Skip to content

DISTINCT PURPOSES OF THE FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY GIFTS

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 (Ephesians 4:11-12).

The Apostle Paul highlights the distinct purposes of the five-fold ministry gifts in the Body of Christ. They’re for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ.

Some Bible translations wrongly assume that the passage presents a single unified purpose, extending from the first line to the last due to the lack of punctuation in the manuscripts. However, a closer examination, supported by contextual analysis and comparison with other Scriptures reveals distinct purposes outlined by Paul.

Some other Bible translations wrongly phrased the statement as “for the perfecting of the saints, so that the saints can do the work of the ministry, which is the edifying of the Body of Christ.” But that’s a misconception. Three distinct purposes for the ministry gifts are, first, to perfect or equip the saints.

Secondly, they’re for the work of the ministry itself. Thirdly, they are for the edification of the Body of Christ. So, it’s not stating that the saints themselves will edify the Body of Christ, but rather, the five-fold offices listed in verse 11 are responsible for building up the Body of Christ.

Of course, when every part of the Body functions as it should, the entire Body is edified. Ephesians 4:16 (NIV) tells us, “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

Also, Colossians 2:19 says, “And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” However, in Ephesians 4, Paul directs attention to the distinct purposes assigned to ministry gifts for equipping the saints, the work of the ministry, and building up the Church.

Confession/Prayer

Dear Father, I’m equipped, edified, and built up in the Body of Christ through the ministry gifts. I don’t walk in darkness, weakness, or live in stagnation, for I’m always fruitful, productive and abounding in every good work. Amen.

FURTHER STUDY

Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Corinthians 14:12

1-year bible reading plan

Acts 14:1-28; Nehemiah 11-13

2-year bible reading plan

2 Corinthians 10:8-18; Isaiah 18

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *