As we go through Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, we’re seeing how we are to function as a body of believers. We’re called to guard the spirit of unity that Christ brought us into. Paul continues with that thought.
There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Ephesians 4:4-6 NIV
I’m amazed that the Holy Spirit felt the need to emphasize the fact that there’s only one body and only one Spirit. Too often we think of the church as a group of different entities. Each denomination has its own structure and belief system.
That’s not how the Lord planned it to work. When He looks at the earth, Christ sees one body of believers. We’re the ones who place these virtual divisions into His church.
This verse literally says that we were called with one hope of our calling. To understand what he’s saying, you have to know the biblical definition of hope.
It has nothing to do with the modern concept of wishful thinking. We’re not just “trusting that everything will turn out alright”.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23 NIV
The Scripture is clear. We’re not just wishing that God will do what He says. We fully expect to see God’s will accomplished in us.
That’s what hope is all about in the Bible. It’s an expectation that we’ll see the manifestation of God’s promises.
So, when we read the above verse in Ephesians, we understand that there’s only one calling. That’s because the word, you, is plural in the Greek. We are called with one calling and one expectation of that calling.
That’s why it annoys me so much when someone says that they are personally called to do something for God. Then, they proceed to push themselves forward and walk over other believers in their attempt to “fulfill their calling”.
There is only one call and one hope. Each of us has a role to play in accomplishing it. But we’re called to work together, just as our body functions as a unit.
It would be foolish to think that my right hand had a goal that only it could do by itself. That would be outside the realm of reality. But, in the church, we act like that very often.
Paul continues to clarify this thought. There is only one Lord – one Commander-in-Chief. He’s the one giving us our marching orders. His plan includes everybody.
This means that there’s only one who we put our trust in. We don’t trust any human leader or even positive thinking. We place our trust and our hope firmly in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Then we’re told that there’s one baptism – that’s a word that’s too religious. It’s a Greek word that means immersion. We are all immersed into one thing – the body of Christ. That’s why Paul makes it clear that God the Father is over all, through all, and in all.
If we’re going to accomplish the work that God has called us to, then we need to ignore all of our man-made differences. We must focus on the calling of the church. Then, we find our place in God’s plan and obey His instructions to us.
That’s actually what Paul is going to get into as he continues in this epistle. So, over the next few weeks, we’ll see how this progresses.
Question: Where do you see yourself in the body of Christ?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi