Glorified, Risen and Ascended (Pt 5)


So, having seen that Christ's Ascension lies behind His Headship His Church, let's go on to have a look at an important expression of that Headship. Ephesians 4:11 mentions 5 gifts given by Christ to His Church: 'And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.' In Apostolic theology these 5 gifts used to be referred to as the Headship Ministries, because they are ways in which the Headship of Christ is expressed in His Body, the Church. Christ is explicitly called Apostle, Prophet, Teacher and Pastor (Shepherd) in Scripture, and the verb-form of evangelist is also used of Him. So the ultimate expression of each of these five ministries is Christ Himself. That means that any man who is an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher is expressing something of the Head's ministry to His Body. Christ gives men as apostles to express something of His apostleship, etc.

Today we usually refer to these 5 gifts as Ascension Ministries, for the context in Ephesians 4 makes clear that they are given by Christ as a result of His Ascension (see Eph 4:8-11). That means that the fact that we have apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in the Church today is a benefit of Christ's Ascension. So the next time you're helped by your pastor, edified by a teacher, or sit under the ministry of the prophet, remember that all of this is the result of the Ascension.

Christ's Headship rests on the Ascension and so does the expression of His Headship in the Body.
Thus the Church exists within the context of the gifts of Christ's Ascension.
  1. Christ pours out the Holy Spirit upon the Church to empower her for Christ's service.
  2. The Father gave Christ as Head to the Church.
  3. Christ gave gifts of men to the Church to express that Headship.
Behind all of this lies the Ascension of Christ, an event of great theological importance.

You Might Also Like


Blog Archive

The Tenets of the Apostolic Church

The Unity of the Godhead, and Trinity of the Persons therein.

The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for repentance and regeneration and the eternal doom of the finally impenitent.

The virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, triumphant resurrection, ascension, and abiding intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ; His second coming, and millennial reign upon earth.

Justification and Sanctification of the believer through the finished work of Christ.

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost for believers, with signs following.

The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the Church, which is the body of Christ.

The Sacraments of Baptism by immersion and of the Lord's Supper.

The Divine inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures.

Church government by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, elders and deacons.

The possibility of falling from grace.

The obligatory nature of tithes and offerings.