It is interesting that in the early part of [Ephesians 4], Paul talks about what [believers] have in common and how we should allow nothing to disrupt the unity of the church. Later in this chapter, he talks about what we have as individuals that is unique. He talks about how God will distribute the gifts of the Spirit as He chooses to do so.
One of the wonderful things about a healthy church is its diversity. That in itself is a witness to a divided world. It is a powerful testimony when someone can come into an assembly of believers and see that we have set aside our differences and there is unity.
It doesn’t mean there is uniformity. God can take the same gift and put it in the lives of two people, and it might manifest itself a little bit differently as the Holy Spirit works through human personality.
Ephesians tells us that God has given us these gifts “for the equipping of the saints, for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (4:12, NKJV). Another way to translate this verse is “to equip God’s people for work and His service.”
The word equip in the original language means “to put something back to its original condition.” It is also a phrase that speaks of putting a bone back into place again.
The idea is that we are getting back to God’s original order when we do it this way, when we function as the church ought to function.
It is a wonderful blessing when you start giving out what God has given to you, as you become a part of His purpose for the church.
Taken from “Giving Out What God Has Given You” by Harvest Ministries (used by permission).