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Ephesians 4:5 – BibleTools.info

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Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


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Ephesians 4:5

King James Version (KJV)
Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

One Lord - This evidently refers to the Lord Jesus. The “Spirit” is mentioned in the previous verse; the Father in the verse following. On the application of the word “Lord” to the Saviour, see the notes on Acts 1:24. The argument here is, that there ought to be unity among Christians, because they have one Lord and Saviour. They have not different Saviours adapted to different classes; not one for the Jew and another for the Greek; not one for the rich and another for the poor; not one for the bond and another for the free. There is but one. He belongs in common to all as their Saviour; and he has a right to rule over one as much as over another. There is no better way of promoting unity among Christians than by reminding them that they have the same Saviour. And when jealousies and heart-burnings arise; or when they are disposed to contend about trifles; when they magnify unimportant matters until they are in danger of rending the church asunder, let them feel that they have one Lord and Saviour, and they will lay aside their contentions and be one again. Let two men who have never seen each other before, meet in a distant land, and feel that they have the same Redeemer, and their hearts will mingle into one. They are not aliens, but friends. A cord of sympathy is struck more tender than that which binds them to country or home and though of different nations, complexions, or habits, they will feel that they are one. Why should contentions ever arise between those who have the same Redeemer?

One faith - The same belief. That is, either the belief of the same doctrines, or faith of the same nature in the heart. The word may be taken in either sense. I see no reason why it should not include “both” here, or be used in the widest sense, If so used it means that Christians should be united because they hold the same great doctrines; and also, because they have the same confidence in the Redeemer in their hearts, They hold the same system as distinguished from Judaism, Paganism, Mohammedanism, Deism; and they should, therefore, be one. They have the same trust in Christ, as a living, practical principle - and they should, therefore, be one. They may differ in other attachments; in temperament; in pursuit; in professions in life - but they have a common faith - and they should be one.

One baptism - This does not affirm that there is one mode of baptism, but it refers to “the thing itself.” They are all baptized in the name of the same Father, Saviour, Sanctifier. They have all in this manner been consecrated unto God, and devoted to his service. Whether by immersion, or by pouring, or by sprinkling, they have all been baptized with water; whether it is done in adult years, or in infancy, the same solemn act has been performed on all - the act of consecration to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This passage cannot be adduced to prove that only one “mode” of baptism is lawful, unless it can be shown that the thing referred to here was the “mode” and not “the thing itself;” and unless it can be proved that Paul meant to build his argument for the “unity” of Christians on the fact that the same “form” was used in their baptism. But this is evidently not the point of his argument.

The argument is, that there was really but “one baptism” - not that there was but one “mode” of baptism. I could not use this argument in this form, “Christians should be one because they have been all baptized by ‹sprinkling;‘” and yet the argument would be just as forcible as to use it in this form, “Christians should be one because they have all been baptized by ‹immersion.‘” There is one baptism, not one “mode” of baptism; and no man has a right to “assume” that there can be but one mode, and then apply this passage to that. The “essential thing” in the argument before us is, that there has been a consecration to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, by the application of water. Thus, understood, the argument is one that will be “felt” by all who have been devoted to God by baptism. They have taken the same vows upon them. They have consecrated themselves to the same God. They have made the same solemn profession of religion. Water has been applied to one and all as the emblem of the purifying influences of the Holy Spirit; and having been thus initiated in a solemn manner into the same profession of religion, they should be one. (See Matthew 3:6 note and Matthew 3:16 note.)

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Nothing is pressed more earnestly in the Scriptures, than to walk as becomes those called to Christ's kingdom and glory. By lowliness, understand humility, which is opposed to pride. By meekness, that excellent disposition of soul, which makes men unwilling to provoke, and not easily to be provoked or offended. We find much in ourselves for which we can hardly forgive ourselves; therefore we must not be surprised if we find in others that which we think it hard to forgive. There is one Christ in whom all believers hope, and one heaven they are all hoping for; therefore they should be of one heart. They had all one faith, as to its object, Author, nature, and power. They all believed the same as to the great truths of religion; they had all been admitted into the church by one baptism, with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, as the sign of regeneration. In all believers God the Father dwells, as in his holy temple, by his Spirit and special grace.
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

One Lord - Jesus Christ, who is the governor of this Church.

One faith - One system of religion, proposing the same objects to the faith of all.

One baptism - Administered in the name of the holy Trinity; indicative of the influences, privileges, and effects of the Christian religion.

Ellen G. White
Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 192.4

We would come together burdened in soul, praying that we might be one in faith and doctrine; for we knew that Christ is not divided. One point at a time was made the subject of investigation. The Scriptures were opened with a sense of awe. Often we fasted, that we might be better fitted to understand the truth. After earnest prayer, if any point was not understood, it was discussed and each one expressed his opinion freely; then we would again bow in prayer, and earnest supplications went up to heaven that God would help us to see eye to eye, that we might be one, as Christ and the Father are one. Many tears were shed. CET 192.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 196-7

“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 9T 196.1

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” John 17:17-21. 9T 196.2

It should be understood that perfect unity among the laborers is necessary to the successful accomplishment of the work of God. In order to preserve peace, all must seek wisdom from the Great Teacher. Let all be careful how they introduce ambitious propositions that will create dissension. 9T 196.3

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 379

The first angel's message of Revelation 14, announcing the hour of God's judgment and calling upon men to fear and worship Him, was designed to separate the professed people of God from the corrupting influences of the world and to arouse them to see their true condition of worldliness and backsliding. In this message, God has sent to the church a warning, which, had it been accepted, would have corrected the evils that were shutting them away from Him. Had they received the message from heaven, humbling their hearts before the Lord and seeking in sincerity a preparation to stand in His presence, the Spirit and power of God would have been manifested among them. The church would again have reached that blessed state of unity, faith, and love which existed in apostolic days, when the believers “were of one heart and of one soul,” and “spake the word of God with boldness,” when “the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 4:32, 31; 2:47. GC 379.1

If God's professed people would receive the light as it shines upon them from His word, they would reach that unity for which Christ prayed, that which the apostle describes, “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” “There is,” he says, “one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” Ephesians 4:3-5. GC 379.2

Such were the blessed results experienced by those who accepted the advent message. They came from different denominations, and their denominational barriers were hurled to the ground; conflicting creeds were shivered to atoms; the unscriptural hope of a temporal millennium was abandoned, false views of the second advent were corrected, pride and conformity to the world were swept away; wrongs were made right; hearts were united in the sweetest fellowship, and love and joy reigned supreme. If this doctrine did this for the few who did receive it, it would have done the same for all if all had received it. GC 379.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 500

In our work we must consider the relation that each worker sustains to the other workers connected with the cause of God. We must remember that others as well as ourselves have a work to do in connection with this cause. We must not bar the mind against counsel. In our plans for the carrying forward of the work, our mind must blend with other minds. TM 500.1

Let us cherish a spirit of confidence in the wisdom of our brethren. We must be willing to take advice and caution from our fellow laborers. Connected with the service of God, we must individually realize that we are parts of a great whole. We must seek wisdom from God, learning what it means to have a waiting, watching spirit, and to go to our Saviour when tired and depressed. TM 500.2

It is a mistake to withdraw from those who do not agree with our ideas. This will not inspire our brethren with confidence in our judgment. It is our duty to counsel with our brethren, and to heed their advice. We are to seek their counsel, and when they give it, we are not to cast it away, as if they were our enemies. Unless we humble our hearts before God, we shall not know His will. TM 500.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 189

Loma Linda, California,

August 24, 1905

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