Vs. 4 "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling."
In verse three we are admonished to "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Therefore it is incumbent upon every member to strive for the continuity of this "unity" or oneness which Paul accredits the church.
In Verses 4-6 Paul directs the minds of the Ephesian saints to the seven basics which constitute the foundation of true Unity, in Vs. 4 He lists, one body, one spirit, and one hope. In Vs. 5, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, in Vs. 6, one God and Father. The spiritual numerical value of the number seven (7) is perfection or completion, so it is, nothing needs to be added, nor deleted from the basics which form the foundation of the unity of the church.
Vs. 4 "there is one bodyÖ" There is unity of mind among Students of ecclesiology regarding the metaphorical term "body" used in this text. All agree it is a reference to the Lordís church, the dividing of the way comes when the Question is posed, "what kind of a church is Paul referring by the tern "body"?
The universal invisible church theorist answers immediately, Saying, "Paul refers to the true church, the universal invisible church." To be consistent with this answer the proponent would have to deny the existence of the local church, for whatever Paul refers to with the term "body" we know it is "one". Those who hold to the universal invisible church theory has two Churches, one which he calls the true church, which includes all believers, his second church is the local visible church, we embraces a fragment of the whole body of believers.
When you refer to one of two things as "the true" you by Inference deny the other genuineness, thus it is, the universal invisible church theorist, by his doctrine which calls for two kinds of churches places himself outside the pale of the Lords Church. The Lordís body is not made up of a true, and an infinite number of false churches, the bride of Christ is chaste and Virtuous, (2nd Cor. 11:2).
If you can dualize the "one body", then the other six elements which constitute the foundation of unity, may be dualized, a By so-doing give birth to the rankest absurdities, by this Interpretation, and being consistent we have Paul saying, there are "two bodies, two Spirits, two hopes, two Lords, two faith two baptisms, and two Gods," nothing could be more ridiculous.
The "one body" in this text does not mean one in number, but one in kind. The same as "baptism" in the next verse means "one" in kind. Paul, in writing to the church at Corinth, says, "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular" (1st Cor. 12:27). We know every saved person at the time, was not in the church at Corinth. Yet, Paul says to that church, "ye are the body of Christ..." In Vs. 25 of first Corinthians twelve, Paul says, "there should be no schism in the body..." There are not only an infinite number of schisms and divisions in the so-called universal invisible church, but many of their differences are irreconcilable. But the devil finds in these various protestant bodies a willingness to further blinded. He brings them together with their dissimilarities, and causes them to believe they are one body, the ecumenical church. In this they are willingly ignorant.
Vs. 4 "there is...one Spirit...." There is but one Holy Spirit, there are many evil spirits (1st John 4:1). It is this blessed Holy Spirit that gives oneness and unity to the Lordís churches. "There is....one hope...." The Holy Spirit gives life and unity to church, and instills the same hope in all the body. Which hope is to eternally share in the glory of the head of the church. Paul in the Colossian epistle identifies the church as the body Christ, and that says to the Colossian church, "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:24 & 27).
Vs. 5 "one Lord, one faith, one baptism."
"One Lord," Baptists have died by the thousands because of their Unshakeable faith in the "one lord" of the bible. In the early History of the church, Rome was in ascendancy, and the known world was subjugated to Rome. The roman emperors set themselves up as Deities, and commanded worship of all their subjects. Baptists, mindful of the word of their Lord, wherein he says, (Ex. 20:5) "thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them..." Went joyfully to the martyrís fire. Baptists did not consider the Emperorís "deny or die" to be an option, and rather than say, "Caesar is Lord they looked heavenward, and said, "Christ is king over all the earth."
"One faith," this is a reference, in the primary sense to an Experimental faith in the "one Lord", which faith allows for no other God. Yet, it is readily understood one cannot be a true Worshiper Of God without assimilating and propagating his doctrine.
"One baptism," This is a reference to water baptism. Whenever we read in the New Testament of baptism, unless there is in the context give a description. Which expressly identifies it as something other than water baptism; it is a reference to water baptism. 1st Cor. 12:13 will not support the Scofied idea of Holy Spirit baptism, The preposition "en" (Greek) is translated by the KJV "by" in 1st Cor. 12:13, yet in the same version the same Greek preposition is translated 114 times by the word "among," "with" 139 times, "in" 1,863 times, and "by" 142 times. The evidence is of such force that to add words would be vain, and tend to darken counsel. Ye I feel I would be remiss if I did not add this one comment, no where the New Testament did the Holy Spirit ever baptize any person or thing.
Vs. 6 "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
"One God," every religion except Christianity has a plurality of Godís, and Within the canopy of Christianity there are mock Professors, yea, even whole denominations which by their practice reveal they hold to the existence of more than one God. God alone has power to forgive sins, and anything or person claiming this power take unto themselves God-ship. Therefore, we see Roman Catholicism to be in error as to the truth regarding doctrine of one God. Rome ascribes the power of forgiveness of sin to Mary the Pope, and canonized saints, yea, even to their local Priests.
Thus we see, at the top of the list of the seven things which are necessary for spiritual unity; the "one God." He is always at the top, shining in his own glory, and sending down on His Church every good and perfect gift necessary for growth. While the Holy Spirit in administering the things of God, brings the church to spiritual unity, the Holy Spirit would have us know that almighty God is the ultimate source of spiritual unity.
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning" (James1:17).
The Holy Spirit is with the church in an institutional sense, and
it is in true churches abides in this sense. New Testament Baptist
churches are the only ecclesiastical institutions which have divine
Authority for existing. Thus it is God who works through His church
in the proclamation of the gospel. It is in the church that the
Believer is guided into all truth, and it is for this reason, Paul
says, "...the house of God, which is the church of the living God,
the pillar and ground of the truth" (1st Tim. 3:15).