x258......One Body--Many Parts--Each has it's Own function
3 times in the Bible the gifts of ministry are spoken about. The apostle Paul spoke about these gifts and called them gifts in the book of Romans chapter 12, 1Corinthians 12, and in Ephesians chapter 4. In these books they are spoken of as doctrine--as "ordinances" (see 1 cor 11). The gifts of ministry are of course also shown by example in many other parts of the Bible.
There is no specific place in the Bible or scripture that ever states that the gifts of ministry are only for a certain number of people in the body of Christ. This misconception is probably based on the single word "some" that is used in Ephesians 4:11---a word that is apparently mistranslated, or at least has been misunderstood. Again, we state that there is no specific statement that says that under the New covenant, some people were "not allowed" to serve God in a ministry gift. (Certainly in the Old Covenant, there were a specific group of the tribe of Levi who were priests--but God's original intent for Israel was for everyone to be priests--because of disobedience He limited the priesthood to the Levites). If there were such a scripture, it would disagree with the direct statement that these gifts were given "unto every one of us" (eph 4:7)--as well as the statement that they were given unto "men" in Psalm 68:18--this word "men" is the Hebrew "Adam" meaning all of mankind. But there is more proof that the gifts of ministry are for the entire body of Christ....
As we said, 3 times the gifts of ministry are spoken about in he Bible, and in each case, they are prefaced by a statement that goes something like this..
We are all one body, but the body has many parts, but each part has it's function.
It is always prefaced by the concept that we are all one body in Christ, but a body has different parts and functions. But there is no part that does not have a function. In fact some parts that may seem not to be important are in fact honored. the concept stated is that all members of the body of Christ are united in spirit and in function. And there is no part of the body that we can truly do without.
But how often I have heard these verses separated from the gifts of ministry! If we were to simply read through these chapters of the Bible, and in fact the preceding and following chapters, we understand the concepts are related. It can be no mistake that the apostle Paul always made mention of the unity of the Body directly before he speaks of the gifts of ministry--as the perfect lead in to the clearly stated idea that the gifts of ministry are for every Christian, and in fact we need every Christian to be working and functioning in their ministry gift.
It is clearly tradition that makes us think of ministry gifts as only for a few of us in the body of Christ. This idea is never stated n the Bible, nor is it shown in demonstration in any way. Certainly there were disciples-(students)--but was anyone ever a "permanent disciple", as much of Christian tradition would have us believe?