Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Church Governance (21)

Gifts for the World
Many Christians just read over Eph 4:8, assuming that these verses are one of Paul’s funny allusions that do not matter. However, he put these words there for a reason, so understanding them will help us to understand his teaching. Eph 4:8 is a quote from Psalm 68:12, which describes the arrival of a new king after a decisive victory.

When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to people (Eph 4:8)
Everyone gives him gifts, even those who are his enemies. Paul gives this passage a twist. The normal practice is to give gifts to a new king, but when Jesus ascended, as king, he gave gifts the people of the world. The gift Jesus gave to the world are the people that he raised with him. These are not the usual courtiers of a king, who would come and control them on the King’s behalf. They are given to serve the world by becoming part of a body that will bring the life of Jesus to the world.

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