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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THERE IS ONLY ONE

Ephesians 4:4-6 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.

Paul told the saints at Ephesus that God demonstrated His mighty power through His Son, Jesus Christ, ...when He raised Him from the dead, and sat Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, ...and hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church, which is His body (From Eph. 1:20-23). The one body,noted in the lesson text, is the same as His body, the church, as noted in Ephesians, chapter 1. The church of Christ is also referred to as one body in these additional texts: Romans 12:4-5, 1 Corinthians 10:17, 12:12-13 & 20, Ephesians 2:16, 5:30, and Colossians 3:15.

What this world needs today is the oneness, the unity that is suggested, yea, even required, in the lesson text. God, our Heavenly Father, demands it. The Holy Spirit-inspired writers of God's word reveals this commandment. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, gave His life to establish, and fulfill this law of God. This law we must learn, and commit ourselves to, is found in many scriptures of the bible. Notice what the inspired apostle, John, wrote about it. In John, chapter 17, we find Jesus' prayer to God. He first declares that His task on earth is completed. He is about to be glorified by His death on the cross of Calvary. Why? So the world will know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory, which I had with Thee before the world was (John 17:3-5).

Continuing this prayer, as recorded by the apostle John in his gospel, Jesus asks God's blessings on His faithful apostles and disciples. He is about to depart into heaven, and leave them to continue the work He had begun here on earth. Jesus says that He has given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee; and they have believed that Thou didst send Me (Vs. 8). Jesus prayed that God would guide them; that their message to the world would be one of unity; that they would all teach the same message of God; that they may be one, as We are (Vs. 11). They were to teach only God's word because it is the truth and contains the one and only way of salvation. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth (Vs. 17). Not only did Christ pray for Himself and for His apostles and disciples, but He prays for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; ...that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me (Vss. 20-21). What a great commentary on "oneness" - the unity God requires in His church - the church which His Son, Jesus Christ died to establish - the church through which all faithful Christians have access to eternal life - the church of Christ.

Read the lesson text again! How many "ones" are there? Lets count them - One Body, One Spirit, One Hope, One Lord and Savior, One Faith, One Baptism, and One God. It contains seven "ones" in all. In the "Christian" world today, why then is there unity in only four. Unity is found in the belief of One God, One Lord and Savior, One Holy Spirit, and One Hope - the Hope of Eternal Salvation. God offers the hope of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. This we know because it is recorded in the bible written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Disunity is found in all others. In the "Christian" world today there is not one, but there are numerous "Faiths", "Bodies", and "Baptisms."

The one faith that is required, is that based on the doctrine of God, as found in His holy word. When the doctrines of men are added and portions of God's word are ignored or deleted, then the unity of faith disappears and many "faiths" are born. With each "new faith", a "new body" is born. The one body of Christ that is required of God becomes many "bodies." These "new faiths", and "new bodies" bring with them "new baptisms," modifications to it that include the sprinkling or pouring of water as a human-inspired mode of baptism, or even the elimination of baptism as a requirement of God for salvation.

Examine your faith. Does it contain only God's word, or has it been corrupted by the doctrine or traditions of men? Examine your church. Did it originate on the Day of Pentecost, or was it established years later based on the doctrine of a man, a convention of men, a synod, a conclave, a "religious" treaty, etc.? Examine your baptism. Is it the same baptism received by biblical examples of emersion, or was it altered or eliminated entirely by the doctrine of men?

There is one God, one Lord, and one Spirit that offers the world one Hope. The one God also says there is one body, one faith, and one baptism. All are required by God to have a hope of salvation. There is only one. Have you found the right one?