Ephesians Sentence by Sentence: 4:7

Ἑνὶ δὲ ἑκάστῳ ἡμῶν ἐδόθη ἡ χάρις κατὰ τὸ μέτρον τῆς δωρεᾶς τοῦ Χριστοῦ. But to each one of us it was given the grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

In this sentence, Paul is continuing on with the idea of unity or sameness. In the previous sentence, Paul exhorted the readers to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. He spelled out what is the unity and bond. Now he tells the readers why they are all equals. δὲ connects this sentence with what comes before it, but it is not contrasting anything, so “but” is not an appropriate translation. It would be best to leave it untranslated in english, so long as we note that this sentence is connected to the one before it.

To each and every one of them, including Paul the apostle, the grace of the Lord was given to them. They all had the gift, and therefore they were all equals. More than that, they all had the grace in accordance with the measurement. κατὰ marks the norm of similarity. What was similar in all of them was the fact that they all had the same measurement. μέτρον means “measure” or “measurement.” In this case, it bears the idea of the result of measuring and is to be understood as a “measurement.” But what was being measured?

The gift of Christ was being measured. What does this mean? Furthermore, how do we understand these genitives? First we have τῆς δωρεᾶς, and second we have τοῦ Χριστοῦ. The first genitive is attached to μέτρον. Is it in apposition (the measure, namely, the gift)? No, but rather it is a partitive genitive. The measurement is the part of the whole, δωρεᾶς. The second genitive is understood by many to be possessive (Christ’s gift). Indeed, it is a possessive genitive. Who’s gift is in view? Christ’s. Christ’s gift has been measured out and given to each and every one of the readers, including Paul.

Grace was given to each one of us in accordance with the normative measurement of Christ’s gift.

In Christ, we are all equal. We are brought together in unity and peace. Let it not be mistaken: we are all on a level playing field. We all have the same gift. Christ’s gift, grace, which was made possible by his own self-sacrifice, has been equally given to each and every one of us. Therefore, we are all equal. We should not think of any of us as being higher or superior to anyone else. The Apostle Paul put himself on the same playing field as his readers. Pastors, elders, and deacons are likewise on the same playing field as the rest of the congregation. Unity requires that we see each other on a level playing field. As a result, we should not think ourselves to be better than another.

It would be good to acknowledge that we are all equals in Christ, and that there is not a class or caste system in Christ. We do not enter into faith as though we are in a low ranking class and seek to move up in the system. We do not enter into faith as though we are placed into a single caste and can never get out of it. No, grace is equally given to all of us. There is no class and there is no caste. We are involved in a system of equality, for all have been given the same grace. If there ever is a time that we feel superior, we would do well to remember that in Christ we are equal. Feelings of superiority breed disunity and rancor. We must humble ourselves and in our equality maintain the unity of the spirit with the bond of peace.

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