Diversity within unity. We are one body but we are not all the same.
The grace given to us is the gifts that are freely given. Paul will go on to explain the 5-fold gifts of God but first he stresses the generosity of the gifts.
He quotes from Psalm 68. The king in this Psalm coming home from a victory, parades what he had taken back from the enemy: the spoils and the recaptured soldiers. Paul doesn’t focus on Psalm 68 and the gifts the king received but on the gifts he freely gave after he received them.
The King has recaptured his soldiers – us!
He has ascended and has sent the Gift, the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit has distributed those gifts.
It cost God for our free gifts.
It was the death on the cross. It was the fact that the King descended to the lower, earthly regions.
Many are divided over where that is. However surely the point is that in order for the Gift to be freely given to us the King stooped low for them. Therefore, shouldn’t we stoop low in the use of them? Shouldn’t we be operating in the Gift in a servant way, in humility? For if we know how to descend then maybe we will know how to ascend. If we humble ourselves then He will exalt us.
So here are the verses in Ephesians 4 v7-10
“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:
‘When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.’
(What does ‘he ascended’ mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)”
The encouragement for us today is:
We are one but also individual: BE YOU.
The Gift in us is displayed uniquely: BE DIFFERENT.
This grace is freely given: BE THANKFUL.
This grace has cost: BE CAREFUL.
This grace was won in the low places: BE HUMBLE.