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Seven Elements of Unity

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Ephesians 4:4-6

Introduction:  We are to work hard to maintain the unity of these seven facts.

I. One body     vs. 4

     A. Used 10 times in Ephesians     1:22-23

     B. The church universal, includes Christians from all kinds of groups

II. One Spirit      vs. 4

     A. Referred to 14 times in Ephesians       1:13

     B. Holy Spirit

III. One hope   vs. 4

     A. Used four times     1:18

     B. Life with God

IV. One Lord     vs. 5

     A. Used 23 times     1:2

     B. Paul’s common word to refer to Jesus

V. One faith      vs. 5

     A. Used 8 times     2:8

     B. Two common interpretations

          1. Our belief in Jesus and what he did

          2. The doctrines of the Bible

There is one settled body of truth deposited by Christ in His church, and this is “the faith.” Jude calls it “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). The early Christians recognized a body of basic doctrine that they taught, guarded, and committed to others (2 Tim. 2:2). Christians may differ in some matters of interpretation and church practice; but all true Christians agree on “the faith”—and to depart from “the faith” is to bring about disunity within the body of Christ. [1]

          3. The word is used both ways in the NT

          4. The unifying belief in the one Lord.

VI. One baptism      vs. 5

     A. Paul only uses this word three times in his letters:  Romans 6:4; Ephesians 4:5; Colossians 2:12.

     B. Two views

     1. Water

     2. Holy Spirit

     3. The “one baptism” cannot be a baptism in the Spirit to the exclusion of water. Nowhere in the N.T. is anyone ever commanded to be baptized in the Spirit. (How could a person obey such a command?) Furthermore, even after Cornelius had received the miraculous outpouring of the Spirit, Peter commanded him to be baptized in water (Acts 10:44–48).[2]

VII. One God/Father      vs. 6   

     A. Calling God “Father” was rare in the OT, but common in the NT.

     B. He fills all of the universe

Conclusion:  These may not be all that God wants us to be united on, but they are certainly the most important.


[1]Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

[2]Boles, K. L. (1993). Galatians & Ephesians. College Press NIV commentary. Joplin, Mo.: College Press.

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