Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men." 9 (Now this, "He ascended" --what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

                In this section we face a most important question. How is the church expected to demonstrate the power of God and thus influence society? Is it by some miraculous, wonder-working, dramatic display of divine power? Is it something that captures the attention of the multitudes by miracles? Or is it by the power of numbers -- getting people together to vote the same way and thus exert pressure upon the legislatures to obtain the right kind of legislation? Is that the power of the church? Is it by agitating for change by joining picket lines? Is it by attending conventions devoted to discussions of various things and the passing of resolutions? Well, you notice the apostle does not waste one moment on these kinds of activity. He suggests very clearly that the power of the church lies in each Christian discovering and intelligently exercising the spiritual gift that was given to him when he became a member of the body of Christ. That is largely a forsaken principle today, and that is why the church is so weak. If we ever recover the strength God intended the church to exert in human society, it will be by a return to that simple thing, the exercise of each person's spiritual gift.


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