Ephesians 4:8; Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
The Take and Give
Jesus Christ took away our fears and gave us gifts. Ephesians 4:8 defines leadership from a bird’s eye view. A viewpoint that required when evaluating whether a leader is effective. First let’s take a closer look at the verse and then we’ll back up.
Pay special attention to the phrase “Led captivity captive.” Led captive is all one Greek past tense verb + captive is a noun. Literally it means he led that which captures us, into a captive state. He bond that which binds. Wow! Isn’t that amazing? What captures and binds men?
Romans 8:15; For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
1 John 4:18a; There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.
Fear enslaves and captures people. What do we fear? Death?
1 Corinthians 15:55 O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory?
God wanted us to have freedom and eternal life with him. Despite the odds that were stacked against his son and the Devil’s hold on the powers and principalities of this world Jesus succeeded! He overcame DEATH itself!
Then what did he do? He gave gifts unto men. Special gifts to help people overcome death’s sting, just like he did. Gifts to empower others and lead captive that which captivates men in their life. This is the leadership method called the “take and give”. We help people take fear out of their life, then we give them hope with the Word so they will live an abundant life. This is not backwards. We have to get the fear out first, otherwise how can they truly see hope and use the gifts. It is not “give and take,” as many would surmise. Take the fear out then give the hope.
Someone told me once that if you do the opposite of what the world says you’ll be pretty close to right-on with the Word. This is a great example.