To Each One of Us
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To Each One of Us

Ephesians 4:7–10  (ID: 3226)

In His triumphant ascension, Christ demonstrated His victory over all powers of evil. Though His reign has yet to be realized on earth, when He ascended, Christ gave each of His followers unique and purposeful gifts enabling us to serve God. While these gifts are not equal in size or significance, they are a result of God’s grace and should not be a cause for pride or comparison. Alistair Begg points out that all Christians are called to serve because Christ has equipped us to do so, and we have no excuse for failing to use the gifts He has given.

Series Containing This Sermon

A Study in Ephesians, Volume 6

Gifts from Above Ephesians 4:7–16 Series ID: 14906

Sermon Transcript: Print

I invite you to turn to Ephesians and to chapter 4, and we’ll read the first ten verses. Ephesians 4:1–10:

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, ‘When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.’ (In saying, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean but that he … also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)”


We thank God for his Word.

Now, Father, as we turn to the Bible, we pray for the Holy Spirit to teach us, help us. We desperately need insight and grace to speak, to listen, to understand, to believe, to answer the “So what?”—to live in the light of its truth. To this end we seek your help. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

I’d like to begin by reading you part of a book. The purpose of this, I hope, will become apparent. If it doesn’t, then this is a mistake, but I’m committed to it now.

Some of you will be familiar with the writings of Robert Harris. He writes concerning ancient Rome. This is from his book Imperium. And in the course of what he’s writing, he describes at one point the great triumph of Pompey. You remember that in ancient Rome as well as in ancient Greece, actually, when someone had triumphed and had vanquished foes, then, if they had met sufficient criteria, then they would be welcomed back into the city with great pomp and circumstance. I want to give you just a little flavor of this:

The twenty-ninth [day of December] arrived, and what a day it was—Rome had not seen such a spectacle since the days of Sulla. As I waited by the Triumphal Gate it seemed that everyone had turned out to line the route. First [came] the Senate, including Cicero, walking on foot, led by the consuls and … magistrates. Then the trumpeters, sounding the fanfares. Then the carriages … with the spoils of the Spanish war—gold and silver, coin and bullion, weapons, statues, pictures, vases, furniture, precious stones, and tapestries—and wooden models of the cities Pompey had conquered and sacked …. Then the massive, plodding white bulls, destined for sacrifice …. Then the arms and insignia of the beaten rebels, and then the prisoners themselves, the defeated followers of Sertorius and Perperna, shuffling in chains. Then the crowns and tributes of the allies, borne by the ambassadors of a score of nations …. And … the four white horses of the imperator’s chariot came trotting through the gate, and there was Pompey himself, in the barrel-shaped, gem-encrusted chariot of the triumphator. He wore a gold-embroidered robe with a flowered tunic [and so on] … and behind him a public slave to whisper in his ear [“Ecce homo,” reminding him] that he was only human and [that] all [of] this would [one day] pass.[1]

The closest we’ve come to that kind of triumph since I’ve been here was the twenty-second of June last year, and that was when the Cavaliers came back into town. That’s about as close as we can get to it. And I thought at first, “Well, this would be a good introduction”—you know, the triumph. Then I thought, “It’s not really that great of a triumph.” And then, as I’ve been reading this for my own fun, I said, “Well, we’ve got a wonderful triumph here.” I want you just to have that picture in mind. To that we will return.

To our passage. You will notice verse 8: “When he”—that is, Jesus—“ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” Paul has explained to these Ephesian believers that they have become the “dwelling place [of] God.”[2] He has said that in a number of places—classically at the end of chapter 2: “You’re part of a structure that he is building, a holy temple in the Lord. You’re being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”[3] He’s explained to them that this is all of grace—that it is as a result of his amazing goodness that the wall of partition between Jew and gentile has been broken down. And he has taken time in the opening part of what is, for us, chapter 4 to remind them of the foundation of their unity in the body of Christ. “As believers,” he says, “you have one Father, you have one Savior, and you have one indwelling Spirit.”[4]

Now, that is what the Bible clearly teaches. And when we read our Bibles as we do, and when we read our newspapers, and when we go about our daily routine, it is quite common for that notion to be challenged again and again. For example, just this week, as I was traveling, I read a piece in an airline magazine concerning a television show that I haven’t seen called Believer, which, apparently, is on CNN. And the host of the program is a Muslim man, who was raised Muslim, who said he had a brief encounter with Christianity. He then had what he referred to as an intellectual conversion back to Islam. And when he was asked about this—“What brought you back to Islam?”—he said, “Well, I started studying religion, and I quickly discovered what everyone who studies religion discovers.” It’s a very comprehensive statement, isn’t it? “What everyone who studies religion discovers.” Well, what is that? “Underneath the externalities of these religious traditions, they’re all saying the same thing.” Okay?

Now, you read this on the plane as well, and you have to stop and say, “No, no, no, they don’t. No, they don’t. No. They fundamentally say different things.” For a Hindu, incarnation and reincarnation happens hundreds and thousands of times. For the Christian, the incarnation is a unique and unrepeatable event. For Islam, for a prophet of God to die in sacrifice is a blasphemy. For Christianity, it is at the heart of the Christian story. For our Jewish friends, there is no Messiah who has come. He has yet to come. For the Christian, the Messiah has come, has fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament. Therefore, we cannot all be right. But the underlying notion in our culture is that the only person who’s wrong is the person who says, “There is a right way.”

So, for example, at the bottom of this article, it gives the fellow’s age, his occupation, and his top five gods—his top five gods: Ahura Mazda and P’an Ku, the Aten, Ganesha, Loki. And when they asked him, he says, “Well, the metaphors of Christianity just stopped working for me.” “Stopped working for me.”[5] It’s not a question of truth per se. It’s just, you know, what works for you: “Well, this works for me.”

So the person asked him, “[Well,] what does your religious practice look like now?” He said,

[Well,] I have a Christian wife; I have twin sons, one of whom is convinced he’s Jewish, and one of whom, after he read the Ramayana, was like, “That’s it, I’m Hindu.” I have a 2-year-old boy that we just assume is a reincarnation of the Buddha in some way. So every Sunday, we get together and share one particular religious story, whether it’s of the Buddha or Ganesha or from the Gospel, and then we pick some value to learn from it, and then we, as a family, put that value into practice in our home and in our lives.

All very twenty-first-century, postmodern American.

And we come to our Bibles, and we read there is “one God and Father of all, who is over all … through all and in all”;[6] that “there is one mediator between God and [man], the man Christ Jesus”;[7] and through the work of that Mediator, sinners like you and me are brought out of darkness into light and into a relationship with one another which is marked by his indwelling presence. And it is to these individuals that Paul writes and has driven home for them the essential unity that is theirs in the Lord Jesus Christ.

And now he is going on from there, having mentioned the “all,” the “all,” the “all,” the “one,” the “one,” the “one,” the “one”—you’ll notice in verse 7, he moves from the “all” to the “each one”: “But grace was given to each one of us.” So in other words, when God looks upon his family, he doesn’t see us as one big, amorphous mass of humanity, any more than you see your children in that way. Your children make up your family, but they make up your family as individuals. They are precious to you. You understand something of their unique characteristics and of the particular gifts that they bring to the table and so on—and the challenges, of course, as well. But the point is simply this: that our unity in the body  does not involve a loss of personal identity. God has given you your DNA. God has chosen to put you in a position in his Family, big f, and in this little family, if this is your church family here, and he has equipped you for an express purpose within this group. That’s what Paul is saying: “There is one God and Father of all. He invades it all. He fills it all up. And to each one of you grace has been given.”

Our unity in the body does not involve a loss of personal identity.

When he writes to the Corinthians, he puts it straightforwardly: “You are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”[8] God arranged the members of the body, each one of them as he chose. So, there’s no loss of personal identity, nor are we to view the body of Christ in a locale such as this as one of drab and colorless uniformity. Unity is not to be equated with uniformity. We’re not carbon copies of one another, either by dint of our ethnicity or our background and so on, but particularly is what he mentions here: that God has not been putting us together, as John Stott refers to it—he says we shouldn’t imagine that we were all “mass-produced in some [big] celestial factory.”[9] When you move amongst a group of people who are professing believers, if they all have a peculiar sameness about them, it’s weird. It’s kind of spooky. I mean, it’s not supposed to be that way. We are all one in Christ Jesus, but to each one grace has been given.

The point is not a diversity that is based on birth or on background. He’s mentioned that already. But this is a purposeful variety brought about by the different gifts given by Christ: “But grace was given to each one of us.” Now, the word for “grace” here, which comes variously throughout this letter and all of Paul’s letters, should be understood not in terms of the grace that saves but rather the grace that enables us to serve. If you look, for example, back through the chapters, you can see exactly what I mean by that—so that God not only saves us, but he equips us to serve, and he equips each of us to serve. And the grace that he brings is multivarious. It is variegated. It is wonderfully diverse. And that word which Paul has used, actually, of the wisdom of God in 3:10, “the manifold wisdom of God”—the variegated grace and wisdom of God—is what he mentions here. When Peter writes about it, he says, “[I want you to be] good stewards of God’s varied grace.”[10]

Now, so, the “grace was given to each one of you.” The word for “grace” there is charis. The word for “gift” is not mentioned. “Grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift,” not “the gift of Christ.” The word that is used there is not Paul’s routine word in 1 Corinthians, which is charisma. He uses a different word for “gift,” but it’s the same thing. So he says, “According to the charis of God, the grace of God, each of you has a charisma of God”—so that by definition, a church is a charismatic place. By definition, it’s impossible for a church not to be “charismatic,” in the sense that it is by the outpouring of God’s grace that the charisma is provided, the charisma being the gifts. The fact that certain fellowships and times in history have tended to focus on just two or three charisma is a separate discussion altogether and not for this morning.

Let’s not miss what is clear: that, first of all, these gifts are given “to each one of us”: “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” So what does that say? Well, it says this: that none of us can opt out. None of us can opt out. He has decided to apportion his grace “to each one,” nobody left out. So nobody can say, “Well, I don’t have any part of this.” If you’re in Christ, yes, you do. Nor should we ever regard ourselves as having nothing to contribute. Every so often, you hear somebody say, “Well, I don’t really know what I’m supposed to do around here, if I do anything much at all.” You know, there are lists of gifts in the New Testament, and they’re not comprehensive. No, “to each one of us.”

Secondly, notice that these gifts are gifts. See, every so often I come up with a really brilliant insight, just like that! These gifts are gifts.

You see, when you have a gift, the gift magnifies the giver, not the recipient. Not the recipient. Because a gift is a gift. So if somebody has a particular gift, a particular capacity, and has a fat head, that’s another story that we’re going to have to deal with on another day. Because the gifts are gifts. Therefore, there is no place for self-congratulation. There’s no place for actually saying, “You know, don’t you realize how gifted I am? Do you know what I am able to do?” or whatever it is. Say, “You know what? You couldn’t even get up in the morning apart from the grace of God, let alone do what you do.”

You see, if the gifts are given so that we might minster, serve, to the glory of God, we will never, ever actually use our gifts to the glory of God unless we understand and believe that this has begun with his giving.  So it extends his glory when we know that it’s his gift. That’s why, you know, of all pride, spiritual pride has got to be the worst, because it is so obvious: this person has been endowed with help, has been gifted in this way, whatever the way might be.

You say, “Well, you don’t need to belabor the point.” All right. I take it that you’ve got it. But here we have Jesus, as it were, ascending on high and giving out the gifts purposefully and uniquely. This is not Halloween candy, where you stand there with a big bucket of stuff, and little grubby paws come around and just grab whatever they can get, whether you’re looking or you’re not looking. And you try; you say, “Just one each,” and it’s like “Whoa! Yeah!” Right? And so, it’s not as if Jesus is there, and he says, “Just grab something for yourself. You know, just grab whatever you fancy. Just grab one.” What a horrible phrase: “Just grab one.” No! Jesus says, “Your name is X, and I’m giving this expressly to you.” “Each one” their gifts.

We will never actually use our gifts to the glory of God unless we understand and believe that this has begun with his giving.

Thirdly, not all the gifts that he gives are equal in size or equal in significance . Paul is going to mention particular gifts here. We’ll come to that later on. But as I said before, there are a number of places where the gifts are listed: 1 Peter 4,[11] Romans 12,[12] 1 Corinthians 12.[13] Here as well. It’s probably about five places. And when you take all the gifts that are mentioned, there’s only about twenty of them in all. Well, that ought to tell us something. Twenty can’t cover all the gifts that are dispensed by the ascended Christ. So that is not an exhaustive list; it is a representative list—so that the ministries that are exercised by the people of God cover so much more than that which is simply detailed for us in the text. The ministry of art, and of music, and of helps, and of… You just go through it again and again and again, and the point is that not all of the gifts are the same. “There are varieties of gifts,” says Paul in 1 Corinthians 12, but one Giver.[14]

Now, one of the challenges when you become a parent is, if you’ve got more than one child, what are you going to do about the gifts? Especially when it comes to special times of the year. One of the things that we have to enable our children to understand is “You don’t get something every time.” Just because it’s Mary Jo’s birthday doesn’t mean that we’ve got to compensate for the fact that you feel bad that it’s not your birthday, that we got to give you a special little something. You may need a special little something, but it’s probably not a gift. And in the same way, when Christmastime comes around, you spend a dreadful amount of time trying to figure out, “Well, if we give this to this one, what about to this one?” “Yeah, well, look at the size of this thing!” “Yeah, but look at the size of this thing!” “Yeah, but we need to tell her that this one cost as much as this one.” And so it goes on, right? Because part of the trouble is that we can’t just teach our children that not all the gifts are the same, and not all the implications that flow from them are the same.

So, when we understand that grace was given by the ascended Christ “to each one of us” purposefully, then it can set us free from sitting around going, “Why did she get that? Why did I not get that? Why does he have that? Why is the gift that was given to me apparently not as useful as the gift that was given to him?” “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” In other words, the gifts are the gifts of the ascended Christ. Christ has received, and Christ has dispensed.

What Paul does here in verse 8 is quote from Psalm 68. And if you turn to it for just a moment, you can see it, and you can perhaps follow it up on your own. But in Psalm 68, you have this amazing picture that runs through the psalm, where the psalmist, in poetic form, is describing the arrival of the ark of the Lord in Jerusalem. Remember, the ark of the Lord represents the presence of the Lord. We’ve sung about that this morning: “He who [gave] them daily manna, he who [hears them] when they cry.”[15] And it’s a picture of God, Yahweh, as he moves with his people in the days of old.

And so the picture in Psalm 68 is of Jehovah, having conquered the enemies of his people, having conquered the citadel, ascending, as it were, the earthly sanctuary of Zion to share the spoils of his victory with his people. And so, verse 17: “The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands.” Okay? That’s why I read from Robert Harris. That was quite a triumph, Pompey—a lot of chariots, four big white horses! “You’re only a man!” “The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands.” In other words, you can’t even enumerate this. “The Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary.” Here we go:

You ascended on high,
 leading a host of captives in your train
 and receiving gifts among men,
even among the most rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there.

            We come back to Ephesians 4, and what is Paul doing? Well, he’s quoting the psalmist. Yeah, but what is he saying in quoting the psalmist? He’s saying this: that the picture of Psalm 68:18 is ultimately fulfilled in the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. You remember, I’ve said to you again and again that if we learn to read our Bibles backwards, we’ll often be greatly helped. You read Psalm 68, and you say, “What does this ultimately mean?” You read the New Testament, and Paul answers the question for you. He says, “Here it is,” quoting the Sixty-Eighth Psalm. “If you want to know how this is ultimately fulfilled, then,” he says, “you need to see it in view of Jesus ascending and leading a host of captives.” Or, as the King James Version has it, “He led captivity captive.”[16] I can remember as a boy hearing that and thinking, “That is a great phrase! I wonder what it means.” “He led captivity captive.” What do you mean? Well, what he means is that the one who was holding people in bondage was captured, was conquered—that the Evil One, who thought he had it all under control, was triumphed over.

Where did the triumph occur? At the place of apparent weakness and shame: in the death of this Jesus of Nazareth. “Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned he stood”[17] and triumphs over all the powers of darkness. “We’ve got him now,” they said. The host of heaven said, “Look! There he is! We’ve got him now! Put him in that tomb. Thank you, Joseph of Arimathea. Roll the stone over.” Finito! And “up from the grave he arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes.”[18] “Here’s the triumph,” says Paul. “He ascended on high, leading captives in his train.”

Now, if you just take a concordance, you can work your way through this. When he writes to the Colossians, Paul puts it this way: “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in [the cross].”[19] Or in Hebrews 2: “Through death he … destroy[ed] the one who ha[d] the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver[ed] … those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”[20] So the captives are the vanquished powers of evil. The vanquished powers of evil.

You have read your papers this week, as I have. I have access to The Times of London, to the New York Times, to the Wall Street Journal. Once you’ve done that, you need to go out and walk for a long time and just try and clear your head. And I find myself… I have to come back and say, “Lord Jesus, I thank you that when you ascended on high, you took captivity captive. You led a host of captives in your train, in the way that Pompey marched into Rome. You marched, as it were, into Jerusalem in a picture of weakness, but you will return in power and in great glory. And although it doesn’t seem so, and although everything seems upside down, and although it would appear that evil goes from bad to worse and so on, here I’m reading my Bible, and here is what you’re telling me.”

“But,” you said, “I read the passage in 68, and I thought it said that he received. And now I’m looking at the passage in Ephesians 4, and it says that he gave.” Well, you didn’t notice that, did you? I shouldn’t have pointed it out to you, and then you wouldn’t have been concerned about it. But there it is. Psalm 68: “He received.” Ephesians chapter 4: “He gave.” Is this a dilemma? No. No. In actual fact, certain of the Old Testament translations use the very word “gave.” But that’s a separate matter altogether. Leave it as it is: “received.” This is the pattern of Jesus. Remember, Jesus bids his disciples farewell; he says, “All power has been given unto me. Therefore, I’m going to give it to you. Now you go and preach the gospel.”[21] He says to his followers, “The words that the Father gave me I have given to you. As you, Father, have sent me, so I send them. The glory that you gave me, may it be their glory.”[22]

So in other words, it’s, if you like—the movement is straightforward: before there could be the disbursing of these things, there had to be the receiving of them. And in the triumph you have both. This is Peter on the day of Pentecost: “Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise[d] … Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you … are seeing and hearing.”[23]

“Now,” he says, “in mentioning the notion of the ascension, what does that actually mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.” You remember, actually, when Jesus is talking with Nicodemus, he says to him, “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven”—namely, “the Son of Man.”[24]

The highest place that heaven affords is the sovereign right of the Lord Jesus.

Now, I’m forced to tell you that there’s some debate over this little section here in verses 9 and 10, in this respect: when it says here—and the ESV actually helps us a little bit—when it says, “He had also descended into the lower regions,” you may have a version that says “the lower regions of the earth.” The ESV says, “the lower regions, the earth.” In other words, it’s actually explaining that for him to go to “the lower regions” was for him to come to earth. If you live in heaven, the earth is “the lower regions.” But because of “the lower regions of the earth,” tied in with 1 Peter chapter 3 and the very difficult passage about “He went and preached [to those who were] in prison”[25] and so on, it’s possible to get yourself a significant PhD by trying to combine both of these sections. It is a matter of debate.

The more I read it and thought about it, I came to the conclusion that to think of it in spatial terms is probably wrong. Because after all, it says that “he ascended … above all the heavens.” Well, where is that? Where’s “above all the heavens”? “Well, it’s somewhere.” No, it’s not anywhere. It’s an expression. I think the whole thing is simply an expression of humiliation and exaltation. Read it in terms of Philippians chapter 2: that although he knew equality with God, he did not account it as something to be held onto, but he gave it up, and he came down into earth, and he became obedient unto death, even to death on the cross, wherefore God has highly exalted him and given him a name that is above every name.”[26]

Now, you must do with it as you choose. But what Paul is making clear is simply this: that the highest place that heaven affords is the sovereign right of the Lord Jesus . It’s a long time since we sang this little song. It goes:

You are the King of Glory,
You are the Prince of Peace,
You are the Lord of heaven and earth,
You[’re] the Son of Righteousness.

Angels bow down before you,
They worship and adore you,
For you have the words of eternal life;
You are Jesus Christ the Lord.

Hosanna to the Son of David!
Hosanna to the King of Kings!
Glory in the highest heaven,
[For] Jesus the Messiah reigns.[27]

That’s why we read from Psalm 24 earlier. Again, the picture in Psalm 24 is akin to Psalm 68. Here is the picture of the city, and the people are on the walls of the city, and the word goes out: “Open the gates of the city, that the King may enter in!” And the people on the ramparts say, “Who is this King of glory?” And the answer comes back: “The Lord, strong and mighty in battle. He is the King of glory, the Lord of hosts! Open the gates! Bring the gates up, that the King of glory may enter!” “Who is this King of Glory?”[28] And Paul says, “Here it is. You have been brought by his grace into his body. And to you—to you, yes, to you—to each one of you, according to the measure of Christ’s gift, grace has been given.”

When he in his great triumph ascended on high, he triumphed over all the powers of evil. One day, that will be manifest in finality. That’s why when Paul is preaching to the Athenians, he eventually says to them at the end of his talk, “You know,” he says, “You know, he has given proof of all the things I’m telling you about by raising Jesus Christ from the dead, and he has set a day when he will judge the world.”[29] When he will judge the world. Well, who has the right to judge the world? Only he who is the King of Glory. Only he who is the ascended Christ. Only the one who looked out on you and gave you gifts, not as toys to be played with but as tools to be used.

And remember this talk when we get to verse 16 of this chapter. Because the key to the effectiveness of the body of Christ is when each part is working properly. When is each part working properly? When each component part is happy to exercise the gift that it has received, that he or she has received—not complaining because it seems not to be as spectacular as another but to recognize how vital they all are.

As you know, I’m a simple soul. I’m a technical nincompoop. And as I was photocopying something the other day, I guess I had this in mind, because you’re supposed to close the top, but I didn’t want to close the top. So I didn’t close it, and then I nearly blinded myself. But I was just watching as the thing went along. There’s just one little roller, just going, like, [imitates rumbling], you know? And then if you wait a minute, it goes back. And then you do it again, it goes [imitates rumbling]. I guarantee you: that thing goes on the fritz, we have to call in the man. It’s only one tiny, little piece. It’s certainly not the most spectacular piece of the mechanism. But it’s absolutely vital to the task.

One of the great lies of the Evil One is to sow discord amongst the people of God, causing us to act like children: comparing what we have with what someone else has or assuming that we’ve got nothing when we’ve got everything he wants us to have. In these coming weeks, I think God will be showing us from his Word just how vitally important this is. And so we will be prayerful to that end.

Father, thank you that we can look away from ourselves to the Giver of every good and perfect gift.[30] Thank you that the Lord Jesus Christ is the risen and ascended King—that when Pompey came into Rome, he had to be reminded, “Ecce homo”:[31] “You’re only a man, and all this will pass.” But when Jesus comes in triumph, it won’t pass, for he will reign forever and ever. We come to you humbly in his name. Amen.

[1] Robert Harris, Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2006), 71–72. Alistair’s “Ecco homo” is intended to be “Momento mori.”

[2] Ephesians 2:22 (ESV).

[3] Ephesians 2:21–22 (paraphrased).

[4] Ephesians 4:4–6 (paraphrased).

[5] Reza Aslan, “Reza Aslan Thinks TV Can End Bigotry,” interview by Ana Marie Cox, New York Times, March 22, 2017, Paraphrased.

[6] Ephesians 4:6 (ESV).

[7] 1 Timothy 2:5 (ESV).

[8] 1 Corinthians 12:27 (ESV).

[9] John R. W. Stott, The Message of Ephesians: God’s New Society, The Bible Speaks Today (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1979), 155.

[10] 1 Peter 4:10 (ESV).

[11] See 1 Peter 4:10–11.

[12] See Romans 12:6–8.

[13] See 1 Corinthians 12:7–10.

[14] 1 Corinthians 12:4 (ESV).

[15] John Newton, “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.”

[16] Ephesians 4:8 (KJV).

[17] Philip P. Bliss, “Hallelujah! What a Savior” (1875).

[18] Robert Lowry, “Christ Arose” (1874).

[19] Colossians 2:15 (ESV).

[20] Hebrews 2:14–15 (ESV).

[21] Matthew 28:18–19 (paraphrased).

[22] John 17:22–23 (paraphrased).

[23] Acts 2:33 (ESV).

[24] John 3:13 (ESV).

[25] 1 Peter 3:19 (KJV).

[26] Philippians 2:6–9 (paraphrased).

[27] Mavis Ford, “You Are the King of Glory” (1978).

[28] Psalm 24:7–10 (paraphrased).

[29] Acts 17:31 (paraphrased).

[30] See James 1:17.

[31] See note 1 above.

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.