But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ
(Ephesians 4:7 ESV)
Paul has just called believers to unity in the way they behave towards each other. Now he turns his attention to the diversity that exists among believers. God calls us to be unified. But that does not mean that we are all to be the same.
God has intentionally designed each human being differently. And when someone becomes saved God gives that person a spiritual gift – an ability to be used in such a way to further His kingdom on earth. If someone has not been rescued from God’s judgment (that’s what saved means) by God’s undeserved favor (grace) through faith in Christ’s death as his/her substitute they will not have one of these gifts.
Paul will list some of the gifts a bit later in this letter but before he does he reminds the Ephesians – and us – that “each one of us” has one of these gifts. It would be easy for the Ephesians to acknowledge that Paul – a spiritual strongman – has gifts but that they do not. Similarly we need to realize that not only do our pastors have gifts but so does every believer. God didn’t leave anyone out.
Interestingly, Paul uses the word “grace” to refer to these gifts. Grace is synonymous with giving. There can be no grace that isn’t given. God is a giver. He is all about giving of Himself to His children in order to benefit us [2 Corinthians 8:9 et. al]. The spiritual abilities that each believer receives are a gift from God, given to us by His son, Jesus. We do not merit them. We do not earn them. We don’t get to choose which one we receive.
Jesus simply bestows a gift on each of member of His family. That gift is “measured”. The Greek word for “measure” in this verse refers to an instrument used to determine an exact weight or quantity. The spiritual gift of each believer has been carefully thought out. It has been given in just the right quantity, with just the right abilities and limitations. No true believer can say they don’t have a gift or that they don’t have it in the right measure.
Too many non-believers misunderstand God. They think He is demanding. They think He is up in heaven watching over us like a cop waiting for us to mess up so He can punish us. No where in the Bible is God described like that. God is gracious. The definition of grace is “unmerited favor”. Grace is never earned. It is simply given.
God gave His son so that we can have eternal life (i.e. heaven). This was entirely an act of grace [John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9]. But the giving doesn’t stop there. After we are saved God continues to give.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.