The Month of April of every year in most parts of the world is seen as the Month of the celebration of life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But beyond celebrating the life, death and resurrection of Christ, it is important that we also discover the hidden secret of His resurrection.
In the book of Isaiah 9:6, the Scripture declares: "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." According to that Scripture, we understand that Jesus was born; while Christ was given. Do you know why? Jesus was the Child, born through the virgin Mary, but Christ is the Son of God that came down from heaven to reconcile the children of men with the God of heaven. Before the emergence of Jesus, there was Christ, and even while Jesus came, Christ was in Him, reconciling the world back to God through Jesus.
If you understand that mystery of Christ very well, you will know why Christ gave gifts to the children of men when He was departing the earth back to God - from Whom He came. Please note, Jesus was the Child of Mary, but Christ was, and is the Son of God - Hence, Jesus Christ is both the Son of Man and the Son of God. Hitherto, the children of men have been dethroned of their status as children of God; but for the sake of mercy, love and grace, God sent His only begotten Son to give back to the children of men, the status of Sonship. Hence, through Jesus Christ, we all (children of men) have access to the Father and we are made sons of God.
Going back to the purpose of this article, we must appreciate the purpose of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus was born to provide a body for Christ to come down to the earth - according to the book of Hebrews 10:5-7 -"Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, 'Behold, I have come - In the volume of the book it is written of Me - To do Your will, O God.'"
From that Scripture, we know that Jesus was God's plan to bring Christ to the earth LEGALLY. And so, when Jesus finished His assignment as God's vessel to house Christ on earth; God moved ahead to further extend the scope of His purpose on earth through more vessels. Hitherto the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit (of Christ) was limited to One Body - Jesus; however, for the purpose of God to be established further on earth, beyond the nation of Israel, God decided to place the same Spirit that was in Jesus inside every disciple of Jesus.
Therefore, after Jesus had resurrected, the Scripture says: "So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit." (John 20:21-22). It therefore means that the essence of the Holy Spirit in the life of every believer is to make each one a replica of Jesus on the earth. For just as Jesus was prepared as a body for Christ, each believer is being prepared by God for the habitation of the Holy Spirit. No wonder Apostle Paul said that we (the Church) are the temple of the God, because the Holy Spirit dwells inside of us.
May I say therefore by the Holy Spirit that no man can confidently and ably do the work of Christ, until such a person has the Spirit of Christ in him or her. Remember, the Holy Spirit was bodily present in Jesus without measure; hence, the primary condition for doing the will or the work of Christ is by having the Spirit of Christ inside. And note, you can not fully receive and retain the Spirit of Christ if you have not spent a good time with Christ Jesus in the place of discipleship - For the Holy Spirit is not for the world, but for the disciples of Christ.
"But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore He says:
"When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men."
(Now this, "He ascended" - what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, THAT HE MIGHT FILL ALL THINGS.)
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ."
I believe that the words of the Scripture are clear enough for everyone to understand both the meaning and the purpose of the gifts of Christ to men. I trust that as you meditate on the words, over and over again, the Lord will open your eyes to the mysteries of Christ.
Remember, the work of Christ is the ministry of Jesus; for any man to become fit for the work of Christ, such a person must be filled with the Spirit of Christ and must be discipled by Jesus Christ. The ministry gifts of Christ are therefore special endowments of Christ for the enablement of men for the ministry of Jesus on the earth. Note, Jesus came for the work of reconciliation, and according to the book of 1 Corinthians 5:18, the same work of reconciliation has been handled over to us. However, doing the work of reconciliation of Christ on he earth, requires having the Spirit of Christ and the gifts of Christ.
I therefore present the gifts of Christ to you:
1. Apostolic gift
2. Prophetic gift
3. Evangelistic gift
4. Pastoral gift
5. Teaching gift
Having any of these gifts is not enough - you must be endowed with power from on high, you must be full of the Spirit of Christ. Hence, do not go ahead setting up a ministry organization of any of the gifts of Christ, until He has filled you up with His Spirit, and He has discipled you specifically for the work He has assigned to you. Stay fresh in the Spirit and Word of Christ Jesus! Amen!