gifts TO men” (Ephesians 4:7-16). That He might RECEIVE (acceptable) gifts FROM men" (Psalms 68:18).
I love how Paul, in his Spirit inspired letter to the church at Ephesus, gave commentary on “the how” of Psalm 68:18. As mentioned above, Psalms 68:18 prophetically reveals that Jesus would ascend to heaven and receive gifts from men. So, how would Jesus “receive acceptable gifts FROM men?”
Paul gives insight and illuminates for us that He would have to first sacrificially descend and graciously give gifts of TO men, that those He called, redeemed and gifted could faithfully return, unto Him, what He equipped them to do.
What does this all mean? Jesus would graciously equip the equippers with a gift — that the equippers could gift the servers — so the servers could gift the body — that the body could gift each part of the body, with the rich gifts of His grace, truth and love — so each part in the body could fulfill the mission of the body.
The purpose of the gift is to equip the body to effectively fulfill its mission to reach people for Jesus, teach believers about Jesus, equip the brethren to serve Jesus and mobilize the missionaries to go with Jesus — in an unending cycle that He may receive acceptable gifts from men, even among the nations of the world (Romans 15:13-20).
Yes, to each one of us, in the body, grace was given out, in proportion to our calling and specific assignment, with the specific purpose of building up His body, for His glory and our good, that we as His body can offer Him acceptable service and people for His kingdom (Ephesians 4).
You didn’t miss this, did you?
Miss what, you ask? A repetitive phrase we noticed in Ephesians 1. This phrase was given to set the tone and spirit of the letter to the faithful saints in Ephesus.
In case you missed it, it goes like this: “...to the praise of the glory of His grace.”
What then, is to exist, to the praise of the glory of His grace?
That the saints, faithful in Christ Jesus, have been:
BLESSED, by the Father, in Christ Jesus, with every unseen and spiritual blessing in the heavens.
CHOSEN, by the Father, in Christ, to be appropriately and sufficiently covered in Christ’s perfect love, righteousness and sinlessness.
PREDESTINED, by the Father, for adoption, to Himself, by the grace gift Jesus.
ACCEPTED, by the Father, through His redeeming grace, provided through His Beloved Son.
REDEEMED, by Jesus, through His perfect life and sacrifice.
PURCHASED, by Jesus, through His substitutionary death.
FORGIVEN, by the Father, through the life blood of Jesus.
Now, those faithful brethren, who have been chosen, predestined, accepted, redeemed, purchased and forgiven have an incorruptible INHERITANCE, through Jesus, according to the counsel of the good pleasure of the Father’s eternal will.
That each one... from those who trusted Him from the beginning to those who would be sealed by the Holy Spirit, receiving the guarantee of His everlasting assurance, should ALL, at every point and phase of their lives, through His redeeming grace, EXISTS to the praise of His glory.
Let’s SUM it up like this:
The redeemed have been chosen and blessed, in Christ, and through His grace given everything the need, to EXIST to the praise of the glory of His grace.
All the work of the Father and His Son and His Spirit and His saints should be, that is exist, to the praise of the glory of His grace.
Don’t miss it... He’s worth it all!
Check out Pastor Nick’s corresponding audio message, “Skirting The Edge But Never...” posted on March 1, 2019.