- But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift (dōreá). Therefore it says, When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts (dóma) to men (ánthrōpos). - Ephesians 4:7-8
The gift of Christ should not be confused with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. There are three significant distinctions between the gift of Christ and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
First, the gift of Christ is singular, whereas the gifts of the Holy Spirit are plural. There is confusion between the singular gift in Ephesians 4:7 and the plural gifts in Ephesians 4:8. The term gift (dōreá) in verse 7 refers to something freely acquired. The church freely acquired the gift of Christ. The term gifts (dóma) in verse 8 refers to something freely transferred. While the gift is to the church, Christ calls individual believers to function as the gift to the church. The gift of Christ functions in a fourfold manner: apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers. When Christ calls a believer to one of these roles, He freely transfers to them the grace to accomplish their calling.
Second, the gift of Christ is given to the church, whereas the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to individual believers (cf. Ephesians 4:8). The term men (ánthrōpos), in Ephesians 4:8, refers to a group of people as a whole. In the context, the group is the Church. Third, Christ gave His gift to the Church when He ascended into Heaven immediately after His resurrection (cf. Ephesians 4:8). The gits of the Holy Spirit we're given on the Day of Pentecost. The purpose of the gift of Christ is to equip the saints. The saints are equipped to do the work of the ministry. When saints do the work of the ministry, the Body of Christ (i.e., the Church) is built up.
- for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; - Ephesians 4:12