The Book of Ephesians ~ Chapter 4:8-11 ~ The Ascension of Jesus Christ ~ The Giving of Spiritual Gifts

Vol. 15 No. 29  – August 7, 2016

eph 4 vs 8 he gave gifts to menThe Believer’s Walk Based on His High Calling

Vs. 8

Eph 4:8, “Therefore it says, ” WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.”

Next we have: “He led captive a host of captives,” is first the Aorist Active, Indicative of AICHMALOTEUO, αἰχμαλωτεύω that means, “capture or make prisoners of.” It is used only here and in 2 Tim 3:6 in regard to false teachers who capture “silly woman,” (those without Bible Doctrine in their soul), in their false teachings. It speaks to those who are captured by sin.

Then we have the Noun in the Accusative, Singular, Feminine of AICHMALOSIA, αἰχμαλωσία that means, “captivity.” It is only used here and twice in Rev 13:10, speaking of imprisonment. In classical Greek this word meant either the condition of “captivity” or a “group of captives.” In our passage, it is the group, “host of captives.”  This is the spoils of Christ’s victory onto the Old Testament saint. He brought them from their captivity in the heart of the earth called Paradise or Abraham’s bosom to the third heaven, God’s throne room, in the Triumphal Procession, as noted above in the Doctrine of Ascension.

Next we see the spoils of the Strategic Victory of Christ given to the Church Age believers who are still on earth.

He gave gifts to men.” As we noted above, Paul significantly altered Psa 68:18, “received among” into “gave to,” sufficiently showing that he is not arguing from a verbal prophecy, but from a typical fact.

Gave” is the Aorist, Active, Indicative of DIDOMI. This giving was of “gifts,” DOMA, meaning spiritual gifts, “to men,” HO ANTHROPOS that means both men and woman. Combined this phrase means the giving of spiritual gifts to Church Age believers. This is the topic picked up again in vs. 11, after the parenthesis of vs. 9-10 that speaks to our Lord’s, “descending into the lower parts of the earth.”

In vs. 9-10, that was the time when Jesus proclaimed His strategic victory won at the Cross to those held in Hades, Tartarus, the Abyss, and below the Euphrates River, as we noted in the Doctrine of Ascension above and in 1 Peter 3:18-19; cf. Luke 16:19-31: 23:39-45. This was during the time immediately after His physical death on the Cross. He was a Trichotomous being at the point of His death. His body went into the grave, Luke 23:50-53, His spirit went into the presence of the Father, (3rd Heaven), Luke 23:46; John 19:30, and His soul descended into the lower parts of the earth, Psa 16:10; Luke 23:43; Acts 2:27, 31; Eph 4:9. See our website for more information, especially the lesson taught on July 31, 2016.

Finally, in vs. 10 it reads, “that He might fill all things,” HINA PLEROO HO PAS. PLEROO is in the Aorist, Active, and Subjunctive. The Subjunctive mood is for potential of filling all things where the potential is in mankind. If man accepts Christ, Christ fills Him, if man rejects Christ; he is not filled with Him. Likewise, as the believer goes forward in the plan of God, his life is filled with Christ, but if he does not go forward and grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, he is not filled with Him experientially.

It means that Christ’s body, the Church, is to be the full expression of God in the present world. And as individual members of His body, we have been given spiritual gifts which are to be used as the manifestation of God here on earth. Therefore, the Church, (all believers in any given generation), is the manifestation of God on earth that fills “all in all,” which means we are the physical working and functioning ministry of God here on earth during the Church Age. It indicates that the Church is filled with God’s Divine attributes and that the Church receives its fullness from Christ, who is receiving complete fullness from God, as He builds the body of Christ through the Church. It also speaks of Christ giving all things, namely gifted people, to the Church. Therefore, this is a reference to the Super-Grace life and blessings; the sum total of superabundant blessings, which completes the Royal Priesthood. This refers to the perfect happiness, the wealth, the success, the promotion, the prosperity, and all the blessings from God the Father provided for every believer as a part of the Royal Family.

This simply states that the Lord Jesus Christ has unlocked the door to super-grace living and blessings for each believer. It is a reminder that super-grace is not automatic. The potential subjunctive indicates the fact that while the super-grace blessings were designed in eternity past and provided, that at the present moment the Lord Jesus Christ is tapping His foot waiting to give us these things, it is only provided for those who reach the super-grace status, which demands a consistent positive volition toward Bible doctrine. Compare with notes on Eph 1:23, 3:19, “fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

Vs. 11 – The source of Super-Grace blessings.

Eph 4:11, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.”

And He gave,” is KAI AUTOS DIDOMI, in the Aorist, Active, Indicative. This is the absolute source of super-grace blessings, Jesus Christ, through giving us spiritual gifts, especially the communication gifts. The direct or the immediate source of super-grace blessings is the Evangelist who communicates the gospel for salvation and the Pastor-Teacher who communicates Bible doctrine for the edification of the body of Christ during the Church Age.

This picks up where vs. 8 left off, and continues the “grace given” of “Christ’s gifts” of vs. 7. We are talking about the giving of spiritual gifts here, specifically the communication gifts noted here in vs. 11.

When we think of “Christ’s gifts that He gave to men,” it has a double meaning. First and foremost, it means the spiritual gifts themselves. Secondly, it means the men who receive these communication gifts. These are certain men who are called to the ministry, and placed and provided locally in their service to God for the benefit of the Church / the body of Jesus Christ. They are “His gift to men.” The Lord did not leave this work to the uncertain and insufficient judgment of men, 1 Cor 12:11, 18. He, Himself bestowed these gifts with His personal and individual supervision as the exalted Christ over each member of His Body, as each one is appointed to the exercise of a spiritual gift “as He wills.

Therefore, as a result of the Ascension of Jesus Christ, He left behind communicators so that believers could reach the super-grace life. As such, we will note the Doctrine of Spiritual Gifts, as well as how you can discover what your spiritual gift is.

The Doctrine of Spiritual Gifts

Definition.

A Spiritual gift is a supernatural endowment by God to His children to empower and enable them to serve or function in some certain capacity inside the body of Christ. Their gift may be exercised towards those inside the body of Christ, believers, or to those outside the body of Christ, unbelievers.

In Eph 4:7-8, “gift or gifts” are the nouns DOREA and DOMA respectfully.

DOREA refers to a “gift” or a “present,” especially a “free gift,” or a “benefit” for someone. In the N.T., it is used for God giving us the Holy Spirit, John 4:10; Acts 8:20, or of giving us Jesus Christ as the Savior Rom 5:15, 17. Paul used it in Eph 3:7 and 4:7 for the communication spiritual gift he received from God.

DOMA is related to the word DIDOMI “to give” and emphasizes “what has been given,” that is, the gift itself. It is used in the New Testament only four times, Mat 7:11; Luke 11:13; Eph 4:8; Phil 4:17.

Another Greek word for gift is DORON that means “gift or present” including the votive offerings of religion. DORON is also used of God in giving us His Son Jesus Christ, John 3:16; 2 Cor 9:15. Likewise, God’s grace for salvation is a gift from Him, Eph 2:8f.

Finally, we have the word CHARISMA that means, “a gift, grace, benefit, or favor,” that is used predominately for the spiritual gifts the believer is given by God. Except for one instance in 1 Peter 4:10, CHARISMA is exclusively part of Paul’s vocabulary. The use of CHARISMA falls into two theological contexts:

  • It concerns the “gift” of salvation God has given to us in Christ.
  • It involves the spiritual “gifts” bestowed upon the Church.

In regards to spiritual gifts, 1 Cor 12 – 14 gives us the most information along with Rom 12. Oddly enough, “spiritual gift,” CHARISMA PNEUMATIKON is a phrase found only in Rom 1:11.

Rom 1:11, “For I long to see you in order that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established.”

The key word in understanding “gift” in Paul’s terms is “give,” as God is the only “giver” of “gifts” to His Church, Eph 4:7-11.

As such, all Spiritual Gifts are for the benefit of the Church as a whole, even though they may build up the individual recipient. The gifts of the Spirit are not to be exercised selfishly; rather, their intent is most fully realized only in the context of corporate worship and edification, as the ministry of the Spirit is ultimately manifest in the CHARISMATA.

Spiritual gifts are distributed to the Royal Family of the Church Age both as recognition of Christ’s strategic victory in the Angelic Conflict, and as recognition of the royalty of every believer in the Church Age. The distribution of spiritual gifts in the Church Age recognizes that Christ has already won the victory; therefore, we have the distribution of the spoils. As such, we are given spiritual gifts first as recognition of being members of the Royal Family of God.

In addition, for the Church Age, spiritual gifts are the Father’s organized witness and testimony to grace in salvation, Heb 2:4.

Heb 2:4, “God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.”

Finally, Spiritual gifts demand the function of royalty under the Grace Apparatus for Perception, (GAP), Eph 4:1-3, resulting in the attainment of the tactical victory of the Super-grace life, Eph 3:16-21. Therefore, the challenge of spiritual gifts is to GAP it daily and reach Super-grace.

Distribution.

The distribution of spiritual gifts is divided into two parts, initial and subsequent.

  • Initial distribution: At the beginning of the Church Age, spiritual gifts were provided immediately by the Lord Jesus Christ, Eph 4:8-11, especially the communication gifts.
  • Subsequent distribution: During the Church Age distribution is accomplished by the sovereign decision of God the Holy Spirit, who gives every believer of the Church Age at least one spiritual gift, known or unknown, 1 Cor 12:11.

1 Cor 12:11, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.”

These gifts do not depend upon human ability, morality, talent, achievement, but constitute a sovereign decision of God the Holy Spirit.

Function.

At any point in the Church Age, each spiritual gift in every geographical area is necessary for the function of the body of Christ in that area, 1 Cor 12:27-31. All spiritual gifts function through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:4; 1 Cor 13. The function of spiritual gifts also depends upon Bible doctrine in the soul as the result of functioning under GAP. Bible doctrines also mold a grace attitude for the application of spiritual gifts, Rom 12:3.

We learn from 1 Cor 12:4-6 that the gifts, ministries, and effects of God are all for the benefit of the Church so that God may be glorified. Paul did not see the CHARISMATA, “spiritual gifts,” DIAKONIA, “ministries,” and ENERGEMA, “effects / workings,” as three distinct manifestations from the three members of the Godhead. He saw them as coming from ONE God, “the same God” who “works all of them in all men.” And as we see, through the exercise of a CHARISMA, God’s grace (CHARIS) is ministered in a variety of ways, with a variety of impact.

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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson #’s:

16-087 through 16-089

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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.

To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

2 Responses to “The Book of Ephesians ~ Chapter 4:8-11 ~ The Ascension of Jesus Christ ~ The Giving of Spiritual Gifts”

  1. Ove Johnsson December 2, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

    Great material!

    I am glad that I found your website. I like your approach on the doctrine of spiritual gifts.
    My wife and I studied in the 60’s at Grand Rapids School of the Bible & Music using the Scofield Bible and learning doctrine from Chafer and all the professors from Dallas Theological Seminary.

    Ove & Sue Johnsson, 409 S. Ridge Dr., Olathe, Kansas 66061

  2. Ove Johnsson December 2, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

    It was the study on Ephesians 4:8-11 I referred to.

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