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Comment Highlight: Ephesians 4:11 list as characteristic gifts

Posted by on Aug 20, 2011 in comment highlights, spiritual gifts | 5 comments

Comment Highlight: Ephesians 4:11 list as characteristic gifts

I’m late getting this comment highlight up, but I really appreciated it, so I want to publish it here and give it more visibility.

The comment was left by Miguel on an old post called “And he gave… (Ephesians 4:11)

Here is Miguel’s comment:

I do not believe that Paul could have used any words in Ephesians 4:11, but only the words that were used. That said, I do believe that all believers are gifted with the characteristic ministry aspect of each of the gifts listed there. I think the other giftings in the other passages you cited are sub gifts of the ones listed in Ephesians 4.

Our primary concern in the region where we work on South America has always been whether or not the Ephesians 4 giftings are for the Church today. When I look at the greek, and find that “And He Gave,” is the Aorist Active Indicative and that it is classified as a “culminative or effective aorist,” it would seem, on the surface that those gifts “were” given at one point in time for the purpose of laying foundation and then, at some point in the future would no longer be given.

Perhaps some of my greek geek friends can correct my thinking here. Regardless, because word studies can often yield faulty conclusions, I do believe that the ministry gifts are not only still being given, but still very active.

What are your thoughts?


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  1. 8-20-2011

    Thanks for the highlight Alan, I appreciate both it and you.

    In our ministry, specifically, in our discipleship group setting, we spent much time on dealing with the gifts as characteristics. We are not in favor of pigeonholing people into these traits or doing spiritual gifting personality tests where they get locked in by others or themselves. While such assessments are helpful, the fleshing out of those characteristics happens when ministry is done, when life is lived among those whom God has sent us to.

    Not only do we try to see what characteristics people have been gifted with, but we also try to see what characteristics communities have urgent need for. For example, if an unreached community is in need of someone with the characteristics of an evangelist, then we send someone from our group who has already been identified as having that characteristic.

    Pastor-Teacher gifting for when new sheep are wandering, Prophetic for challenging, Apostolic for organizing etc. In this manner the region has transformed and we are not simply making disciples, but making communities of disciples who make communities of disciples.

    Blessings, Miguel

  2. 8-20-2011

    If you are interested Witness Lee gave interesting messages about this topic, including the problem with the clergy-laity division. This is the link:
    The related messages are 37-39

  3. 8-21-2011


    I like most of what you’ve said… but I’m not sure about apostle = organizer. Seems the apostles in Acts especially had other priorities.


    Thanks for the link. I’m not as familiar with Witness Lee as I am with Watchman Nee.


  4. 1-26-2013

    Luke 12:47-48…who knew his master’s will… James 4:17…to do and does not do it,,,

  5. 1-27-2013


    Thanks for the Scripture references.