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Morrish Bible Dictionary

Gifts in the Church

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The Lord Jesus, having led captivity captive, ascended up on high and thence gave gifts unto men. Psalm 68:18 . These were apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Here persons are the gifts, δόμα. Ephesians 4:8,11,12 . (See under each of the names.) Another list is given in 1 Corinthians 12 , where the word is χάρισμα, 'grace, favour.' They are endowments of the one Spirit given to various persons, such as wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, kinds of tongues, interpreting of tongues: "all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." Later in the same chapter these persons are seen to be members of Christ's body, and as such set in the church — apostles, prophets, teachers. Other gifts are added: miracles, gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Those mentioned in Ephesians 4:11 (except apostles and prophets in the full sense) are gifts for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for edifying 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." This perfecting of the saints and building up the body of Christ is being accomplished in the present time. The Spirit of God abides, acting in the various members of the body of Christ: hence gifts abide also, though some have necessarily ceased. The gifts are bestowed direct from the risen Lord, and are entirely independent of all choice or professed authority from man, and are for the help of the church universally.

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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Gifts in the Church '. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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