Study Notes

Ephesians 4:4-7


Paul is in the middle of this idea that the church needs to glorify God, and in order for that to happen, the church needs to be getting along with one another. We talked last week about these ideas of having humility, being gentle, practicing patience, and showing forbearance to one another in love. If we're being diligent about these things, then we will be preserving the unity that we need to have.

Along the same lines of unity, Paul is now going to remind us just how united we are...

4:4-7 One Body

Unity in the church shouldn't be that hard. After all, if we're being diligent to preserve the bond of peace, then the rest is easy, since we've already got such a common bond with one another. In spite of the fact that there are many church buildings, and many church denominations, really there is just one church. And that's the first thing Paul is talking about on his list of things we have in common:

Eph. 4:4 There is one body...

Throughout the Scriptures, the church is called "the body of Christ." For example, Colossians says,

Col. 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church...

Col. 1:24 ...His body (which is the church)...

Because Jesus Christ is no longer physically on earth, but has commissioned us to continue His work in the world, we are His hands and arms, His feet and legs. We are His body. He is the head, directing the movement, but we are doing the physical part.

Now, there's one body, one church. Everyone in the world is either a part of the body of Christ, or they're not. And regardless of the hugely divergent things that Christians believe, practice, and think, there is one Body of Christ. Some churches believe some things, others don't. But the church is the church is the church - there is one Body.

There are not two bodies - Catholic and Protestant. There is one body. There are not three bodies - pre-trib rapture, mid-trib rapture, and post trib rapture. There is one body. There are not four bodies - Southern, General, American, and Independent. There is one body.

One church, one body of Christ, and we're either in it or we're not.

One Spirit

The way that people get into the one church is that they are born again - they are born of the Spirit. When someone recognizes that they are a sinner who is separated from God, and they believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the death penalty for their sin, they are born again by God's Spirit. We are in the church because God...

2Cor. 1:22 ...sealed us and gave {us} the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

We shouldn't have trouble with unity in the body, because everyone who is really is the body has the same Spirit. That's why Paul gives this second on the list:

Eph. 4:4 ...and one Spirit...

Now, of course there is more than one Spirit in creation. There are evil spirits out there as well. As a matter of fact, the one Spirit warned us about these other Spirits:

1Tim. 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons

There are many spirits out there who want to lead you down the wrong path. But as far as the body of Christ is concerned, there is only one Spirit.

One Hope

Next, Paul lists...

Eph. 4:4 ...just as also you were called in one hope of your calling

In addition to one body and one Spirit, there is one hope. What is that hope? A little bit of searching might result in some confusion. After all, the Bible talks about...

Acts 23:6 ...the hope and resurrection of the dead!"

Gal. 5:5 ...the hope of righteousness.

Col. 1:5 ...the hope laid up for you in heaven...

Col. 1:27 ...the hope of glory.

Titus 1:2 ...the hope of eternal life...

It sounds at first like there are many hopes, doesn't it? And yet, when we look at them all, we see that they are in fact one hope. The hope that we place in the finished work of Jesus Christ, which will raise us from the dead to eternal life in heaven, in glory and righteousness forever and ever!

Everyone who is in the one body of Christ, those who have been sealed by the one Spirit, is holding onto this one hope.

One Lord

Then Paul mentions...

Eph. 4:5 one Lord...

Remember, we learned back in chapter one that the word "Lord" is a respectful title meaning, "Master, Possessor, Owner." It comes from a root word that means "supremacy." Now we know that Jesus Christ is called,


But the very fact that He is the "Lord of Lords" tells us that there is more than one Lord. People are in fact mastered by many Lords. They are owned by - and in submission to - lots of different things. Desire for money, addictions to drugs, dependence on relationships, a quest for fame, a desire for power, these all have mastery and lordship over peoples' lives.

When Jesus is your Lord, He is the only Lord you have. He said,

Matt. 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

There can be no divided allegiance - you can only be owned by one master. You can only have one Lord. If we desire unity in the body of Christ, it will only come about if our hearts are not divided by serving others masters.

One Faith

Next, Paul says, that there is...

Eph. 4:5 faith...

Living in the world today, this is an unpopular statement. We are being programmed to accept "all faiths." But the Bible never approves a generic faith, or any old faith. The Bible only validates "The Faith." The faith that is called "The Faith" is more than a namby-pamby faith in "a God of your choice." It is only faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21; 24:24; Rom. 3:22; 3:26; Gal. 2:16; 3:22; 3:26; Eph. 1:15; Col. 1:4; Rev. 14:12; et al).

One Baptism

Then Paul says,

Eph. 4:5 baptism...

There has been some controversy surrounding these two words. In fact, there are many kinds of baptisms: John's baptism of repentance, Jesus' baptism, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire, baptism into death, the cultish practice of baptism for the dead, and the Jews' practice of baptizing those that they proselytized.

But Paul's other writings clarify which baptism he is speaking of:

1Cor. 12:13-14 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.

The one baptism is the baptism into the body of Christ. No one gets into the body of Christ apart from the Holy Spirit entering their lives and hearts, sealing them with God's seal of ownership.

One God And Father

And God is God. Allah is not God. Buddha is not God. Mohammed is not God. The Virgin Mary is not God. Confucius is not God. L. Ron Hubbard isn't God. Joseph Smith isn't God. There is only one God and Father. The Bible says,

1Tim. 2:5-6 For there is one God, {and} one mediator also between God and men, {the} man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all...

Jesus said,

John 14:6 ..."I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.

As we've looked at the Bible this morning, one thing has become evident: there is only one way. One real church, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord and Master, one true faith, one baptism, one true God, Who we need to come to the one way that He has provided - His one and only Son, Jesus Christ.


When we approach God in this one way, He gives us grace, the gift of Jesus Christ.

Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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