You will notice that there is a sense of amazement and wonder as Paul writes these words:
“I was made a minister of that Gospel by the grace he gave me, and by the power with which he equipped me” (Ephesians 3:7)
Two things completely amazed Paul: One was the value of the gift God had given him. This gift, which opened to him his great ministry, came to him, he says, by the grace and power of God. God himself gave this gift. You remember that, in First Corinthians 12 and Romans 12, Paul describes the gifts of the Spirit, and states that every believer receives them. Everyone who is a member of the new creation in Jesus Christ possesses the gifts of the Spirit.
Our Lord has done similar acts in His creation! When we were born into this human life, this natural life, we received specific gifts. We call them talents. Some of you are musically inclined. Some of you are artistic. Some have leadership abilities. Some can speak easily and freely. Some can write. Each of us has various talents and skills. They are part of God’s gifts to Adam, and, in his fallen nature, have been passed on to us. Therefore it is only right that when there is a new creation, a new man, he too should be given talents. Just as you discover and fulfill your natural life by discovering your natural talents, so you should fulfill your new life by discovering the gifts of the Spirit which God has given to you.
As I read this list of the gifts of the Spirit, I think it is very likely that this great man of God had every one of the gifts of the Spirit. Sure, that is just my opinion, but I find several he did unquestionably possess. The gift he is talking about here is the gift of evangelism. When he says in Verse 8,
God given this grace, to enable me to proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of Christ . . . (Ephesians 3:8)
A gift is the ability to do something. The ministry is the area in which it is implemented. It is the Lord Jesus’ prerogative to assign that ministry to every one of us. If we know Jesus, we have gifts. That means, all of us. You need to discover your gift. Then the Lord Jesus will lead you into the place to operate that gift. And that is your ministry.
Every believer should have a ministry because, this is what makes the church function as God intended it to do — as each one of us discovers our gifts and the ministry the Lord Jesus has given us. Both Peter and Paul had gifts of evangelism. But Peter’s ministry was to the Jews, and Paul’s was to the Gentiles. Some of you may have a ministry to children. Some may have a ministry to older people. Some minister to blacks. Some minister to young married couples. Others minister to singles and single parents. My point is that a particular gift can be exercised in all kinds of ministries. The gift opens the door to the ministry. Paul never got over the wonder of that gift. What a glorious thing God had given him, that great gift to preach this great message to men who had never heard the good news before.
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.