These words, quoted from Psalm 68:18, are employed by the Apostle Paul to call our attention to a special gift-giving ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. As God’s Son, Jesus gave His life for us. While it was the Father’s action to “give” or “send” His Son into the world, it was our Lord Jesus’ own decision and action to “lay down His life” for us (John 10:15). However, His gift-giving ways continue beyond His work as Savior of the World and find expression in His work as Lord of the Church.
It is as the Church’s Builder (Matt. 16:18) that Christ gives additional “gifts to men.” These gifts are in the form of people, leaders He anoints and appoints to serve the offices of “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers” (Eph. 4:11). They have been given for the equipping and the edifying of each Christian and each local congregation (Eph. 4:12–16).
This Christmas, think of ways you might give thanks to your Savior for the gift of Christian leaders He has given you.