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. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. (Ephesians 4:4–7, ESV)
There is only one body, Jesus’ body, that will save you. It isn’t likely that your mother died for you. Your teacher didn’t redeem you. Your pastor can’t atone for you. Your works won’t justify you. It is Jesus Christ and him alone who saves you. He died on a cross and was resurrected so that you could begin an eternal life with the Father.
There is only one Spirit, the Holy Spirit, who empowers your daily walk with God. Human willpower doesn’t empower you enough. The Holy Spirit is one with God; therefore, he doesn’t have an agenda that is independent from God’s. God’s Spirit gives us great discernment. He comforts and guides us. He gives us a way of escape during temptation. The Spirit is our forever Helper.
There is only one hope, the good news of the Gospel. Our hope is in the gospel—Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and appearance. Please hear me. Your hope is in not in your church. Your hope is not in your good works. Your hope is not in anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ himself.
Look how Paul lays it out for us, with these amazing words: One body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father. And then he follows it all with “But!” This butis very important. It signals a contrasting statement and tells us to pay attention. Grace is given to “each one of us.” That is so beautiful and specific. Christ’s gift is given to each one of us as individuals, as unique beings. The Lord Jesus treats us each as individuals, giving the gift of grace to each of us individually.
God, you are good!
I love how The Message, a paraphrase of the Bible, fleshes out this truth:
But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift.(Ephesians 4:7, MSG)
Jesus sees each of us as unique individuals, but in your relationships, do you require uniformity? Do I expect people to think like me, act like me, and respond like me? Or do I allow people to operate in the grace that Jesus gives them?
Lord, help me to appreciate and respect the oneness and unity you have given us, and at the same time to appreciate and respect the uniqueness you have given each through your grace. . . . Continue praying.