Wednesday, March 16, 2011

7 Basic Spiritual Realities that Unite all Believers

Just as Paul wrote about the seven graces that Christians must possess to help preserve Christian unity, there are also seven basic spiritual realities that make up the foundation of Christianity.

“4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:4-6. (Emphasis mine)

First, there is one body. This is the body of Christ. The fact that there is one body and Christians are members of the body does not excuse him from being part of the local church body. Christians should participate in the local church, grow in the Lord, participate in worship, and exercise their spiritual gifts.

There is one Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells each believer and is important in our daily Christian walk with Christ. We also read in this passage the “one hope when you were called”. This is our hope in the return of our Lord Jesus Christ to gather the saints together with Him and take us to heaven.

Another basic spiritual truth is “one Lord”. He is the one who took our place on the cross. He died for our sins, conquered death and now sits on the right hand side of the Father in heaven. We have one faith. There are foundational truths in the Christian faith that all must agree on to be called Christian. We might have disagreements on minor matters of interpretation and church practices but the foundational truths must never be waivered on.

There is one baptism. Because Paul is discussing “one body”, he is referring to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We are baptized by the Spirit at conversion. We do not have to pray for it to come upon us or hope it will. When we are saved, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. But as far as the local body of believers goes, there are two baptisms: baptism of the Spirit and the baptism of water

Finally, there is “one God and Father of all”. God is of all, over all, works through all and in all. We are the children of one Father. We have different biological fathers but only one spiritual Father.

Believing in these seven spiritual truths does not automatically produce unity in believers. Many churches may have sound doctrine and yet are unsound in love (agape love) toward others. For this reason Paul couples this writing with “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4: 15). The first and greatest commandment is to love God with everything in you, and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself.

“Beloved, let us love one another. For loveth of God and everyone that loveth is born of God, knoweth God. He that loveth not, Knoweth not God for God is love. Beloved, let us love one another.” 1John 4:7, 8.

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