Many read over the scriptures contained in the forth chapter of Ephesians and fail to give serious thought to the meanings involved. Let us first read some preparatory references before we begin to examine that chapter.
In the first chapter of his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul has this to say, in reference to God the Father:
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Ephesians 1:19-23 KJV)
The verse is affirming that, due to Jesus having given his life to die on the cross, God has placed all power, might and dominion under his feet and gave him to be head over all things to the church which is his body. This scripture and numerous others show, without question, that Jesus is totally in charge of his church and it’s people. Church, body, kingdom, family, brotherhood, all are used interchangeably. They refer to Jesus’ spiritual kingdom, into which he places all peoples who believe that he is the Son of God, and will obey him. He makes the calls, not us. In order to inherit all the spiritual blessings, one must be added to that spiritual kingdom…by him.
Now, let us read the title subject scriptures:
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are 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. (Ephesians 4:1-6 KJV)
Many are confused over the things Paul says here, but they shouldn’t be. He is referring to the same church, or kingdom which he mentioned in the first chapter, shown above. Jesus is the one Lord, the Holy Spirit is the one Spirit who has given us the inspired word which calls us to Christ. There is but one faith, that which is explained in the writings from the Holy Spirit, there is one baptism, which was required of all whom Jesus accepted/accepts into his kingdom. And there is a reason for that. Sin is not accepted into that kingdom. After one has heard the gospel of Christ, believed it and that Jesus was the only Son of God, and is willing to confess to the world, that belief and repents of his past sins, he is then baptized for the remission of his sins, in water and, and rises to walk in newness of life. His previous sins are washed away by this obedience and they will never again be remembered against him.
The existence of organizations created by men have confused the use of baptism as being that of introduction into their organization. It was never intended as such. It was introduced as a symbolic burial with Christ and rising to walk in his kingdom a new sin free creature.
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4 KJV)
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (Colossians 2:12 KJV)
One would have to have outside help to misunderstand this simple act of showing one’s faith in Jesus Christ. Yet many will fight over this plain language. It is not a ritual to be used to join some organization. It is not an act to show our appreciation for having been forgiven of our sins. It is a command of Jesus Christ that we be baptized for (in order to receive) remission of sins. And it is the only last step mentioned anywhere in the Bible to have our sins remitted and be added to the Lord’s one kingdom…by Jesus himself. (Acts 2:47)