4 “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4–6 (ESV)
The Apostle Paul builds upon the foundational truths expressed in Ephesians 4:1-3 by listing the seven elements of unity centered on the three Persons of the Trinity. This list provides the basis for the spirit of unity that should exist, and be maintained in the church.
There is one body. The phrase there is applies to all seven foundational truths. While not in the Greek text, it ties vs. 4-6 to the immediate preceding context of vs. 1-3. One body (εἷς σῶμα; eis soma) refers, in this context, to the church of Jesus Christ. Rather than a particular, local church, Paul has in mind the universal church encompassing all believers (1:23; 2:16; 3:6).
And one Spirit. One Spirit (εἷς πνεῦμα; eis pneuma) concerns the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells all believers in Christ (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 2:22).
Just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—. One hope (eis ἐλπίς; eis elpis) is the confident expectation all believers in Christ have. It is the confidence that God will keep all His promises. All believers have this confidence regarding their future with God (cf. 1 Peter 1:3; 3:15). It is a confidence that began at the time they were “called” to salvation (Eph. 1:4, 18; 2:7; 4:1; Col. 1:27).
One Lord. One Lord (εἷς κύριος; eis kurios) means there is one who has rule and command over the church. This is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the church (Eph. 1:22–23; Col. 1:18).
One faith. One faith (εἷς πίστις; eis pistis) indicates a singular trust in, commitment to, dependence upon and worship of the Lord Jesus Christ. This refers not only to objective faith, that is, the body of truth believed by Christians (Acts 6:7; 1 Tim. 3:9; 4:1, 6; Jude 3) but also personal subjective faith which is exercised by all Christians in Christ their Lord (cf. Col. 2:7).
One Baptism. One baptism (εἷς βάπτισμα; eis baptisma) is also known as believer’s baptism. It is the outward symbol of the inward Baptist by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:13). It also refers to a believer’s identification with Christ and His death (Rom. 6:1–11; Gal. 3:27). This water baptism follows salvation and is the believer’s public confession of faith in Jesus Christ. Spiritual baptism, by which all believers are placed into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:11–13), is implied in Eph. 4:4.
One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. This is the basic and foundational doctrine of God taught in Scripture (see Deut. 4:35; 6:4; 32:39; Isa. 45:14; 46:9; 1 Cor. 8:4–6).
The fourfold use of “all” pertains to believers in Christ. God is the Father “of” all who believe; they are His children (John 1:12; Gal. 3:26). And He is “over” all them as their Sovereign God. He lives “through” them and reveals Himself “in” them.
Dr. John Walvoord writes, “The Trinity is an integral part of the list. The one body of believers is vitalized by one Spirit, so all believers have one hope. That body is united to its one Lord (Christ) by each member’s one act of faith, and its identity with Him is depicted by one baptism. One God, the Father, is supreme over all, operative through all, and resides in all. All seven components are united in the Trinity.”
Thank you Lord for the unique relationship we have with You, in Christ, and by the Holy Spirit.
Soli deo Gloria!