"There is One"
John Isaac Edwards
In a world of religious pluralism, we need to be reminded of the fact that there is one. To appreciate oneness, we bid you read Ephesians 4:4-6.
ONE BODY. Whatever the body is, there is just one. The body is “the church” (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18, 24). Thus, there is one church. The world boasts of many bodies and “join the church of your choice” is the order of the day, but there is one body in which one is reconciled (Eph. 2:16) and of which Christ is head and saviour (Eph. 5:23).
ONE SPIRIT. The “one Spirit” is “the Spirit of truth” (Jn. 16:13), the agency of divine revelation (Eph. 3:3-6). Therefore, there is one body of revealed truth. If we believe, teach and practice things inconsistent with, or contrary to, the revelation of the “one Spirit”, then what we believe, teach and practice is not truth, but error!
ONE HOPE. In Christ, we have hope of eternal life (1 Cor. 15:19; Eph. 2:12; Col. 1:27; Titus 1:2; 1 Jn. 5:11). We are “begotten…unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3). It is “through the gospel” that we are begotten in Christ (1 Cor. 4:15), or made “partakers of his promise in Christ” (Eph. 3:6). If one is begotten “through” something else, then he is begotten “unto” something else! Any “hope” other than the “one hope” of the gospel is no hope at all.
ONE LORD. Though there be “lords many”, there is but “one Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 8:5-6), the possessor of “all power…in heaven and in earth” (Mt. 28:18). All religious teaching and practice is to be done in His name, or by His authority (Col. 3:17). This means there is one standard of authority, and to teach or practice that which is unauthorized by the Lord Jesus Christ is to teach and preach that which is without divine authority!
ONE FAITH. In Galatians 1:23, Paul was said to have preached the faith. What did Paul preach, when he preached the faith? Galatians 2:2 says he preached the gospel. Thus, the faith is the gospel and there is but one gospel. Any “gospel” other than the one true gospel is a perversion (Gal. 1:6-9), by which one cannot be saved (1 Cor. 15:1-2), called (2 Th. 2:14; Col. 3:15) or begotten (1 Cor. 4:15; 1 Pet. 1:3).
ONE BAPTISM. Paul wrote, “for by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body” (1 Cor. 12:13). How ever many Spirits and bodies there are is how many baptisms there are. The one baptism is based on gospel teaching (Mt. 28:19; Mk. 16:15), faith (Mk. 16:16), repentance (Acts 2:38) and confession of faith (Acts 8:37). It is an immersion in water (Acts 8:36-39; Rom. 6:3-4), “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38) and puts one “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27). Any baptism other than the “one baptism” of Ephesians 4:5 has no validity today.
ONE GOD. Though there be many gods, “there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things” (1 Cor. 8:5). There has always been, and will always be, just one true God (1 Ki. 18; Is. 40- 48). Any other god is “a god that cannot save” (Is. 45:20). Our plea is no body but the one body, no spirit but the one Spirit, no hope but the one hope, no lord but the one Lord, no faith but the one faith, no baptism but the one baptism and no god but the one God.
The plea for the seven ones of Ephesians 4:4-6 is the plea for unity. “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). This will bring about unity in worship (one God), unity in authority (one Lord), unity in message (one faith), unity in practice (one baptism), unity in organization (one body) and unity in life, desire and expectation (one Spirit and one hope). There is no other basis of unity, Scriptural unity