God’s Gift for Unity
God had given gift to the church. Christians, I mean true believers will have or had been given by the
Lord gift or gifts so that they will be able to walk worthy of their vocation and to live a life of
holiness. The gifts for unity in the church are given in verses 7-11. When Christ ascended, He gave
gifts to His people through the coming of the Holy Spirit. He also gave these gifted people to the
local assemblies. While verses 1-6 deal with the one body and its unity, verses 7-11 deal with the
many local bodies and the diversities of gifts. We must make a distinction between “spiritual gifts”
and “natural talents”, sometimes called “natural abilities or in born talents”. When you were born
here on earth, God had given you, talent in maths, sports, music, or arts. In this respect, all men are
not created equal, since some are more talented than others, stronger than others, more musically
minded, etc. In the spiritual kingdom, each believer has at least one spiritual gift no matter what
natural abilities he may or may not possess. A spiritual gift is a God-given ability to serve God and
other Christians in such a way that Christ is glorified and believers are edified. God’s gift of unity is
A. The word means “one who is sent with a commission.” Jesus had many disciples, but
He selected 12 Apostles (Mat. 10:1-4).
B. A disciple is a “follower” or a “learner,” but an apostle is a “divinely appointed
C. The Apostles were to give witness of the Resurrection (Acts 1:15-22), and therefore
had to have seen the risen Christ personally (1 Cor. 9:1-2).
D. There are no apostles today in the strictest New Testament sense. These men
helped to lay the foundation of the church – “built upon the foundation of the
Apostles and prophets” (Eph. 2:20), and once the foundation was laid, they were no
longer needed. God authenticated their ministry with special miracles (Heb. 2:1-4),
so we should not demand these same miracles today.
E. Christians have an apostolic ministry. “As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I
you” (John 20:21). But we must not claim to be apostles. (Bible Exposition
F. I would consider this gift a “temporary gift”.
Illustration: All About The Apostle Andrew
Only three things are mentioned about Andrew in the Bible:
He brought his own brother to Jesus (John 1:42).
He brought a lad with a simple lunch to Jesus (John 6:8, 9).
He brought the Greeks to Jesus (John 12:22).
That is all we know about Andrew. Unnoticed, unappreciated, all but forgotten, but what a ministry
was his. Without Andrew, there would not have been that great preacher of Pentecost, Peter.
Without Andrew the hungry multitudes would not have been fed nor the Greeks brought to Christ!
Tradition tells us one of these Greeks was Luke, the physician, who wrote the gospel of Luke and the
book of Acts. In heaven, Andrew’s name will stand high as the man who knew how to bring souls to
Christ. —M.R. DeHaan Encyclopaedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
A. We commonly associate a prophet with predictions of future events, but this is not
his primary function
B. A New Testament prophet is one who proclaims the Word of God (Acts 11:28; Eph.
3:5). Believers in the New Testament churches did not possess Bibles, nor was the
New Testament written and completed. How, then, would these local assemblies
discover God’s will? His Spirit would share God’s truth with those possessing the gift
of prophecy. Paul suggests that the gift of prophecy had to do with understanding
“all mysteries and all knowledge” (1 Cor. 13:2), meaning, of course, spiritual truths.
C. The purpose of prophecy is “edification, encouragement, and consolation” (1 Cor.
14:3, literal translation).
D. Christians today do not get their spiritual knowledge immediately from the Holy
Spirit, but mediately through the Spirit teaching the Word. With the Apostles, the
prophets had a foundational ministry in the early church and they are not needed
today (Eph. 2:20). (Bible Exposition Commentary)
E. Again, just like the Apostles, the prophet’s role was temporary.
A. The term “evangelist” means “a messenger of good tidings.”
B. The term is found three times in the N.T. and the usage shows us the two-fold
1. The term “evangelist” refers simply to the work of preaching the gospel.
Timothy, who was a pastor and missionary apostle, is told by Paul in 2Tim. 4:5
to “do the work of an evangelist.” In this sense, every Christian is to be an
2. There is also the office of an evangelist (Eph. 4:11). Some of the lessons about
the office of the evangelist are as follows:
a. It is an office in the church (Eph. 4:11). In Eph. 4:11 the evangelist is listed as
one of the ministry-gifted men Christ has given to the churches. In Eph. 4 we
see that evangelists are to work together with the pastors and teachers and
prophets to accomplish the ministry of Christ in the churches. Philip is an
example of an evangelist (Acts 21:8; 8:5-8,12,26-40).
b. The evangelist’s job in the church is described in Eph. 4:12. The evangelist
and pastors and teachers work together to accomplish this task, and it can
be summarized as two things: to build up the saints and to proclaim the
C. Unlike the Apostles and Prophets, evangelist’s role continues to the present.
IV. Pastors and Teachers
A. Pastor means “shepherd,” indicating that the local church is a flock of sheep (Acts
20:28), and it is his responsibility to feed and lead the flock (1 Peter 5:1-4.
B. “Elder” is another name for “pastor”. He does this by means of the Word of God,
the food that nourishes the sheep. The Word is the staff that guides and disciplines
the sheep. The Word of God is the local churches protection and provision, and no
amount of entertainment, good fellowship, or other religious substitutes can take its
C. Feeding and leading the flock of God follows the work of an Evangelist.
D. So just like the Evangelist, Pastors and Teachers’ work continues to the present also.
V. The purpose of these gifts.
A. To equip the believers for the work of the ministry
B. To edify the body of Christ.
1. To grow to maturity and come in the unity of faith (Eph. 4:13)
2. Having the knowledge of the son of God.
3. Measuring up to the stature of the fulness of Christ.
C. So, we will not be children (Eph. 4:14)
1. Tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine.
2. Deceived by craftiness and deceivableness of false teachers.
D. To grow up in all things as the body of Christ (Eph. 4:15-16).
1. Speaking the truth in love.
2. Increasing and edifying in love.
God’s gift for unity were made up Godly men. Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors
and Teachers. There can be no Apostles now as well as prophets, and we cannot all be
evangelists, pastors and teachers. However, we can all be united so serve the Lord and
bring souls to Him for His glory. Will you be faithful and use your gifts that as member of
Christ’s body we can walk together in unity?