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A Spirit Of Unity

Princeton Christian Church

Ephesians 4:1-6 14 April 2024

READ Ephesians 4:1-6

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

The story is told about a Christian who arrived in Heaven and was excited to meet many people from Old Testament times. He had a lot of questions for them – just as we probably would as well.

To Noah, he asked what it was like to be in the ark with all those animals.

To Joseph, he asked what it was like to understand dreams and be second in command of all of Egypt.

To Moses, he asked what it was like when the Red Sea parted.

To David, he asked what it was like to defeat Goliath.

To Solomon, he asked what it was like to have such great wisdom.

To Daniel, he asked what it was like to be protected in the lion’s den.

Each of these Old Testament people answered the Christian’s question.

But, then they all had a question for the Christian. That question was – “What was it like to have the Spirit of God living in you?”

All those persons listed here were great examples of servants of God in their time.

But, as great as they were, they did not have one thing that the Christian has.

None of them had the Holy Spirit living in them.

The promised Holy Spirit is given as a promise to Christians. He is a new and living Covenant.

You know, nothing in this world compares to the Holy Spirit. He is a unique and wonderful blessing indwelling in Christians.

As we read the passage in Ephesians 4 a few moments ago, you may have noticed that the dominant word in those verses is the word “ONE.”

Someone has put it this way – “7 Ones Equal Unity”

Let’s look at those ‘ones’ again:

One Body One Spirit One Hope One Lord One Faith One Baptism One God and Father

Paul is teaching us in this passage that a life lived with humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, and a commitment to keeping the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace is a life worthy of our calling.

Let’s examine this “one body.” It tells us there is only one Kingdom, one family, one church, one church of Christ, and one temple of God.

We must understand that this Body is living—it is alive—and it is never complete. It is always being added to, growing—again, it is alive.

When anyone obeys the Gospel, God adds to the Body – the Church.

We know that the universal spiritual Body of Christ is made up of smaller, individual bodies of Christ – that is, congregations of people who have obeyed the Gospel.

Just as we must care for our physical bodies, we must also care for the Body of Christ and its many parts.

Each body has a part and must carry out its part.

So, there is One Body. The Scripture also says that there is One Spirit.

Who is the One Spirit?

The word Spirit comes from the Greek word Pneuma – translated as“spirit” or “ghost”.

Pneuma literally means: “wind” or “breath.”

It refers to the One Spirit of God: the human spirit, the inner person, a disposition (as a spirit of gentleness), a type of (spiritual) gift, or simply physical breath and wind.

When the word Spirit refers to God, it usually refers to the Holy Spirit.

Romans 1:4 describes the Spirit as “the Spirit of holiness.”

In the Gospel of John, the Holy Spirit is called the Helper, who is “the Spirit of Truth” (John 14:17).

As the Spirit of Truth, we see the Holy Spirit’s role in revealing God’s Word and truths.

We sometimes see the Holy Spirit as a New Testament gift, but Zechariah 12:10 describes Him as the “Spirit of grace.”

We must remember that the Holy Spirit is a distinct and separate person in the Godhead.

He is not simply a different form of God the Father or God the Son. He is an entity in the Godhead – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Three distinct persons are equal in power and ability, yet each is a separate and distinct individual.

This is why God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit seem to be mysteries to many people. They seem to defy human explanation or understanding.

Several passages In the Bible speak to the reality of our one God having three persons.

Genesis 1:26: God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.”

Jesus spoke about He and His Father being one but also separate – John 10:30 – very clearly, He said, “I and the Father are ONE.”

You are familiar with the passage in Luke 3:21-22 telling about Jesus being baptized. We see there three members of the Godhead –

Jesus the Son is baptized; the Holy Spirit descends like a dove; and the Father speaks from heaven.

When Jesus gave the Great Commission to the disciples (Matthew 28:19), He told them to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

While Jesus was preparing His disciples for His departure from earth (John 14:16), He promised that He would ask His Father to provide another Helper for them – the Holy Spirit – who would be with them forever.

He prayed with the church at Corinth that the fellowship of the Holy Spirit would be with them – 2 Corinthians 13:14

So, the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence in Christians' lives is numerous and well documented in Scripture.

One reason the Bible is such a powerful and necessary book is that it reveals who God is, who the Holy Spirit is, and who Jesus Christ is in so many distinct and various ways.

The Bible identifies the divine characteristics of the Holy Spirit.

  • Eternal – Hebrews 9:24

  • Omnipresent (everywhere) Psalm 139:7 - no escape from Him

  • Omnipotent (all powerful) Psalm 104:30 – creates and renews.

  • Omniscient (knows all things) 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 – searches all things and knows all things.

We often have trouble understanding the Holy Spirit as a person. He is often an unknowing person, called “it” as if He were a thing or an invisible force.

We can see and understand His personhood in the things that He is able to do:

  • The Spirit thinks – Acts 15:28 – it seemed good to the Holy Spirit to not lay a heavy burden on those commissioned to spread the Gospel

  • The Spirit speaks – Acts 1:16 – He was active speaking through David concerning Judas and his betrayal of Christ.

  • The Spirit grieves – he has emotions – Ephesians 4:30 – “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

  • The Spirit makes decisions – Acts 13:2 – “The Holy Spirit said, “Set apart of Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

He also gives us gifts or abilities as He determines, as He did with Barnabas and Saul.

Paul pretty much sums it all up in 1 Corinthians 12:11 when he says: “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as HE wills.”

To sum up, we can answer the question, “Who is the One Spirit?”

The One Spirit is a divine member of the Godhead and a person, not an unseen thing or an unseen force.

So, what do we do with our knowledge of the Holy Spirit?

We praise God for the one Spirit who brings us into God’s family and makes us One Body.

We praise God that the Spirit lives within us, brings us life, and transforms us into God's likeness.

We praise God for the way the Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit and gives us spiritual victory.

I pray that we all are filled with the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, and avoid grieving the Holy Spirit.

When we do all of that, we can prepare ourselves for the spiritual battle by taking up the Sword of the Spirit, and He will enable us to win the daily battles we face.

It all starts with being born again of water and the Spirit—when we are baptized into Christ, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

And that filling of the Spirit continues as we walk in step with the Spirit.

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