Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ephesians 4:1-6

I beseech you, walk worthy with lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, forbearing; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit, which is:

A. ONE Body,

B. ONE Spirit,

C. ONE Hope,

D. ONE LORD,

C. ONE Faith,

B. ONE Baptism,

A. ONE God and Father.

This unity is for those who are exhorted to walk worthy of their vocation or calling. This calling is set forth in Ephesians, chapters 1 to 3. These folks have been chosen from before the foundation, made sons, seated with Christ, and blest with all blessings that are spiritual in heavenly places. But the walk is to be accompanied with the virtues; lowliness, meekness, longsuffering and forbearance.

This unity is not man-made. It is already made. Its Author is the Holy Spirit. We are to keep that which is already made.

Note the central member of the structure. It is the ONE LORD. Around Him all else revolves. His redeeming work has brought to us every blessing that can be named. No redemption; no blessing. Even Israel of old recited, Our Elohim (plural) is (singular) one Lord. Also He is one King, and one Head.

There is ONE Body. This body is a family. God is its Father. Remember that this body is a new creation (Ephesians 2:15). The old creation. the flesh, does not enter into such a relationship. Family life was instituted in order that man might come to an understanding of the love of God. Therefore the evil one does everything possible to destroy all family relationships. He would bring in hate, not love.

There is ONE Spirit. It is a part of the unity made by the Holy Spirit. This one spirit is the new nature, the new man. Those who have this new nature are drawn together into a unity and identified or baptized into one body by it. For example, see 1 Corinthians 12:13. And so it was that the believers at Corinth were drawn together into one body because they all had this new nature in them. And fittingly, in the structure, you find ONE Baptism over and against the one spirit. For this one baptism, see Colossians 2:11,12.

There is ONE Hope. Opposite this you find the ONE Faith. Both have to do with our great salvation. We are saved by hope. We are saved by grace thru faith. And we are saved by the life of the ONE LORD. He is our hope. We have salvation because of His faith. He is our life. So it is evident that the hope, and the life are dependent upon resurrection. The hope of Israel was their Messiah and resurrection. The hope of the church is the Head and resurrection. If no resurrection, then Christ is not raised. We would be most miserable if we did not have this hope in this life; and there would be no life to come. So we then indeed would be hopeless.

Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are 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.

A. There is One Body. This one body was created as one new man from the twain, the Jew and Gentile who believed. See Ephesians 2:15,16. This one body can be kept by not bringing in again a difference between Jew and Gentile as was in the Pentecostal dispensation.

B. And One Spirit. We have access by one Spirit unto the Father (2:18). At one time Israel were nigh and the Gentiles far off. But now this is abolished. This is to be kept by not returning to a condition of Gentiles being strangers and aliens from Israel. Both now one with no difference.

C. Even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. The only hope mentioned in Paul's prison epistles is the manifestation, the epiphaneia. This is in Glory which answers the question, Where? See Colossians 3:4. It is the blessed hope of the one body (Titus 2:13). It is the place of citizenship of the one body (Philippians 3:20). Paul's prayer is that we might know the hope of His calling (1:18). We can keep this unity by not confusing our hope with the hopes of other callings. We do not look for the rapture, the coming (parousia), or the unveiling (apocalypse).

D. One Lord. This is the central one of 7. It is the central lamp of the lampstand in the tabernacle and temple. The union of the members with the One Lord is that they have been quickened, raised, and seated with Him in heavenly places (2:5,6). This one body has been rescued from the powers of darkness and translated into the kingdom of His Dear Son (Colossians 1:13). We are to hold Him as Head (Colossians 2:19).

C. One Faith. There is a unity of the faith to be attained unto (v. 13). And that is because that our faith is centered in One, the Lord Himself. So there is one object of faith, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We can keep this unity by avoiding fables and endless genealogies. These bring up questions and undermine faith.

B. One Baptism. There have been many baptisms thru out the ages past, but now there is one baptism, and only one. It is being identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. This leads to newness of life. We can keep this unity by holding to the one baptism, not going back to water or spirit baptisms of a former dispensation.

A. One God and Father of All. He is far above all, and so has blest us in Christ far above all (Ephesians 1:21). And He is thru all because of the power that is to usward who believe (1: 19). And He is among us all by virtue of the temple that is being builded (2:22).

Further study of each of these seven items of the unity is necessary for a fuller appreciation of its fulness and depths. Find more cross references. May Christ be the center of your lives and actions.

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Verse of the Day

Ephesians 2:11
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
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