By Oscar M. Baker
"That ye walk ... Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit" (Eph. 4:3).
This bit of advice is widely ignored today. This is accomplished by taking out the word keep, and substituting the word make. But we are not to make a unity, but to keep the unity which is already made. It is the unity of the Spirit. Therefore it is not made with hands. But the world is full of man-made unities today, and fall apart as fast as they are made.
The Holy Spirit Himself has set up this unity for us to keep. It is a perfection in that it consists of seven items. And the central item is one Lord. This is the hub about which all the rest revolves.
A. One Body. Those chosen from before the overthrow of the Kosmos are one body. Israel, chosen since the overthrow were one body. But there was a disruption and they were two bodies for a period of 475 years (from 880 to 405 B.C.). Every effort is being made to disrupt the body today. But there is a unity to be kept.
B. One Spirit. One Spirit, and one only, watches over the one body and teaches it. At the time of the writing of Ephesians, there was a widespread belief in many demonic spirits guiding men. And of course there would be as many beliefs or religions as there were demons or teachers. But the Holy Spirit, one of the manifestations of God, is one.
C. One Hope. This hope is not the rapture of Israel, it is the hope of the manifestation with Christ in glory (Col . 3:4; Titus 3:13). For the most part, Christendom today is looking for Israel's hope, and not the hope of the church of which Christ is Head. This is confusion and certainly not keeping the unity. The one hope has to do with heavenly places, not things on the earth, i.e. the millennial kingdom.
D. One Lord. This one point is central for the reason that there can be no knowledge of God except through the Word made flesh. He came to manifest God as Father, and the Spirit was there to witness to that fact. We can have only one Lord and Master. We cannot serve two of them.
C. One Faith. There is only one faith or doctrine for today. It is found in Eph. 1-3. It is not found in any of the seven epistles Paul wrote during Acts. They had a different faith. We are to keep the faith, not wander off.
B. One Baptism. Since this unity is not made with hands, this cannot be a sprinkling of either blood or water as in the Jewish rituals. If you have been on Calvary with Christ in His death, with Him in the tomb, and with Him in resurrection, you have the one baptism.
A. One God and Father. Not only one God, but one Father because of the adoption of Eph. 1:5. Also because of the dual nature of Christ, He is spoken of as having a God and Father. So have we, if we are of Him. All this to be kept in the bond of peace.
(Reprinted from Truth For Today, Vol. 31, No. 1)