Ephesians 4:4-6 One

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Even the casual reader of this section of Scripture (a section thought to be an ancient Christian hymn or creed) is struck by Paul’s repletion of a single word, one. In fact, it occurs seven times – three times alluding to the three Persons of the Trinity, and four times the Christian experience in relation to God.

In summary there is one body because there is one Spirit. By one Spirit we are all baptized into one body (1 Cor 12:13). The One Holy Spirit comes into our heart and integrates us into the one body. Then there is one hope related to our calling, and one faith and one baptism, which inaugurates into that calling, because there is one Lord. Jesus Christ, our one Lord is the object of our faith, hope and baptism. Lastly there is one family, and thus one Father who is over the entirety of that family.

As the unity of the Godhead is inviolable, so the unity of the church is as well. John MacArthur writes:

Every biblical metaphor of the church, without exception, emphasizes its unity. The church is one Bride with one husband; one Flock with one shepherd; the Branches on one vine one Kingdom with one king; one Family with one father; one Building with one foundation; one Body with one head. Each of these illustrations involves one group related to the same perfect leader, Jesus Christ. Positionally, each believer stands on the same ground in Christ.

The unity of the church is as indestructible as the unity of the Godhead upon which it rests. It is no more possible to split the church than it is to split the Trinity. One may ask then: Why all of these denominations, bickering, infighting, and divisions? Truth be told, the church seems to be very successful in doing the very thing that we are instructed we cannot do. How is the rampant visible disunity in the church consistent with the Biblical affirmation of indestructible unity?

In order to understand this, we need to understand the distinctions between the visible and invisible church: the church militant, here on earth, and the church triumphant, the church of the first born in heaven. The church’s unity is an invisible reality in the mind of God. So that though there might be hundreds of different denominations – some even not talking to each another – we are nevertheless one, for God says we are one.

Let us not acquiesce in the tragedy of visible disunity, but rather let us endeavor to keep the unity of the church. Christians must end their party bickering and return to the oneness of a redeemed people. After all, we owe that distinct unity to having been brought into one body by one Spirit having one hope, one faith, and one baptism because there is one Lord, and we are in one family under the same God and Father of all.

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3 thoughts on “Ephesians 4:4-6 One

  1. Growing up from a babe in Christ, to becoming “rooted and built up in Him,” gives the maturing believer holy respect for the Bride as a whole unit, in Christ Jesus. Fearfully, our passion is to protect the family of GOOD rather than to divide. We are one flock under one Shepherd, it is a fact, not a wish. We are “members of one another.” Dare we tare our own Body apart, which is in fact the Bride, the Body of Christ? This is a sobering thought which cuts to the heart because, in our nature we are destructive and our tongue is a “restless evil,” with which we cut and divide “those for whom Christ has died.” We stand ashamed, with the desire to take these words to heart, to purpose in our hearts, this day to speak healing, words of kindness to our members. “Except for the grace of GOD,” we always want to remember and keep this thought up front indeed; except for the grace of GOD,I could be habitually sinning in ways that would cause me to be repulsive to myself. GOD has delivered us from, the sinful nature and its vile, filthy, murderous, contemptuous, passions, do we really see what we are? This flesh is still with us, we are still capable of every wicked act, as long as we are on earth. Our nature can dominate even the believer, if its passions are fed. The mind can become hostile to GOD, for a season, but praise GOD that when we obey Him, by seeking His face, reading His word, reasoning with Him in prayer, through our disappoints, our resentments, and even our hidden hatred, He is faithful to rescue us, through the power of His blessed Holy Spirit. He counsels us, directs, leads, and more over He delivers us. Sin starts in the inner most parts of the soul, the mind, and heart. Through the means of grace; such as daily Bible reading, connecting with GOD, talking while walking in Him, all day long, we are conscious of the astonishing ways He is constantly, faithfully, delivering, the members of Christ from sin. We are the Church Triumphant and we are coming to the point that “we no longer regard another from a human stand point.” The maturing saint deeply longs to keep peace and unity, in the Body of believers, his or her soul draws away from those who would be contentious.

  2. What a great way of looking at this issue of unity. In God’s mind we are indeed one in all respects, from those who are considered to be the least to those we esteem as the greatest. We can like the Pastor said be militant towards one another, but in God’s mind, those who belong to Him are indeed one in Christ. Once again, a very uplifting comment from Pastor LoSardo. Thank You!

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