Therefore it says,

(A)“When he ascended on high (B)he led a host of captives,
    and he gave gifts to men.”[a]

((C)In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into (D)the lower regions, the earth?[b] 10 He who descended is the one who also (E)ascended (F)far above all the heavens, that he might (G)fill all things.) 11 And (H)he gave the (I)apostles, the prophets, the (J)evangelists, the (K)shepherds[c] and teachers,[d] 12 (L)to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for (M)building up (N)the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to (O)the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, (P)to mature manhood,[e] to the measure of the stature of (Q)the fullness of Christ,

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  1. Ephesians 4:8 The Greek word anthropoi can refer to both men and women
  2. Ephesians 4:9 Or the lower parts of the earth?
  3. Ephesians 4:11 Or pastors
  4. Ephesians 4:11 Or the shepherd-teachers
  5. Ephesians 4:13 Greek to a full-grown man

The psalmist tells about this, for he says that when Christ returned triumphantly to heaven after his resurrection and victory over Satan, he gave generous gifts to men. Notice that it says he returned to heaven. This means that he had first come down from the heights of heaven, far down to the lowest parts of the earth. 10 The same one who came down is the one who went back up, that he might fill all things everywhere with himself, from the very lowest to the very highest.

11 Some of us have been given special ability as apostles; to others he has given the gift of being able to preach well; some have special ability in winning people to Christ, helping them to trust him as their Savior; still others have a gift for caring for God’s people as a shepherd does his sheep, leading and teaching them in the ways of God.

12 Why is it that he gives us these special abilities to do certain things best? It is that God’s people will be equipped to do better work for him, building up the Church, the body of Christ, to a position of strength and maturity; 13 until finally we all believe alike about our salvation and about our Savior, God’s Son, and all become full-grown in the Lord—yes, to the point of being filled full with Christ.

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