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gift questions

31-10-2011 - Posted by Andre Piet

Concerning the weblog about the gifts in Ephesians 4:11, I received a number of responses. I had asserted that the five gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) referred to those who have given us the “New Testament”. Since then, the ecclesia is mature, no longer underage. Besides agreements, this blog also received criticism. Two points of criticisms are worthy to be mentioned, especially since they confirm and complement what was presented. 1. Even today, the work of evangelists, pastors and teachers is very much needed. I completely agree. However, in contrast to the period in which these five gifts were given, now, these gifts do not anymore belong, exclusively, to some, but constitute work for which the completed scriptures may make every believer competent. So Paul could write to Timothy: “Do the work of an evangelist” (2Tim.4:5). The Scriptures may make one capable to every good work (2Tim.3:17), including the work of ‘shepherding’ others and of teaching the Scriptures. 2. The ecclesia is still made up of minors and immature believers. Again, I totally agree. In Ephesians 4, it is said that the gifts will be given until the ecclesia, as a whole, will have become a “full-grown man” (:13) and (in the midst of many winds of doctrine!) will no longer be immature (:14). At the same time, individual believers are encouraged to be growing into Him, Who is the head (Eph.4:15). Yes, individually, every believer experiences a growth-process, but since the completion of the Scriptures, the ecclesia, as a whole, has obtained an adult status (See also: 1Cor.13). ——————————— translation: Peter Feddema