Waking with The Word | Ephesians 4:5-6
:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, :6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Yesterday we talked about our distinguishing graces as born again believers. We left off at One Lord and today we will pick up at One Faith.
All men have faith, saved and lost. Faith is the ability to believe in something and we practice this God given ability every day of our lives. We believe that the chair will hold us, we believe that the house we sleep in will keep us dry. Then even people who claim to have no faith and only believe in what can be proven, even they exercise faith. Some place heir faith in science, some in Muhammad, some in Buddha ad many other place their faith in good works. I wan to establish that faith is a gift gave to all men(Rom 12:3) and not a gift of salvation. We have other of our brothers who will tell you that faith is a gift given to a man after he is saved but this simply is not true or biblical. Now the faith mentioned in the verses above is exclusive to only the born again believer. We had faith before we were saved but we had not placed our faith in God trough Jesus Christ. This faith is a distinguishing grace of the believer. It is the same faith of Abraham, Noah, Samson and all the other old testament saints that died never having received the promise of their faith but died in faith, believing. The same faith that the Apostles had. The faith we have today in God trough Jesus Christ unites us to the believers in the ages long gone and to the believers in the ages to come. Salvation has always been by grace, trough grace, from the beginning to the end of time all men have been saved in that manner. It is true the message has developed and matured trough the process of time but God's method of applying righteousness has always been trough faith.
Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Abraham had never heard a gospel messaged preached but he responded to the message God had given to him in faith and that faith was counted to him for righteousness. Today we have the full revelation of Jesus Christ and as soon as your faith meets God's grace it is counted unto you for righteousness. That faith is what unites the body of Christ with the Old testament believers from the ages gone by and what unites us with the believers of the ages to come. Let the Old testament saints be our great cloud of witnesses and let us run the race set before us with patience and look unto the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ.
This baptism that unites us is not speaking of the day that the preacher baptized you into a pool of water but rather the baptism into Christ by the Spirit the very instant you placed your faith in Christ. The baptism we practice in church, is a outward sign of something that has already happened spiritually and there is no saving grace in being baptized in water. Water baptism is a tesitimony to the world that you have accepted Christ and the old man dies and is buried and the new man rises to live a new life.
It is a outward sign of what happen the moment you were saved. Whether you know it or not, when you were saved you died with Christ and were raised with Christ, if any man be in Christ, behold old things are passed away and all things become new.
Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? :4 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. :5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: :6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
We may share many different water baptisms, I was baptized in a church, some in streams, some in lakes, even some in pools but if you are saved then we all share the baptism into Christ by the Spirit. Our old man died and we have been raised to walk in newness of life.
One God and Father
This is the last of the distinguishing graces that Paul mentions and having included God the Father it concludes that every believer has God the father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. We all have fellowship with God, through Christ by the Spirit. Now we all share one Father, who is above all(God the Father) and through all(God the Son) and in you all(God the Spirit).
We looked at how the Spirit unites us and how our Lord unites us, now let us consider how our father unites us.
He is above all and in control of everything, all things work together for the good to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose. He moves the pieces of our life and even when things seem to be working to our harm God can mean it for our good. Joseph's brothers tossed him in a pit, sold him into slavery and they assumed he was as good as dead. Through it all God reunited them and Joseph got to tell them years later, with hot tears running down his cheek that what they had meant for evil God meant for Good. God reunited Joseph and his family and the very thing that they meant to kill ended up being their salvation. Now consider our Savior, he was despised and rejected of men, they cursed him and spit on Him and ultimately they did kill him, but not for long. Three days later Jesus rose form the dead, defeating all of our enemies, death, hell and the grave. They very one they tried to kill turned out to be the salvation of all men who will believe. God our father, before the foundation of the world were every formed choose Christ to be the savior of the world, He knew the shame he would face, and the rejection of his own people and yet in God's infinite wisdom devised a plan to save the very men for which He would die for and at the hands of. If our Father has such infinite wisdom is there anything that we can't trust him with? No, there's not one area of our lives that we shouldn't turn over to His complete control. We have a father we can cry to, and His loving kindness unites us in His sovereign ability to move the pieces of our life and connect us with his will and his people.
According to the riches of His Grace!!