BUT TO EACH ONE OF US GRACE WAS
GIVEN: (Eph 4:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14; Matthew 25:15; Romans 12:6,
1Corinthians 12:8, 9, 10, 11,28, 29, 30) (Ep 3:8; 2Co 6:1; 1Peter 4:10)
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There has been a
great deal of emphasis at the beginning of the 21st Century in American
Christianity regarding church growth, especially regarding the
utilization of man-made methods to attract and hopefully keep people
attending. What Paul is doing in Ephesians 4:7-16 is giving God's plan
for church growth, not so much in numbers, but in every increasing
spiritual maturity of the members of the Body of Christ. I would
subtitle this section "Church Growth 101". May God grant that many local
bodies composing the universal body of Christ complete His course on
church growth with "flying colors"!
But - The
idea is "on the other hand". It is a conjunction which implies
at the same time referring us back to that which has gone before. Paul
is still expounding how we are to preserve the unity in the bond of
peace. He uses the disjunctive word but to emphasize that his call for
unity is not a call to uniformity. He is not calling for the body of
Christ to be absolutely identical in every single respect, with no
differences at all. Unity is indeed oneness and harmony but it is not
sameness in all cases and at all times without variation.
Each one of us
- at first this statement seems to shatter the seven fold unity Paul has
just outlined. Yes, all believers are one in Christ, all one in respect
to our salvation and relationship to God as His children. But even
though we are all of one family, we are not identical and this is the
very point that Paul has been stressing - Jews and Gentiles in one body,
one new man, but still composed of different individuals (in ethnic,
economic, etc terms). And so Paul introduces diversity within the
background of unity, a unity in diversity if you will, a unity
that comprehends variation and variability. As believers we are
essentially one, but in many respects we differ and we must keep these
two principles constantly in our minds. The diversity does not destroy
the unity and conversely the unity does not do away with the diversity.
naturally arises as to how our unity which has been so strongly
emphasized in the preceding six verses be preserved in the light of this
diversity and variation? The answer is found beginning in verse 7
through verse 16 in which Paul marvelously explains how the body of
Christ is characterized by and held together in the face of both unity
Observe also that
in Ephesians 4 Paul moves from his focus on unity (Eph 4:4-6) to
diversity in Eph 4:7-10, and back again to unity in Ephesians 4:11-16.
Grace was given
according to the measure of Christ's gift - With this statement Paul
explains that the reason unity and diversity can coexist in one body is
because the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the Head of that body and as
such He is the Giver of the variety of gifts which are enjoyed by the
Church as a whole and by every single member in particular. This
principle guarantees the unity in the diversity! Paul explains this same
controlling principle using the metaphor of a human body in 1Corinthians
Now there are varieties of gifts, but
the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same
Lord. (1Cor 12:4-5)
Here in Ephesians
4 Paul goes on to what amounts to a parenthesis in verses 8-10 (the
parenthesis mark could just as easily have been placed before verse 8,
but the translators choose verse 9). This divinely inspired
"parenthesis" not only ascribes proper glory to the Giver but also
explains how Christ came into the position of being able to be the Head
of the church and the Giver of all gifts.
Each one (1538)
(hekastos form hékas = separate) refers each one
separately and thus refers to the individual members of the body who were to
be diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit. Here Paul is saying
that unity does not negate diversity of the members of the body.
Every member of the body is given this grace in the form of a gift from
the Head of the body, Christ. Every believer has received the
gift, the divine enablement, the divine endowment, the divine capacity
to minister to the Body. For more discussion on spiritual gifts,
including some ideas about how you can discern your spiritual gift
click here for
could have used just the word hekastos (each one separately) Paul
adds the Greek word "heis" or one, the first cardinal
numeral. Hekastos (‘to each one’) by itself would have conveyed
the sense of his appeal to individual believers but the addition of
heis (‘to one’) strengthens the point. The Greek sentence literally
reads "Yet to each one of us individually". In addition Paul's use of
heis connects this verse with the preceding seven fold repetition of
"one" (see notes
The point is that this added word emphasizes unity in the midst of
S Lewis Johnson
writes that this verse makes...
a striking statement, because it
means that every single individual in the body of Christ has a specific
spiritual gift. Do you know what your spiritual gift is? Are you sure
that you’re ministering your spiritual gift in the body of Christ?...
Four chapters in the Bible are devoted to spiritual gifts simply in the
listing of them: Romans chapter 12, 1 Corinthians chapter 12, Ephesians
chapter 4, 1 Peter chapter 4 (two twelves, two fours; that’s easy to
(hekastos) is used in each of the four primary discussions on spiritual
gifts and serves to reiterate that each and every member of the body of
Christ has received a spiritual gift. Before we go any further we want
to make absolutely certain that we clearly distinguish between
“spiritual gifts” and natural abilities you were born with. In the
spiritual realm, each believer has at least one spiritual gift
independent of their natural abilities. A spiritual gift is a sovereign
given, supernatural ability to serve God and other Christians in such a
way that other believers are edified and Christ is glorified.
For through the
grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly
of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound
judgment, as God has allotted to each (hekastos) a measure of
1Cor 12:7 But to each one
(hekastos) is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1Cor 12:11 But one and the
same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one
(hekastos) individually (idios - related to oneself, one's own) just as
1Cor 12:18 But now God has
placed the members, each (hekastos) one (heis) of them, in
the body, just as He desired.
Comment: The designation indicates
that God's relation is not just to all but is a personal relationship
with each one and represents a personal ministry through each
from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which
every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each
(hekastos) individual (heis) part, causes the growth of the body for the
building up of itself in love.
1 Peter 4:10
As each one (hekastos) has received a special gift, employ it in
serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Grace was given
- a more detailed discussion of grace is presented below, but
note that this reference to grace is not so much the grace that
saves but the grace that enables one to live the supernatural life and
in context to exercise one's spiritual gifts. Here grace is the ability
to perform the task God has called us to. There is a parallel use in
Romans 12 where Paul writes that...
"we have gifts that differ according
to the grace given to us" (see note
Paul had a similar
use earlier in Ephesians writing that in regard to the gospel...
I was made a minister, according to
the gift of God's grace which was given to me according to the
working of His power. To me, the very least of all saints, this grace
was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ
(Comment: Note that Paul is enabled by this grace to preach).
Enabling grace is
measured out to be consistent with what is necessary for the operation
of Christ’s gift. Each of us has received this enabling grace in the
exact proportion that Christ gave it.
Paul used grace
with this same nuance of that which enables writing to Timothy
You therefore my son be strong
(continually allow yourself to be strengthened or empowered with divine
power) in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (See note
2 Timothy 2:1)
Wayne Barber has this comment
What was the supreme gift of grace?
It was the Spirit of God. God gives the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of
God is the one who gives out the gifts. But remember, it is God’s idea.
The source of it all is the Lord Jesus and what He did for us in His
finished work on Calvary, in His resurrection, His ascension and
ultimate glorification. Christ became the source of all of our
When Paul says "to each one of us grace was given," he is talking about
grace gifts. Those grace gifts, as you know from I Corinthians 12 and
Romans 12, are there to minister inside of the body.
(charis from chairo
= to rejoice, be glad) (Click
word study on
charis) in this context refers to God's
unmerited favor and supernatural enablement and empowerment for
salvation and for daily sanctification. When we begin
to understand the word "grace" there is a rejoicing in our heart.
And so to an extent grace can be defined by what it causes,
including joy, pleasure, delight, gratification, favor and acceptance.
feel the urge to sing
click here for 104 marvelous hymns by
Isaac Watts, all of which include the mention of grace.
Bible Commentary writes that this grace was...
equipping rather than saving grace
that Paul describes. Charis (grace) here is not equated with charisma
(grace-gift), but denotes the grace provided for and manifested in the
The distribution of grace, and so the distribution of grace-gifts, is in
Christ's own hands and apportioned as He decides. (Gaebelein,
F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament.
The God of grace
is a God Who freely gives, which describes a gift which (because it is
from grace) has nothing to do with anything we have done. Grace is God’s
self–motivated, self–generated, sovereign act of giving. The grace of God is undeserved,
unsought, and unbought (that is we paid nothing for it but it was paid
for with the precious
blood of the Lamb of God). As Paul renders it, the infinitely high price of redemption was
paid for by
"the grace of
our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He
became poor (His incarnation), that you through His poverty might become
rich (spiritual riches that Jesus gives to all who place their trust in
The grace of God is described as...
(many-sided, multi-colored, variegated) (see note
1 Peter 4:10)
(sufficing, enough, adequate - there is never a shortage) (2Cor
Kenneth Wuest adds that although grace is free, grace
is not license to do as we please for
"grace in the form of salvation is so
adjusted that the one who receives it, turns from sin to serve the
living God and live a holy life, for grace includes not only the
bestowal of a righteousness, but the inward transformation consisting of
the power of indwelling sin broken and the divine nature implanted,
which liberates the believer from the compelling power of sin and makes
him hate sin, love holiness, and gives him the power to obey the Word of
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
(Gr. charis) is the basis for joy (chara), and it leads to
thanksgiving (eucharistia). Certainly when we begin to understand
the "grace of God" there’s rejoicing in our heart and
thanksgiving on our lips. There is a lift that comes to our spirit. How
many of us feel beat down? How many feel like we are in a valley? We
look around and nothing seems very appealing. But when we come to God’s
"word of grace" and begin to understand His sufficient grace, His
grace can has the power to lift our spirits and rejoice our soul! His
grace is the absolutely free expression of His loving kindnesses to
(didomi) means it was granted based on a decision of
the will of the giver and not on the merit of the recipient. The
indicates the the subject (each one) receives the action of the verb,
thus the giving was from an outside source, Christ, the Head of the
Body. The point is reiterated in 1Cor 12:7 below making it is
clear that every gift is totally and absolutely given by God (here in
Ephesians by Christ and in 1Corinthians 12 by the Spirit) and individual
believers don't have anything to do with choosing the spiritual gift.
One can conclude that there is no indication here that gifts should be
It is interesting
that immediately after calling for unity in the body, Paul emphasizes
that unity is not uniformity, but is consistent with
a variety of gifts and offices in the church.
ACCORDING TO THE MEASURE OF
CHRIST'S GIFT: (Eph 3:2; John 3:34; Romans 12:3;
2Corinthians 10:13, 14, 15)
(kata) or proportionate to Christ's wealth, not just a portion
thereof. If I am a billionaire and I give you ten dollars, I have given
you out of my riches; but if I give you a million dollars, I have given
to you according to my riches. The first is a portion; the second is a
proportion. The first would take it out of His riches, and would be like
Mr. Rockefeller who used to give his caddy a dime. How wealthy is
alluded to Christ's riches writing...
To me, the very least of all saints,
this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches
of Christ (See note
Paul wrote that in Christ)
are hidden all the treasures of
wisdom and knowledge. (See note
(metron) refers to a measure of capacity.
explains that measure...
is the idea of portioning something
out. Someone in the church told me something that I think it is a great
idea. He said, "Sometimes we would have pie left from a meal. We knew we
had enough for two pieces but it had not been cut yet. We always let one
of our children cut the pie, but the other one got the first choice of
the piece." Now I like that. That means it is going to be cut evenly.
You had better believe it is going to be cut evenly because if you cut
it unevenly, and the other one gets the first choice, you get the
smallest piece. Paul is saying it is Christ who cut the pie. Don’t you
wish sometimes that you had a bigger piece of the pie? I mean, you look
around and see what others get to do that has a kind of glamour to it.
Then you look at your own piece of pie and say, "Wait a minute. I got
short-changed. How come my piece of the pie is so small and their piece
of the pie is so large?" Friend, what he is saying here is, we haven’t
got a thing to say about it. Christ is the one who made sure that the
pie was cut. He is the one who made those kinds of decisions. You see,
so often in the body of Christ, we don’t realize that. We are jealous of
others. We are envious of others. We want somebody else’s ministry. We
want somebody else’s gifts without realizing anything short of hell is
grace. Just to have a gift at all is certainly beyond what any of us
deserve. The word for grace, charis, means that which you don’t deserve.
It is Christ who is the source of every bit of it. Again, unity is not
uniformity. We are all diversified in our gifts as to the amount and as
to the gifts themselves.
Within the unity of the body each
member has a distinctive service to render for the effective functioning
of the whole. The ability to perform this service is due to the ‘grace’
given by the ascended Christ to each one. Grace is viewed in terms of
its outworking in a variety of ways in the lives of individuals, and
thus comes to signify much the same as charisma does in the parallel
passages in Paul (1Cor 12:4; Ro 12:6). Perhaps the use of charis here,
rather than charisma, is to stress the source of divine grace in
providing the gifts. Not all believers, however, have the same abilities
or receive the same gift. Grace was distributed in varied measure to
each individual, and this is ultimately due to Christ’s sovereign
distribution. The proportionate allocation of gifts is underscored
elsewhere by the apostle: according to 1Corinthians 12:11 it is the
Spirit who ‘apportions to each one individually as He wills’, while in
Romans 12:3 the similar notion of God measuring out different degrees of
faith appears. In Ephesians 4 this measuring, like the giving in
general, is the work of the ascended Christ. So grace was given to the
apostle Paul for his ministry to Gentiles (cf. 3:2, 7, 8); now it is
said to be given to each individual Christian for the benefit of the
whole body. (O'Brien,
P. T. The Letter to the Ephesians. W. B. Eerdmans. 1999
Whereas each believer has received
grace (unmerited favor and divine enablement) from God (see notes
God does not give each Christian the same measure of grace. Paul spoke
of God’s gift of grace here as ability to serve God. Though Jews and
Gentiles both receive enabling grace from God, God gives this ability to
different individuals differently (Ephesians Expository Notes)
writes regarding according to the measure that...
Each believer is to function in
Christ’s body by God’s enablement, proportionate to the gift (spiritual
ability) bestowed on him, no more and no less. (Walvoord,
J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor).
explains that the term measure means that the...
specific portion given is by
sovereign design from the Head of the church. The Lord has measured out
the exact proportion of each believer’s gift (compare Paul’s use of the
phrase “the measure of faith” in Ro 12;3-see
The exact proportion of enabling grace on the part of God is linked with
the exact proportion of enacting faith on the part of each believer; and
God is the source of both. The sum of this is that God gives both the
grace and the faith to energize whatever gift He gives to the full
intent of His purpose.
In light of the truth just stated it
is clear that since they sovereignly given (cf. 1Cor. 12:4-7,
11), no gifts should be sought; that since they are essential elements
in God’s plan (cf. 1Cor. 12:18, 22, 25), no gifts should be
unused; and that since they come from the Lord, no gifts should be
exalted (cf. Ro 12:3).(MacArthur,
J: Ephesians. Chicago: Moody Press)
This grace which is in the form of
the enabling and empowering of the Holy Spirit, is given the saint
“according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Expositors explains as
“Each gets the grace which Christ has
to give, and each gets it in the proportion in which the Giver is
pleased to bestow it; one having it in larger measure and another in
smaller, but each getting it from the same Hand and with the same
We must be careful to note that this
grace has to do with the exercise of special gifts for service, not the
grace for daily living. The former is limited, and is adjusted to the
kind of gift and the extent to which the Holy Spirit desires to use that
gift in the believer’s service. The latter is unlimited and subject only
to the limitations which the believer puts upon it by a lack of
yieldedness to the Spirit. The context here, (Eph 4:11, 12), is one of
service, not of general Christian experience
(Christos from chrio = to anoint, rub with oil, consecrate
to an office) is the Anointed One, the Messiah, Christos being the Greek
equivalent of the transliterated Hebrew word Messiah. As a Jew learned
the Torah, now the Christian learns Christ!
- Each and every believer has a gift that is measured out to us
and this gift includes certain distinct capabilities, parameters, and
There are 4 major
passages on spiritual gifts in Scripture - Romans 12:3-8, 1Corinthians
12, Ephesians 4:11ff, and 1Peter 4:10-11, (they are easy to remember for
there are 2 twelves and 2 fours).
For through the grace given to me I
say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he
ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has
allotted to each a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have many members
in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we,
who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of
another. 6 And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace
given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according
to the proportion of his faith;
7 if service, in his serving; or he
who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation;
he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who
shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
12:4 Now there are varieties
(diaresis from diaireo = divides and so distributions - not merely that
the Spirit bestows different gifts, but bestows certain gifts to certain
people, not the same to all) of gifts (charisma = -ma speaking of
the result or effect of grace, always of the gifts of the Spirit), but
the same Spirit (cf, the "unity of the Spirit", or the unity
which the Spirit gives, see notes
5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord
(cf "one Lord", see note
6 And there are varieties of effects (energema - suffix
–ma makes it the result or effect of energeia = energy.), but the
same God (note the Triune God in spiritual gifts, cf "one God"
Who works (energeo - energizes) all things in all persons (no
matter how well trained and experienced or how unselfishly motivated, we
cannot exercise our gifts in our own power. Spiritual gifts are
supernatural abilities, sovereignly given and divinely energized.
Regarding effects note that every exercise of a spiritual gift does not
produce the same effect each time. The same message given in several
different circumstances will not produce the same results. It is God's
12:7 But to each one
(the repeated emphasis found in all four groups of passages on spiritual
is given (passive
manifestation (making visible or observable, open to sight, making
known or evident - others can spot your gift - this truth should help
you discern your specific gift or gifts - see
Discovering and Using Your Gift) of the Spirit (each
gift is a visible evidence of the Spirit's activity) for the common
good (sumphero from
sun = with speaking of intimacy and
phero = bring, literally bring together, and then confer a benefit,
profit or advantage. Not only does the exercise of our spiritual gifts
minister to others but it also helps them to better use their own gifts
- As we each minister our own gifts we help others to better minister
theirs. On the other hand, as we fail to minister our own gifts we
hinder others in ministering theirs. A Christian who does not exercise
his spiritual gifts cripples his own ministry and the ministry of
others—to say nothing of forfeiting the blessing and reward that would
have come to his own life).
12:8 For to one is given the
word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge
according to the same Spirit;
9 to another faith by the same Spirit
(This does not refer to saving faith but the ability for example to see
something that needs to be done and to believe that God will do it even
though it looks impossible. Trusting that sense of faith, a person with
this gift moves out and accomplishes the "impossible" task in God's name
and for His glory), and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
10 and to another the effecting of
miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of
spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the
interpretation of tongues.
12:11 But one and the same Spirit
(cf, "one Spirit"
works (energeo - energizes and makes effective - idea is that we allow
God to work through us by power of the Spirit) all these things,
distributing (diaireo - dividing, assigning, apportioning) to
each one individually (idios - pertaining to a private person, an
individual) just as He wills (carries stronger idea of choosing one
thing over another).
12:12 (The metaphor of the
human body) For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and
all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also
12:13 (Paul explains the
origin and composition of the spiritual body of Christ) For by one
Spirit we (only believers) were all baptized (identified with, brought
into union with Christ and each other) into one body, whether Jews or
Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one
12:14 For the body is not one
member, but many.
15 If the foot should say, "Because I
am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason
any the less a part of the body.
16 And if the ear should say,
"Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for
this reason any the less a part of the body.
17 If the whole body were an eye,
where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the
sense of smell be?
18 But now God has placed the
members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.
19 And if they were all one member,
where would the body be?
20 But now there are many members,
but one body.
21 And the eye cannot say to the
hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no
need of you."
22 On the contrary, it is much truer
that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;
23 and those members of the body,
which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor,
and our unseemly members come to have more abundant seemliness,
24 whereas our seemly members have no
need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor
to that member which lacked,
25 that there should be no division
in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one
26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one
member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.
28 And God has appointed in the
church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles,
then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of
29 All are not apostles, are they?
All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are
not workers of miracles, are they?
30 All do not have gifts of healings,
do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret,
31 But earnestly desire the greater
gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.
1 Peter 4:10
As each one (hekastos) has
= past completed, effective action;
= a reality) a special
gift (charisma - the result of grace), [employ it] in serving
(diakoneo - render assistance or help by performing certain duties often
of a humble or menial nature) one another, as good stewards (speaks of
responsibility of proper use of that which the owner has entrusted to
another) of the manifold (variegated, multicolored) grace of God.
Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God
(be sure that the words he speaks are, as if were, the very words God
would have him say on that particular occasion - closer one sticks to
Scripture, the better!); whoever serves, let him do so as by the
strength (ischus - latent power, God's capability to function
effectively) which God supplies; so that in all things God may be
glorified (the ultimate purpose of the exercise of our gifts) through
Jesus Christ (His mediatorial or function as our Great High Priest), to
Whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (See
1 Peter 4:10,
Comment on 1Peter 4:10-11: One conclusion from
1 Peter 4:10 is that believers are
not meant to be the terminals of God’s gifts like the Dead
Sea that has no outlet. When His grace flows into us is is not to end
with us. We are intended to be channels through whom His
grace associated with that specific gift [edification, encouragement,
etc] can flow to others in the body of Christ, so that the body might be
healthy and fully functional. In other words, when a believer does not
minister his or her gift properly as God’s steward, God’s work suffers
to that degree—because God has not called or gifted another Christian in
exactly the same way or for exactly the same work. That is why no
Christian is to be a spectator. Every believer is on the team, part of
the body, and is strategic in God’s plan, with his or her own unique
skills, position, and responsibilities.
the gifts are given to each
Christian—that is, everyone has at least one gift—and for that reason,
the church is only fully vigorous and healthy when all are ministering.
It has been a failure to see this truth which more than anything else
has led in church history to what John Stott calls “the clerical
denomination of the laity.” As Stott points out, there has developed
within the church (for a variety of reasons) a division between “clergy”
and “laity” in which the clergy are supposed to lead and do the work of
ministry while the people (which is what the word “laity” means) are to
follow docilely—and, of course, give money to support the clergy and
their work. (Boice,
J. M.: Ephesians: An Expositional Commentary)
from didomi = to give) refers to a free gift and
emphasizes the gratuitous character of the gift. Dorea describes that
which is given or transferred freely by one person to another. It is
something bestowed freely, without price or compensation.
In context Paul is
referring to a supernatural gift, commonly referred to as a spiritual
gift. In ancient Rome we we find dorea used in an Imperial
during the time of Hadrian referring to the Emperor's beneficium
(in Roman law this referred to some special privilege or favor granted)
to the soldiers.
emphasizes the freeness of His grace and gifts, whereas charisma
(gift) highlights the gracious aspect of what God has done. Dorea
does not focus on the undeservedness of the gift as does charismata (the
special “gifts”; see above 1Cor. 12:4; cf 1
Peter 4:10 - notes)
nor on the spiritual source of the gift as does pneumatikon (“spiritual
gifts,” literally spiritual things as in 1Cor. 12:1). In other
words, dorea places the stress on "free" and does not emphasis the
quality or character of the gift as much as it does the gratuitous
The English words
bounty and largess pick up the idea as it speaks of
something given generously or liberally.
dorea 4 times in Acts to refer to the gift of the Spirit...
Acts 2:38 And Peter said to
them (to the Jews), "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name
of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive
the gift (dorea) of the Holy Spirit. (Comment: Contrary to
much contemporary teaching, Peter attached no condition to receiving the
Spirit except repentance. Nor did he promise that any supernatural
phenomena would accompany their reception of the Spirit)
Acts 8:20 But Peter (to Simon
the Sorcerer) said to him, "May your silver perish (ruin of all that
gives worth to existence) with you, because you thought you could obtain
the gift (dorea) of God with money (source of our English word
simony - he buying or selling of a church office, pardons or other
Acts 10:45 And all the
circumcised believers (born again Jews) who had come with Peter were
amazed, because the gift (dorea) of the Holy Spirit had been
poured out upon the Gentiles also (Roman centurion Cornelius and those
with him - they discerned the Gentiles had the gift because they spoke
in tongues - God wanted the Jews to know that the church was to be
composed of Jews and Gentiles on equal grounds at the foot of the
Acts 11:17 "If God therefore
gave to them (the Gentiles who believed in Messiah) the same gift
(dorea) as He gave to us (Jews at Pentecost, Acts 2) also after
believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in
Here are the
other 9 NT uses (4 uses in the
Da 2:6, 48; 5:17; 11:39) of dorea...
John 4:10 Jesus answered and
said to her, "If you knew the gift (dorea) of God, and who it is
who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He
would have given you living water (fulfilled in New life through the
Spirit, as in John 7:37-39)."
(note) But the free
gift (charisma) is not like the transgression. For if by the
transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God
and the gift (dorea) by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ,
abound to the many (who received Him by faith).
Romans 5:17 (note)
For if by the
transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those
who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift (dorea) of
righteousness will reign in life (especially as they supernaturally
experience power over their former master "Sin") through the One, Jesus
2Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be to
God for His indescribable (incapable of being adequately uttered or
expressed) gift (dorea)!
Ephesians 3:7 (note)
(Paul speaking of the gospel
through which the mystery of Jew and Gentile in one body was revealed
says that in regard to this gospel) I was made a minister,
according to the gift (dorea) of God's grace which was given to
me according to the working of His power.
Hebrews 6:4 (note)
For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted
of the heavenly gift (dorea) and have been made partakers of the
Ray Stedman summarizes this
introductory passage in Ephesians 4:7 on Church Growth 101 writing...
In that brief sentence there is a
reference to two tremendous things: (1) the gift of the Holy Spirit for
ministry, which is given to every true Christian without exception, and
(2) the new and remarkable power by which that gift may be exercised. We
will look carefully at both of these in due order, but let us begin with
the gift of the Spirit, which Paul refers to as a "grace."
The word "grace" in the original language is charis, from which
the English adjective, charismatic, is derived. This "grace" is a
God-given capacity for service which we have received as Christians, and
which we did not possess before we became Christians. This "grace" is
given to all true Christians, without exception.
Paul himself, in Ephesians 3:8, refers to one of his own gifts or
"graces" of the Spirit:
"To me, though I am the very least of
all the saints, this grace [charis] was given."
What was the grace? He goes on:
"To preach to the Gentiles the
unsearchable riches of Christ."
Clearly one of his gifts was that of
preaching--or, as it is called in other places, the gift of prophesying.
When Paul writes to his young son in the faith, Timothy, he uses a
closely related word and says to him,
"Hence I remind you to rekindle the
gift [charisma] of God that is within you" (2 Tim. 1:6).
There seems little doubt that this is
where the early church began with new converts. Whenever anyone, by
faith in Jesus Christ, passed from the kingdom and power of Satan into
the kingdom of God's love, he was immediately taught that the Holy
Spirit of God had not only imparted to him the life of Jesus Christ, but
had also equipped him with a spiritual gift or gifts which he was then
responsible to discover and exercise. The apostle Peter writes, "As each
has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of
God's varied grace" (1
Peter 4:10). And
again, in 1Corinthians 12:7, Paul writes:
"To each is given the manifestation
of the Spirit for the common good."
It is significant that in each place
where the gifts of the Spirit are described in Scripture, the emphasis
is placed upon the fact that each Christian has at least one. That gift
may be lying dormant within you, embryonic and unused. You may not know
what it is, but it is there. The Holy Spirit makes no exceptions to this
basic equipping of each believer. No Christian can say, "I can't serve
God; I don't have any capacity or ability to serve Him." We have all, as
authentic followers of Christ, been gifted with a "grace" of the Spirit.
It is vitally essential that you discover the gift or gifts which you
possess. The value of your life as a Christian will be determined by the
degree to which you use the gift God has given you. (Body
Life -- Ch 4- All God's Children Have Gifts - Ephesians 4:7)