Yesterday we looked at “walk[ing] worthy of our calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:1-3). Just as we have been saved by grace through faith in Christ, we have also been called into one hope of that calling and exhorted to live at peace with one another in the Body of Christ.
Paul was unaware of the petty squabbles and unnecessary disagreements that permeated the different churches in his care, but he was also quick to condemn such disunity in the Body of Christ and stressed the importance of Christian unity – where any differences of race, colour, nationality, culture, language, gender, and status, are brushed aside in love.
Paul was certainly not encouraging doctrinal compromise, for he was a man who contended earnestly for the faith in all his epistles. But his letters are quick to warn against false teachers, false prophets, false doctrines, and false followers of Christ. He was certainly zealous in stressing the importance of keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace – where by grace through faith in Christ, we are: “ONE body and ONE Spirit, just as you were called in ONE hope of your calling; ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism; ONE God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Eph 4:4-6)
This short section, makes it very clear that there can be no compromise of our Christian faith with other religions.. or a modification of the gospel, to appease others.. as certain people, in the broad spectrum of Christendom teach today. The Bible clearly states that there is one body of believers, and one Holy Spirit of God, Who indwells each one. Just as we have been saved… by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, we have also been called into one hope of that calling – which is founded on the ONE Lord – Jesus Christ for there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved (Rom 10:10-13).
As believers in the gospel of grace, we were all baptized into the body of Christ, by the Spirit of God, and are being built up into a holy habitation for the Lord. We all acknowledge One God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all – for by grace through faith in the eternal Son of His love, we have been redeemed and declared righteous in the eyes of God – and He has made us His children.
This passage (Eph 4:4-6) was written for believers in the Word of truth, and clarifies our relationship with our heavenly Father. Though He is the Creator of all things, God’s relational tie, as Father, are for Christians alone. Though men like to boast that every human being is a child of God, only those that have been born of the Spirit have become children of God, and joint heirs with Christ. The authority to call Him Father, is for those that believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting. He is Father to all, who are saved by grace through faith in Christ. He is Abba – Father to all believers – but not to all mankind.
Those who believe in the sacrificial work of the eternal Son of God are not under His condemnation, but have the right to approach His throne of grace and call Him Abba – Father. However, those that do not believe in the only begotten Son of God remain under His eternal condemnation, and can never be identified as God’s children. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus is the Word made flesh and that in Him is eternal life. Thank You for the indwelling Spirit, Who is building us into a holy habitation for our God and Father. Thank You for the Word of life and the truths that it contains – and thank You that by faith in Christ Jesus, I have the right to call You Abba – my Father. Thank You that I am part of the Body of Christ, and for the elements of unity within the Christian faith that bind us together in Christ for Your praise and glory. Lord when I forget to with humbly, with self-restraint and bearing with one another in love Lord, please remind me of this passage and Your call for me to walk worthy of being Your heir. I pray for those who falsely believe they are part of the body. Lord send the Holy Spirit to them to convict their hearts and minds of their need for the ONE Lord and Savior for life everlasting. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.