Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 4

One body, one Spirit, one hope

Ephesians 4:4

Christians are very different from each other; and that is how God wants them to be (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). However, Christians also have much that is in common. Paul’s list in Ephesians 4:4-6 emphasises the importance of those things that Christians have in common. Those things are much more important than the things that separate them.

So, there is ‘one body and one Spirit,’ Paul writes. The ‘body’ means all Christians everywhere, whom Paul describes as the body of Christ (Romans 12:4-5; Ephesians 5:23). On earth, we see many separate churches, with different traditions and in different places. However, Hebrews 12:22-24 describes the true church in heaven as a single church. Its members come from many different churches on earth, but they all have the same relationship with Christ.

It is the same Holy Spirit who works in the lives of all God’s people. The Holy Spirit enters their lives when they first put their trust in Christ (Romans 8:9). From that time on, the Spirit of God continues to be present in their lives. He is the same Holy Spirit, although he works in and through their lives in many different ways (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).

All true Christians share the same hope. The purpose of the Holy Spirit’s work is to bring about God’s plan for them (1:13-14). God has already done great things for them; but he promises to do even more wonderful things in the future. God will complete his work in their lives so that they are fully mature in their relationship with him (4:13). In the future age, they will have the great honour that God will adopt them fully as his children (Romans 8:17-21). Then they will always live and rule with God in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:3-5).

Next part: One Lord, one faith, one baptism (Ephesians 4:5)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.