A Note from our Pastor:
“One Lord, one faith, one baptism,”Ephesians 4:5
Good Morning Dearly Beloved,
Such a short verse, and yet so much meaning for us to consider. We must remember when reading Ephesians, the Apostle was writing to a unique group of people. Up until this point, a great division existed between Jew and Greek, between rich and poor, and many other categories. But with this group of believers, those walls had been dropped and they were all worshipping and walking in discipleship together.
In this particular chapter, the Apostle is emphasizing the need for unity to continue among this diverse group. The foundation of unity is Christ Jesus. In the prior verse, the reader is reminded first of the visible unity of the group displayed by their coming together as a body, their functional unity which happens because of the Spirit, and their spiritual unity which is caused by a shared hope.
Now, the Apostle, is going to point the reader towards key shared aspects of their belief which should bind them together and protect unity.
Unity among believers is ultimately founded in unity in Christ. It is founded in belief that there is but one Savior; not one for rich and one for poor; not one for practicing believer and one for the unfaithful; not one for white and one for black; but rather one Savior which is for all of his people. When believers in the church are disposed to contend over trifles and are set to rend the church with their backbiting the way of restoring unity should be to point back to this commonality. There is but one Lord and we are all to worship him.
Further into our New Testament we find Jude writing how the faith, was once delivered unto the saints. The faith spoken of here in Ephesians by the Apostle is the same faith Jude wrote about. Not believer’s faith delivered to each person in his or her own measure, but something which unites a diverse set of believers. This faith is the doctrine of Jesus Christ. It is the doctrine being taught in the early church by the Apostles and the early ministers. Paul is reminding these readers, despite their backgrounds and prior beliefs, they are now united in believing the doctrine of Jesus. Today we can join with those in the early church in professing and walking in that doctrine as well.
Having established the first two, the Apostle tells the reader of one baptism. A baptism founded in a belief in Jesus Christ and his accomplished work which publicly professes the doctrine of Christ. This baptism must be in the proper form (immersion) and must be administered by a proper authority (ordained elder of the church). The point the Apostle is driving home is there cannot be multiple baptisms accepted because baptism is founded on one Lord and one Faith and is the entryway into one Body. Ultimately, baptism is the expression of the one hope shared within the church.
These foundational principles are basis for unity in the church. A shared hope, a shared faith, a shared baptism, and a belief in one Lord and his accomplished work.
Our Prayers are with you daily,