Ephesians 4:8 &11-12 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Even though your external circumstances may make you feel like you are bound; as a believer you have already been set free, so act accordingly. Ephesians 4:8 tells us of two things that Jesus accomplished when he ascended from the grave into the heavens. The scripture said that “He led captivity captive”. What that means is that over two thousand (2,000) years ago when Jesus arose from the grave, He bound everything that previously bound us: captivity was made a captive. The things that previously bound us include sin, curses and strongholds may manifest themselves in your life, but because Jesus led captivity captive these things no longer have any power or authority over you. Jesus has already set you free.
The second thing that Jesus did when he ascended into heaven was that “he gave gifts to men”. The scripture highlights that Jesus gave gifts to men to indicate that we were set free for a purpose; this was suggested by the gifts that Jesus gave to us. Ephesians 4:11 says “he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”. These are different purposes that those who have been set free are called to fulfil.
There are three (3) ways in which the body of Christ benefits when those who have been set free fulfil their purpose. Firstly, the body of Christ becomes more spiritually mature. Ephesians 4:12 tells us that the gifts were given for the “perfecting of the saints”; that is speaking about spiritual maturity.
The second way in which the body of Christ benefits from the gifts is that needs are met. That is what the scripture meant by the phrase “for the work of the ministry”.
Finally, these gifts were also given to facilitate the growth or “edifying of the body of Christ”. Are you using your gifts to benefit the body of Christ?
Life Application: Since Jesus has already set you free, walk in your freedom and use the gifts that God has blessed you with to shape the lives of those around you.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for setting me free from sin, bondages and strongholds. May I walk in the liberty that you have given me. In Jesus’ name, amen.