Taking the passage out of context doesn't change the undefined type of action indicated by, "gave," in Ephesians 4:11.Hi BJ Bear,
No, I wasn't referring to that particular text, but that's certainly something relevant to the discussion. Let's read it with a little more context:
Ephesians 4:11-1311 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
So in the list above we see that Christ gave these specific groups "to equip His people for works of service." Since no one can supply a "use by" date for the end of any of these groups, then for one to arbitrarily attempt to excise any group from the list is brazen and irresponsible.
Have "we all reach[ed] unity in the faith"? Have "we all ... become mature, attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ"? If not then the "until" aspect of Paul's affirmation is still in effect.
And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.
Say it with me: "God has placed IN THE CHURCH ... PROPHETS" Paul then goes on to admonish us to "eagerly desire the greater gifts." What specific gift do you think he wants us to especially "desire"?
I pray this helps.
But for the grace of God go I,cyspark
The epistle to the Ephesians is an actual letter to intended first century recipients, the church at Ephesus. The first person plural pronoun, "we," in the passage you cite refers to first century persons.