Whenever Scripture quotes Scripture, we should pay careful attention. Whenever Scripture misquotes Scripture, we should pay very careful attention. Such a situation happens in Ephesians 4.8. Ephesians 4.8 reads:
When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive;
he gave gifts to his people.
But Paul is quoting Psalm 68.18, which reads:
You ascended the high mount,
leading captives in your train
and receiving gifts from people,
even from those who rebel against the Lord God’s abiding there.
Beep, beep, back the bulldozer up. Which one is it? Is someone getting gifts or giving them?
I think the Paul here, is actively transforming Psalm 68 in order to express very clearly that the very gifts that God gives to the people are the same gifts that God receives from the people. We can offer God nothing that we have not first received from God.
Paul goes on to say that God has given a gift to each of us within the church, and "The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers..." Those gifts may look like "churchy" gifts for full-time church professionals, but they are actually for all of us!
Listen to Pr. Ben's sermon from August 5 for more on those gifts, or read more about them at Passion Fruit.