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Bobby Stafford Spiritual Gifts  (Ephesians 4:7-16)     Ephesians / Spiritual Gifts June 15, 2014 Sunday AM Sermon

Spiritual Gifts

Part One

Introduction:

Paul had just stressed how important unity was to the church at Ephesus; how they were to obtain it and then maintain it. (Ephesians 4:1-6) In our text, he discusses how spiritual gifts were needed [before revelation was complete] for the church to be united in the first century.

Text: Ephesians 4:7-16

Body:

I. The One Who Gave the Gifts (Verses 7-10) Verse 7 “Grace” – The grace of spiritual [miraculous] gifts (I Corinthians 12:8-10) “Each one of us” – Those selected to receive miraculous gifts Christ made the determination of which individuals would have which gifts based on His [Jesus’] infinite wisdom. He knew what was needed in the first century to supply the needs of [His] the infant church. He, alone with the Holy Spirit, apportioned or meted out these gifts. (I Corinthians 12:7, 11) Verse 8 Quote from Psalm 68:18 “You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the Lord God might dwell there.” This is a prophecy about Christ. It describes Him ascending into heaven, having captured captivity. It is a picture of a victorious king returning home with what He has captured. Primarily here He has captured sin [death or the fear of death]. By His victory over death, He captured it. Note what I Corinthians 15:54-57 teaches about this. Verses 9-10 Jesus not only came to earth, but He also descended into the Hadean world where spirits of the dead await the resurrection. (Acts 2:30-31) He went into the part called “Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) But the gates of Hades could not retain Christ’s spirit. He broke through them, rose from the dead, and established His church as promised. (Matthew 16:16-18) If He had not risen from the dead, the church apparently would not have been established. But because He did rise from the grave on the third day, He returned to heaven and was seated at God’s right hand. The Holy Spirit was sent to the apostles to guide them into all truth and confirm that Word by use of miraculous gifts. (John 16:7, 13-14) Then the apostles gave spiritual gifts to certain members of the Lord’s church to help fulfill God’s plan before the revelation was complete.

Invitation:

These four verses are a marvelous description of the “One Who Gave Gifts.” The last book in God’s Word records these words of the resurrected Christ. (Revelation 1:18) “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” Christ took possession of the keys to Hades and Death. Because He conquered death, His victory insures our ultimate triumph. For if we “trust and obey,” we can have assurance and confidence that a home in heaven will be ours. (Hebrews 2:14-15) Are you ready to accept Christ’s invitation? 

Bobby Stafford

June 15, 2014

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