When a person becomes born again, he or she receives from God the gift of holy spirit. That person also becomes a member of the Body of Christ. In the Body of Christ, there are seasoned believers who can help others grow. Some are ministers operating the gift ministries that help the believers in their understanding and application of God’s Word. God, our heavenly Father, provides us with everything that we need in order to grow in the Body of Christ. We can gain a greater understanding of how we grow by studying His Word, which shows us the purpose and benefit of the five gift ministries.
Before we see what God’s Word has to say about the five gift ministries, we need to understand that all of God’s gifts are gifts of grace, from God to man. The Greek word meaning “gifts of grace” is charismata.
I Corinthians 12:4:
Now there are diversities of gifts [charismata], but the same Spirit [God].
Within the “gifts of grace,” there are two distinct groupings of gifts:
- To all individual believers is given eternal life, which includes the ability to manifest holy spirit. This is seen in Ephesians 4:7, where the word “gift” is translated from the Greek dōrea.
- To the Church of the Body [the believers collectively] are given the ministries of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. This is seen in Ephesians 4:8, where “gifts” is from the Greek word doma.
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift [dōrea] of Christ.
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts [doma] unto men.
“Wherefore he saith” could be rendered “wherefore it is said.” The Greek word for “gifts” in verse 8 is doma; these gifts are benefits on a horizontal plane to the Church. They were given unto men (plural), meaning the Body of Christ. This refers to the five gift ministries. They benefit the Church of the Body as they are operated by believing ministers.
When God gives gifts to His children, it is because of His divine favor toward them, not because anyone deserves a gift or has earned it. God’s gifts show how much He cares for His children both individually and collectively.
With that understanding, let’s take a look at God’s purpose and the benefit of these five gift ministries.
Those operating the gift ministries are to help and teach the believers how to continually live the Word and grow in it. God’s purpose in giving these ministries is to help the saints continue to renew their minds, to enable the believers to walk with the power of God, and to promote the growth of the Body of Christ. Helping each believer grow is for, or with a view to, continuing the work of the ministry and building up the Body. This is the ultimate purpose of the five gift ministries, as stated in Ephesians 4:12 and 13.
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
The next three verses further express God’s purpose and benefit of these five gift ministries.
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
The five gift ministries are given to help the believers speak the truth of God’s Word in love, to teach them how to continually grow via the renewed mind, and to show the believers how to live an abundant life and walk with power.
The five gift ministries are gifts of grace from God to man. Men and women operating them help and teach believers how to live the Word and contribute to the Body of Christ. God, our heavenly Father, has provided us with what we need to grow individually and collectively so that we can strengthen and build up the Body of Christ.