“But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Ephesians 4:7 (ESV)
The church can rightly be seen as an anomaly. In other words, the church in many ways is an abnormality in that while it has great unity (Ephesians 4:4-6), it also contains great diversity. Unity within the midst of diversity. Like I said, an anomaly.
However, the church’s unity and diversity should not be seen by believers, or non-believers for that matter, as a contradiction or a something beyond God’s intended design. For you see, the church’s diversity amidst its unity bears the very imprint of God’s design. It is what God intended the church to be.
The Apostle Paul begins to explain to the Ephesian church, and to the church today, that its diversity is an evidence of God’s grace. Just as salvation from sin’s penalty is a gift of God’s grace so is salvation from the power of sin along with salvation from the eventual presence of sin. Salvation, from beginning to end from start to finish is all because of God’s amazing grace. Amazing isn’t it.
Paul writes, “But grace was given to each one of us…” Grace is the gift. God is the giver. Believers in Christ are the recipients of this gift of grace from the God who chose to be gracious.
Paul continues by saying, “according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” Paul literally means that God dispensed enabling grace to believers so that they would possess an inherent ability to serve Him. This enablement is by the Holy Spirit.
Dr. John Walvoord writes, “Previously Paul discussed the unity of the entire church (vv. 1–6). Now he discussed the diversity within the church (cf. unity in 1 Cor. 12:12–13, and diversity in 1 Cor. 12:4–11, 14–20). From God each believer receives grace or enablement (cf. Eph. 3:2, 7–8) as Christ apportioned it (lit., “according to the measure [metron, also used in 4:13, 16]; of the gift of Christ,” i.e., the gift He is pleased to give). 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. This means that a variety of gifts will be exercised, as seen in verse 11; Romans 12:4–6; and 1 Corinthians 12:4–6. Furthermore, since each believer receives “grace,” clergy and laity—to use a common present-day distinction—are on the same level in exercising their gifts.”
I Peter 4:10-11 says, “10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Whatever you are doing in the church, remember that the ability to do what you are doing is because of God’s enabling grace. It is His grace that not only saves you from hell, but also enables you to serve the Lord, and other believers, while you live on this earth before you arrive at home in heaven.
Soli deo Gloria!