By Stan Brown
Ephesians 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Paul continues with his list of singular elements that demonstrate our unity in Christ; indeed in His body. In the previous verse the Son crept in when Paul discussed the one (Holy) Spirit. In this verse the Holy Spirit slides in as Paul emphasizes the Son (one Lord). Why would this not be? The unity of the Godhead subtly sneaks in as Paul discusses the unity of the body of Christ.
(4) One Lord. This refers to Jesus Christ. This fits in the progression from the Holy Spirit (v.4) to the Son (v.5) to the Father (v.6.). In Ephesians the term Lord refers to the Son. We have only one Lord. We do not serve a multitude of ideologies or gods. We do not have to sift through the internet to decide what it is we should do when faced with a conundrum. We are united together in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one Lord who provided redemption 1:7) and hope (1:12). He is the one Lord who brought all believers into one body (3:6). He is the one Lord who is head over the church which is His body (1:22-23). He is the one Lord who gives us access to God (3:12). We are united together in His body.
(5) one faith. This does not refer to the entire body of what we believe. It refers to the personal faith that we place in Jesus Christ. It is the faith described in 2:8 for by grace you have been saved through faith. It is the faith mentioned in 1:13 and 1:15 having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,… For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints. We have all been united in the body of Christ through the same faith; that is faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
(6) one baptism. The commentators disagree about whether this refers to water baptism or Spirit baptism. I believe that it refers to Spirit baptism. Water baptism is only the outward symbol of the internal reality and takes several forms. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is that which actually places us into the body of Christ. In 1:13, Paul speaks of the fact that we were sealed by the Holy Spirit. Here he speaks of being baptized by the Holy Spirit. Paul also speaks of this reality in Gal. 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Just as in the previous verse, the Son and the Spirit are united together in placing us into one body through one faith.
Paul’s point continues as believers are all united together into the one body of the one Lord.