Ephesians 4:4-5

Ephesians 4:4-5

There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

(a) One body. The body of Christ is the Church, of which Christ is the head (Eph. 5:23). “We who are many are one body in Christ” (Rom. 12:5).

(b) The one Spirit is the Holy Spirit a.k.a. the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9) and the Spirit of Grace (Heb. 10:29). “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Cor. 12:13).

(c) One Lord. Jesus Christ is the Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15).

When Jesus walked the earth he was known as Jesus of Nazareth or the Son of Man. But after he ascended to heaven he was given a new name above every name, and that name is Lord (Php. 2:9–11). On the Day of Pentecost, Peter stood up and preached the new name of the Lord. “God has made him both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2: 36). Towards the end of the first century, there was growing pressure to refer to the Roman emperor as lord. But in Asia, the saints refused to call anyone Lord but Jesus (see entry for Rev. 3:8).

(d) One faith. The body of Christ is characterized by the faith or belief or persuasion that Jesus is Lord. Faith is not merely intellectual assent; it is living from the revelation that Jesus really is Lord with all that implies.

(e) One baptism. Several types of baptism are mentioned in scripture including: John’s baptism of repentance (Acts 19:3–4), water baptism done in Jesus’ name (Acts 10:4819:5), Holy Spirit baptism (Act 11:16), Jesus’ baptism of suffering (Matt. 20:22), and baptism for the dead (1 Cor. 15:29). Since there are different baptisms, why does Paul say there is only one? He is referring to the baptism that happens to every believer when they are put into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:12–13).

The moment you came to Jesus, you were baptized or placed in him by the Spirit. To be baptized means to be dipped or immersed. To use an obscure word, it is to be whelmed. To whelm something is to bury it in dirt or sink it in water. It is what happens when a ship goes down in a storm or a skier is hit with an avalanche. To be baptized or whelmed is a dramatic and catastrophic event and it happened to you (Rom. 6:3).

Your old self had issues that you could never resolve. The Holy Spirit’s solution was to whelm or bury your old nature in the ground with Jesus. This is what it means to be baptized into his death. But the Holy Spirit didn’t leave you in the ground. Just as he raised Jesus, he raised you (Rom. 6:6–7). Because of that one baptism you are now free from sin and free to live in Christ.

Further reading: “What is the baptism that saves?

Ephesians 4:6

one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

See entry for Eph. 3:14.

Ephesians 4:7

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Grace was given. The grace of God is a gift (Eph.3:7). You cannot earn it through your good works and moral excellence (Rom. 11:6Gal. 2:21). You can only receive it through faith (Gal. 5:4).

Ephesians 4:22

that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,

Lay aside the old self. Our old self was crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6), so why are we exhorted to lay the old self aside (Col. 3:9)? Because many Christians, unaware that they died with Christ, are trying to reform their old selves. It’s a lost cause. Our flesh cannot be improved. What we need and what Christ offers is a brand new life; his life. See entry for New Life.

The supernatural and abundant life that we’re called to live can only be received by faith and experienced by walking in the spirit. This is why the New Testament writers admonish us to put off the old ways of the flesh and put on the new ways of the spirit (Eph 4:22-24). We don’t put off and put on to become spiritual; we do this because we are spiritual. Everyone who is born again is born of the spirit (John 3:7-8). Since we are already in the spirit, let us walk after the spirit (Gal 5:25).

Ephesians 4:23

and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

Be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Change the way you think.

On the day you were born again, a lot of things changed, but your way of thinking probably did not change. If you liked chocolate and drove recklessly before you were saved, then you probably liked chocolate and drove recklessly after you were saved. This is why the scriptures exhort us to put off the old and put on the new and be renewed in the spirit of our minds.

What you do follows what you think and what you think follows what you believe. Renew your thinking so that your thoughts align with what God says about you.

Ephesians 4:24

and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

(a) Put on the new self. You are righteous and holy, so act like it. See yourself as God sees you. Be who you truly are.

To put on the new man is to be renewed in the spirit of your mind (see previous verse). It is choosing to walk in the new way of the spirit instead of the old ways of the flesh. We don’t put off and put on to become spiritual; we do this because we are spiritual. Everyone who is born again is born of the spirit (John 3:7-8). Since we are already in the spirit, let us walk after the spirit (Gal 5:25).

(b) Created in righteousness. You have been made into a brand new person, as righteous and holy as Jesus.

Jesus was made to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus was not made sin because he was a sinner and you were not made righteous because you acted righteously. God did it all. The moment you put your faith in Jesus, you were stamped righteous for all eternity. At one time you were unrighteous, but you were washed, you were sanctified, and you were declared righteous in the name of the Lord (1 Cor. 6:9–11).

What does it mean to be righteous? It means you have had a complete renovation, a Holy Spirit renewal, an entire rebuild. You have been straightened out. You are no longer the crooked person you used to be. While in Adam you had inclinations that led you towards sin no matter how hard you tried to avoid it, in Christ you are inclined to walk straight and true. Your desire is to please the Lord. It’s not that you are incapable of sinning. It’s just that sinning no longer appeals. When you sin it bothers you—“I wish I hadn’t done that”—testifying that this sort of behavior is contrary to your new nature.

See entry for Righteousness.

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