We’ve been looking at the unity of the Body of Christ we’ve been called to. As God’s blood-bought children we are called into union with Christ, identified with His righteousness, seated with Him in heavenly places and exhorted to live and walk in a manner that is worthy of the divine calling, with which we have all been called. We are not to guess how we should live but are taught in this passage (and elsewhere), that we should act towards one another in humility of heart and with a gentle and patient spirit.
“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Eph 4:1-6)
Every believer is saved by the same grace, through the same faith, given by the same Savior, who is both Lord and God of all. While our faith is unified under a single God, God brings each person exactly what they need, depending on who and where they are. In other words, God’s grace is given out personally. He knows exactly what we need and how to meet that need. This grace is given at varying levels as God sees fit. “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Eph 4:7)
Spiritual gifts involve a variety of abilities (Eph 4:11; Rom 12:4–6; 1 Cor 12:4–6), yet all of our gifts should work together in service to the “one God” (Eph 4:6). We are not given grace and gifts for our benefit alone; we are to see this verse in the context with which it was given — we are “ONE body and ONE Spirit, just as you were called in ONE hope of your calling; ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism; ONE God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Eph 4:4-6)
Paul taught that “grace was given” (Eph 3:8) to him to preach to the Gentiles. He was called as an apostle, yet was not given every single one of the various gifts of grace God supplies. He wasn’t worried about the gifts he didn’t have, instead Paul was focused on getting the most out of what he had been given by God. Paul taught salvation was by grace (Eph 2:8–9), we live by grace, and we operate according to our spiritual gifts by grace. “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Pet 4:10)
As I pondered over this post on my drive to work this morning, I was convicted that the Lord has given me a couple of gifts that I use in conjunction with each other. One is prayerfully pondering over what I’ve taken in until I understand what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me and then writing it out and sharing it so that others may understand what I’m beginning to understand.
This is a gift that I’m not to hold onto for my personal gains, but I am to share it willingly every week. There have been times that I’m not feeling well, or I’m in a funk and I just don’t do it. I understand when I don’t, that I’m choosing pride (thinking of myself only) over what the Lord has called me to do. This reminded me of what Isaiah prophesied: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Is 26:3) But if I put my mind on me and my struggles, perfect peace eludes me.
Who am I to say that someone else can’t use my pain to understand God’s Word? If I choose not to share the gifts He has given me for His glory, then I am sinning against God. I’m not making a mistake, I’m sinning and I must repent and mourn over my sin. The results are up to our Lord, not me. Jesus gave HIMSELF willingly for us. Should I not give myself willingly to Him, rejoicing no matter my current state on this earth? After all, my work is not for me, it is for the Lord and for His glory!
Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing grace and for Your unmerited favor to all Your children who are joint heirs with Jesus. Thank You for bestowing Your grace onto each of us individually… yet in different ways and in proportion to the measure of Christ’s rich and bountiful gift. We honor and bless You for Your amazing gift of salvation through Christ, and pray that we may live humbly, righteously and in the fear of God, all the days of our life – and for Your greater honor and glory. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.