Tag Archives: one faith

One Body, One Spirit, One Hope, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God…

There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:4-6 – Scripture of the Day (January 23, 2014)

Let’s break this down:

“One body” – Defined a few chapters earlier as the church of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23; cf. Col. 1:18), and in the following chapter also (Eph. 5:23).  Christ’s body is his church, and there is only one body…hence, only one church as far as God is concerned.  So why all these different churches with their different names and different doctrines that all claim to follow Christ?  See 2 Timothy 4:3-4.  Here’s the important question:  Christ is the Savior of this body, this church (Eph. 5:23).  Do you want Christ to be your Savior?  Be a part of the one body, the one church.

“One Spirit” – the Holy Spirit, who inspired the writers of the Scriptures (2 Pet. 1:19-21), whose writings if followed will produce “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3).

“One hope that belongs to your call” – We are called by the gospel (2 Thess. 2:14), the good news of the love of God shown in Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:8), through whom we have hope (Rom. 5:2), the hope of eternal life and salvation (Rom. 8:24-25; cf. 2 Cor. 4:16-5:10).

“One Lord” – Jesus Christ, our only Master.  Only in him do we find the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).  Here’s a thought to ponder, however.  It’s easy to call Jesus our Lord, but do our actions back up our words?  Study very carefully Matthew 7:21-27, and then examine yourselves.

“One faith” – Want an interesting project to do?  Get out the Yellow Pages, turn to “Churches,” examine the numerous different kinds of churches listed there under all those sub-headings, and call each one.  Ask to speak to the preacher or some other authority in the church.  Ask them to tell you what that church believes and why they believe it.  You won’t get to the “D” section in the sub-headings before you see just how many different “faiths” man has come up with.  What does God say?  There’s only one faith, and it comes from the words of Christ (Rom. 10:17).  He wants his followers to all say the same things and be completely united (John 17:20-23; 1 Cor. 1:10-13; Phil. 2:1-2), and the only way that’s going to happen is by sticking only to God’s Word (Prov. 30:6).

“One baptism” – Different churches today baptize in different ways for different reasons.  Sprinkling, pouring, immersion, etc.  Done as a sign that you’ve already been saved, done for remission of sins, done to save a baby from sins he or she inherited from their parents, etc.  What does God say?  There’s only one baptism.  Every time you read about baptism in the New Testament, you’re reading a transliteration of a Greek word which means to immerse, so that means that the one baptism is immersion.  Sprinkling and pouring are out.  It’s done for several reasons according to the New Testament.  Want to be saved?  Read Mark 16:16 and 1 Peter 3:21.  Want your sins forgiven?  Read Acts 2:38 and Acts 22:16.  Want to be in Christ and clothed with him?  Read Galatians 3:27.  Want to be spiritually circumcised by God?  Read Colossians 2:11-12.  Want to be spiritually buried and raised from the dead?  Read Romans 6:3-4.  Want to be a part of that one body of Christ, his church of which he is the Savior?  Read 1 Corinthians 12:13.  Want to know the requirements for baptism?  Read Mark 16:15-16, Acts 2:38, and Acts 8:12, 35-38, and you’ll see that only penitent believers who confess their faith in Christ as the Son of God are candidates for baptism.  That rules out babies.  Here’s the thing, friends.  We hear baptism is something that has nothing to do with salvation.  After reading all of these verses from THE BIBLE, do you still believe that?

“One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” – There is only one God, one Father of us all…and that is the God of the Bible.  Think you can hide from him?  The writer of Hebrews says it best:  “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Heb. 4:13).  Are you ready to give an account to God?  (2 Cor. 5:10)

You Are Peter, And On This Rock I Will Build My Church…

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:18 – Scripture of the Day (January 20, 2014)

Such an encouraging verse with a powerful, uplifting promise!  And yet, due to translation error and false teachings this powerful passage is misunderstood by so many!

For example, “the gates of hell” should be more accurately translated from the Greek “the gates of Hades.”  Hades and hell are actually two different words in the Greek which describe two different places, but many think they’re the same thing due to many English translations translating Hades as hell, which in turn is due to the translators being influenced by the erroneous teaching that Hades and hell are the same.  Hell is gehenna in the Greek (Matt. 5:22, 29-30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6).  The word originally referred to the city of Jerusalem’s garbage dump, and then was used to symbolically refer to the eternal lake of fire reserved for Satan and his followers after judgment.  Hades is where the dead wait for judgment.  The rich man was in torment in Hades, although several translations erroneously translate the word as “hell” (Luke 16:23).  However, Jesus and the thief whom he forgave were also in Hades after they died, in the part referred to as Paradise or Abraham’s bosom or side (Acts 2:27; cf. Luke 23:39-43; 16:22-24) which is separated from where the rich man is tormented by a gulf or chasm (Luke 16:26).  Thus, Hades is a place where both the righteous and unrighteous dead are, unlike hell which is reserved for the unrighteous for all eternity.  On the day of judgment, Death and Hades will deliver up the dead that are in them and then be cast into the lake of fire which is hell, after which all who are judged by God to be condemned will also be cast into hell, along with Satan (Rev. 20:10-15).  Thus, Hades and hell are two different places.  By telling Peter that “the gates of Hades” shall not prevail against the church, Jesus was in effect promising that the church would not die.

Another misunderstanding many have about this passage revolves around the mistaken notion that one church is just as good as another.  This ecumenical mindset ignores several biblical points about the church:

  1. When Jesus spoke of building his church in this passage, notice that he spoke of the church in a singular fashion, not as pluralistic.  In other words, he said, “…I will build my church.”  He didn’t say, “…I will build my churches.”
  2. This is because the New Testament reveals that there in fact is only one church.  Paul spoke of the body of Christ as being his church (Eph. 1:22-23), and then specifically said that there is only one body, as well as only one faith (Eph. 4:4-5).  If the body is the church, and there is one body, then there is one church.  One church, one body, one faith.  Compare that to the thousands of different denominations, sects, and cults which all believe different things while claiming to all follow Christ…even though Christ’s New Testament specifically commands Christians that “…all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10; cf. John 17:20-23; Phil. 2:1-2).

Another misunderstanding many have about this passage revolves around the Roman Catholic doctrine of apostolic succession which teaches that Peter was the first Pope.  This verse is commonly cited by Catholicism to mean that Jesus was saying that the church was built on Peter.  However, this notion is mistaken for two reasons:

  1. Peter could not have been the first Pope, because Peter was married (Matt. 8:14-15; 1 Cor. 9:5) and Catholic doctrine teaches that the Pope and other bishops must be celibate, even though the New Testament specifically states that bishops must be married (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:6).  (With this in mind, compare Catholic doctrine to the prophecy of Paul in 1 Timothy 4:1-3.)
  2. It is well known that “Peter” means “rock,” and so the assumption is made that when Jesus said, “…you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church…”, he was saying that the church would be built on Peter.  However, a study of the Greek words used in Matthew 16:18 reveals that Jesus actually used two different words here.  When he said, “…you are Peter…”, he used the masculine Greek word Petros, which refers to a rock or stone.  However, when he then said, “…upon this rock…”, he used the feminine Greek word petra, which refers to a large rock or stone, or a cliff.  The two similar but different words show by definition that Jesus had two similar but different concepts in mind when he spoke this sentence.  The church would not be built upon the rock of the apostle Peter (Petros), but upon a large rock or cliff (petra).  Contextually, the only thing Jesus could have in mind in reference to the petra would be the confession Peter had just made that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God (Matt. 16:16), which of course we know is the foundation of faith upon which the church is built (cf. 1 Cor. 3:11).

Thus, today’s Scripture of the Day records a promise Jesus made to Peter, the other apostles, and us that gives me comfort every time I read it.  He promised to build his church, of which there is only one, upon the rock of the confession of faith in him as the Son of God, and that his church would never die and thus be overcome by the gates of Hades.

Are you a part of his church?  The Bible specifically states that he is the Savior of his church (Eph. 5:23).  Do you want Christ to be your Savior?  Be a part of his church, not some man-made denomination.  Make the same heart-felt confession of faith that Peter made (Matt. 16:16; Rom. 10:9-10), choose to repent of your sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 3:19), and wash your sins away via immersion into the body of Christ, his church (1 Cor. 12:13; cf. Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38).