House Church Talk - Re: Look who Jesus Chose

Glenn Frank glennfrank at
Fri Apr 30 10:24:13 EDT 2004


Ok... I am confused...

How can you one one hand say that Eph 4 gifts are often written off as
clergy-only (implying that they should not be speaking to 'clergy' only) and
then in the same breath say they were gifts already passing away and now are
gone? So... Who is this passage even relevant to then?

Personally I don't think that I can say these gifts are 'passed away'... But
I don't think these gifts are what some make them out to be either. It seems
that these gifts are considered to be so high and lofty that no one today
could fill them... It is like a disconnect between real life living of
Christianity and some mystical "well that was for the NT church only"
mentality... Like it could not ever be in this day and age.

To be sure, these are gifts that imply leadership qualities, But then again,
all believers are called to be salt and light, therefore it seems all are
called to be leaders on some level. That is why I was suggesting that this
passage DOES apply to all Christians rather than being overlooked as
clergy-only (only for the professionals). We are all called to be leaders
and build one another up equipping one another with the gifts God has given
us. I find this very interesting in the case of the Evangelist gift... Today
many people hear 'evangelist' and assume their only ministry is to the
un-saved... And yet Ephesians 4 specifically says that the Evangelist is one
who (along with the others) is called to equip God's people for the work of
the ministry.

I think today's definitions of these giftings is way too lofty and
segregated from the reality that God wanted us to understand. We have made
these gifts out to be something more than they were supposed to be... And in
other ways decreased the scope of who they are speaking of and how they

I agree with you that leadership is more than what is commonly understood in
some circles (seminary training), but I'm just saying that these areas we
look at as 'leadership passages' and 'leadership gifts' were intended for
all believers, not just the clergy/leadership.

Glenn Frank

On 4/30/04 2:29 AM, "Ross J Purdy" <rossjpurdy at> wrote:

> I think you are right that Eph 4 is written off as a clergy only passage.
> But I think gifts were already passing away by then. 1 Cor 12-14 and Rom 12
> envisions all members as being gifted. The 4 ministry gifts of Eph 4 were
> inherently leadership positions by their very nature and also because they
> were intended for edifying other members in order that they might engage in
> ministry too. But for me this seems all moot since I understand all the
> ministry gifts to have passed away with the first century. (I think we can
> consider many things as gifts from God today, just not those ministry gifts
> of Rom 12, 1 Cor 12-14, and Eph 4.) Leadership is a matter of maturity,
> faithfulness, training by example and mutual love and respect. Authority
> (other than Christ) and gifts and/or talents, abilites, skills, seminary
> training has nothing to do with leadership. Such leadership is fruitful and
> the dross is left behind because they won't follow. (Discipline is not even
> an issue then.)

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