Christ gave each one of us the special gift of grace, showing how generous he is.
That is why it says in the Scriptures, "When he went up to the heights, he led a parade of captives, and he gave gifts to people."
When it says, "He went up," what does it mean? It means that he first came down to the earth.
So Jesus came down, and he is the same One who went up above all the heaven. Christ did that to fill everything with his presence.
And Christ gave gifts to people -- he made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to have the work of caring for and teaching God's people.
Christ gave those gifts to prepare God's holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger.
This work must continue until we are all joined together in the same faith and in the same knowledge of the Son of God. We must become like a mature person, growing until we become like Christ and have his perfection.
Then we will no longer be babies. We will not be tossed about like a ship that the waves carry one way and then another. We will not be influenced by every new teaching we hear from people who are trying to fool us. They make plans and try any kind of trick to fool people into following the wrong path.
No! Speaking the truth with love, we will grow up in every way into Christ, who is the head.
The whole body depends on Christ, and all the parts of the body are joined and held together. Each part does its own work to make the whole body grow and be strong with love.