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The Unity of the Spirit (3) (Eph. 4:1-6)

We are examining the Spirit’s plan for unity for the Lord’s people. We are ready for:

#4 One Lord. This “one Lord” is Jesus Christ, crucified, buried, risen, exalted, and invested with supreme authority in heaven and on earth. To the Jews on Pentecost Peter declared, “Let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made this same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). In Romans 10:12, Paul emphasizes the “one Lord,” declaring that, “There is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.” Compare with Acts 10:36. God has given unto Jesus, His Son, the “one Lord,” “all authority” (Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17). No pope, synod, counsel, association, prophet, editor, elder, preacher, reformer, president, “pastor” or any other person has the authority to act as Lord of the church. Many who claim to follow and believe in the “one Lord” need to answer the question Jesus asked of the Jews of His day: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). Truly, as these Scriptures indicate, Jesus is Lord of ALL!

“All hail the power of Jesus name! Let angels prostrate fall! Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all.” Let us recognize His authority and unite under His banner of truth. Let us know, love, defend, proclaim, and faithfully keep every command of the “one Lord” in the blessed living “one hope,” that we may one day look on His face and be like Him! (I John 3:1-2).

#5 One Faith. The “one faith” is the Gospel, the “faith once delivered” (Jude 3). The “one faith” is NOT composed of the doctrines and commandments of men. Jesus often warned the Pharisees of His era about that very thing (Mark 7:6-13). The “one faith” is not composed of human philosophy, whether it be ancient in origin, or of modern-day arriving. Paul did not want the saints at Colosse to be beguiled with “enticing words” (Col. 2:4). Four verses later he penned these words of warning: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Col. 2:8). The “one faith” is NOT a shortened gospel; it is NOT a perverted gospel; it is NOT a gospel that has been added to by men who have decided the Gospel of Christ needs a modernistic and liberalistic overhaul, and it is NOT a gospel formed by “wresting the Scriptures” (II Pet. 3:16).

The “one faith” is NOT made up of concocted creeds, manufactured manuals, composed confessionals, devised disciplines or collected catechisms of our day. Yet these are the very documents to which millions give heed and loyalty today. Creeds, manuals, disciplines and catechisms were dangerous enough when they were written out in books separate from the Bible. Now they pose an even bigger threat due to the fact that they are being incorporated into the modern versions (perversions) of the Bible today. Years ago, they attempted to put the Bible into their creeds; now they put their creeds into the Bible.

The “one faith” is the body of saving truth which we know as the Gospel of Christ. “Faith” is used in the Bible to refer to our personal beliefs (Heb. 11:6). Due to the fact that faith is a prominent part of the Gospel that saves, it is frequently used to refer to the entire Gospel system of objective truth. That is its usage here in our text. In Ephesians 4:13 Paul refers to “the unity of the faith.” Just after his conversion, Paul preached “the faith which once he destroyed” (Gal. 1:23). What was he preaching? “The Gospel” (I Cor. 1:17; 15:1-4). He was preaching “Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (I Cor. 2:1-2).

The “one faith” is that for which Christians are to “contend for” (Jude 3). We are forbidden to make additions, subtractions or alterations of any kind to the “one faith.” When this is done, it ceases to be the “one faith.” Since there is but “one faith,” we are all to “speak the same thing” (I Cor. 1:10) and we are all to “walk by the same rule” (Phil. 3:16). We must also “be of the same mind and judgment” (I Cor. 1:10). This is accomplished when we “speak as the oracles of God” (I Pet. 4:11).

Are you following the “one faith” or the dictates, opinions, and doctrines of men?

Paul M. Wilmoth

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