The Book of EPHESIANS
James J. Barker
- Last week we started
Ephesians chapter 4, which deals with Christian
- There are certain virtues
which are essential to unity in the church.
- Lowliness (4:2) – this is the opposite of selfish
ambition or vainglory.
- Meekness (4:2) – “self-suppression to serve others”
(Fitzwater). Meekness is not weakness.
Numbers 12:3 says, “(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all
the men which were upon the face of the earth.)” Our great example of meekness is the
Lord Jesus. He said in Matthew
11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in
heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Paul says in II Corinthians 10:1,
“Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of
- Longsuffering (4:2) – forbearing and patient. “Forbearing one another in love”
(4:2) – “This means restraint under just provocation”
- “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit…”
(4:3). “Endeavoring” means we have
to work at it. The devil brings
discord and disunity, but the Holy Spirit brings peace.
ONE BODY, ONE SPIRIT, AND ONE
- There is one
body (4:4). The church is the body
of Christ (cf. 1:22, 23).
- The word “church” and the
word “body” are used different ways in the Bible. Most references are to the local
- Acts 8:1 says, “And at that
time there was a great persecution against the church which was at
- Acts 13:1 says, “Now there
were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and
- Sometimes the word “church”
is used in a generic or a general way.
First Corinthians 10:32 says, “Give none offence, neither to the Jews,
nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of
- Hebrews 12:23 says, “To the
general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written
- Here the word “church” seems
to refer to all believers – the entire family of God. There is a unity amongst all born again
- “There is one body, and
one Spirit…” (Eph. 4:4). There
are many false spirits, but only one Holy Spirit (cf. II Cor. 11:4; I John
- The Holy Spirit regenerates
every born again believer the moment he believes (John
- The Holy Spirit indwells
every born again believer. First
Corinthians 3:16 says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the
Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (Cf. I Cor.
- The Holy Spirit seals
every born again believer (Eph. 1:13; 4:30).
- We are commanded to be
filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18).
- Some people teach that a
person can be saved and still not have the Holy Spirit, but this is contrary to
Scripture (Romans 8:9).
- “Even as ye are called in
one hope of your calling” (Eph. 4:4b). As Christians we all have the same
hope. We all come from
different backgrounds but we are all going in the same
ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM
- There is “one Lord” (4:5),
and that is the Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor. 8:5,
- Confessing Christ as Lord is
necessary for salvation (Romans 10:9).
- This goes against
multi-culturism, and pluralism, and ecumenicalism, and all of the other isms
that oppose the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Jesus said, “I am the way,
the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John
- There can be no spiritual
unity with other religions and false cults,
- In ancient Rome they built a
beautiful building called the Pantheon (“All the gods”). It is still standing
- Whenever the Roman Empire
conquered a kingdom, they would place one of their gods in the Pantheon. Eventually the Pantheon was filled with
heathen idols – Jupiter, Venus, Zeus, Neptune, Aphrodite, et
- They boasted that they were
very open-minded. But when they
invited the Christians to put a statue of Jesus in the Pantheon, and the
Christians refused, the Romans became angry and started persecuting the
Christians and killing them.
- There is only “one faith”
(Eph. 4:5), and that is faith in the Lord Jesus
- The faith referred to here
refers to the body of objective truth that all Christians must contend for (Jude
- The true Christian faith has
the Bible, and only the Bible, as its standard.
- There is “one baptism”
(4:5). As Baptists we know this is baptism by immersion. In fact, the Greek word baptizo
- John 3:23 says, “John also
was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water
- Note “much
water.” This would not be necessary
if baptism were by sprinkling.
- Also, Mark 1:10 speaks of
our Lord “coming up out of the water.”
- Acts 8:38 says Philip and
the Ethiopian eunuch “went down both into the water,” signifying
- All of the apostolic
churches practiced immersion. The
Roman Catholic Church developed baby-sprinkling hundreds of years after
- The first time in the New
Testament we hear the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ is when He says in Matthew
3:15, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all
- Then our Lord was baptized
by John the Baptist. Matthew 3:16
says, “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water…” –
again reminding us that proper Christian baptism is always
- Our Lord’s first recorded
words in the Gospel of Matthew are about baptism, and so are His last recorded
- In Matthew 28:19, our Lord
said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
- But what about the other
baptisms mentioned in the Bible?
John the Baptist said, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance:
but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to
bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matt.
- Baptism in water is a
symbol. It pictures the
death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:3-5). Baptism in water
symbolizes what the Holy Spirit does when He places us in Christ at
- It is when we are saved that
we “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).
Baptism pictures this.
- Some people teach that the
apostle Paul is referring to baptism by water in Gal. 3:27 and I Cor.
12:13. These Scriptures teach that
water baptism is the outward picture of what the Holy Spirit does in the
heart of the believer (cf. Col. 2:12, 13).
ONE GOD AND FATHER OF ALL…
- God “is
above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph. 4:6). In other words, God is transcendent.
- God is
sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and eternal.
- Many people
believe that there is “one God” but they also believe that this one God can be
the god of the Muslims or the god of the Mormons or the god of Scientology, etc.
- But there is
only one true God and all of these other gods are false gods (cf. I Cor.
- In John 15,
Jesus said He indwells believers.
“Abide in me, and I in you…” (15:4).
- Romans 8:10
says, “And if Christ be in you…”
our Lord said in John 14:17 that the Holy Spirit “dwelleth with you, and
shall be in you.”
Corinthians 3:16 says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that
the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
- Here in
Ephesians 4:6 it is taught that God the Father also indwells the believer. The triune God indwells all