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In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

United in the Faith (Eph. 4:4-6)

In these verses Paul continues his call for unity. In the previous verses (vv. 1-3), he has indicated the attitudes and actions that are appropriate for unity to flourish. In subsequent verses he will show how spiritual gifts contribute to unity. But in verses 4-6 he mentions how Christian doctrines express unity.

An obvious emphasis on unity is seen in his repeated use of the term ‘one’ – he uses it seven times in these three verses. Also, his fourfold use of the term ‘all’ in verse 6 stresses the emphasis on unity. These features have caused some scholars to suggest that Paul is quoting an early Christian creed. Such belief statements did exist in the early church, for example the ‘faithful sayings’ of the Pastoral Epistles. These short statements were used as memory aids to help people reflect on the faith. So it is possible that verses 4-6 are one such creed.

As we look at these three verses we see that Paul refers to each person of the Trinity: the Spirit (v. 4), the Son or Lord (v. 5) and the Father (v. 6). He also shows that each person of the Trinity contributes different blessings, and that these contributions result in unity and harmony.

The Bible makes it clear that the Trinity always works in harmony and unity. Perhaps the best known text indicating is the benediction: ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all’ (2 Cor. 13:14).

Today is the Lord's Day, an opportunity of expressing and enjoying the Trinity as our source of unity.

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