Sunday Sermons

Sunday Sermons

The One Body


In the letter to the Ephesians, the Holy Spirit said, “There is one body” (Ephesians 4:4). It is clear from the surrounding verses, that the one body is an essential relationship for it is placed in a context that includes “one Lord”, “one faith”, “one hope” and “one God”, none of which could be considered non-essential or optional.


The One Body Is The Church


Both Ephesians and Colossians make the point that this essential one body is the same relationship known in other passages as the church, “the church, which is His body” (Ephesians 1:22-23); “He is also head of the body, the church” (Colossians 1:18).This is the church that Jesus promised to build in Matthew 16:18. Therefore, the Holy Spirit, when He said, “There is one body”
in Ephesians 4:4, could have said, “There is one church”. The church is an essential relationship and can never be viewed as dated, antiquated, obsolete or unnecessary for salvation. In fact, later in the Ephesian letter, Paul will write that Jesus is “the Savior of the body” (Ephesians 5:23). This means that Jesus is only going to save those who are actually in the one body. This brings up the question, “What must I do to enter into this relationship?”


Entrance Requirements


  • Acts 2:38,41,47


Upon hearing the gospel (Acts 2:37) and believing it (“What shall we do?”), these individuals were told to “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 2:38). Upon actually believing and being baptized, the text says“And there were added that day about three thousand souls” (2:41). Verse 47 further notes, “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved”. Here we learn that hearing the gospel, believing it, repenting and being baptized are the requirements for being added, by the Lord, to the one body or the one church. In addition, we learn that baptism happens to be the last requirement before such an addition.


  • 1 Corinthians 12:13 “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body”

From Acts 2:38-47 we learn that the role that the Holy Spirit plays in getting us into the one body is that He has revealed the terms of entrance. Through the Apostles the Holy Spirit said, “Repent and be baptized”. We know that Holy Spirit baptism is not what puts a person into the one body because:


  1. The people added by the Lord to the church, or one body, in Acts 2:41,47 had not been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Even after 3000 had been baptized, only the apostles continued to work miracles (2:43).

  2. Holy Spirit baptism is only recorded as happening twice (Acts 11:16-17), that is, upon the apostles and upon the household of Cornelius. Yet, even after the Holy Spirit came upon the household of Cornelius (Acts 10:44), they were stillcommanded to be baptized in water (10:47).

  3. Ephesians 4:5 notes there is one baptism, that is, one essential baptism that applies to everyone. Holy Spirit baptism did not happen to everyone, but water baptism is part of the Great Commission and is to be preached to every creature (Mark 16:16).


  • Galatians 3:26-27 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ”


  1. Once again, we see that faith and baptism are two necessary steps to enter into a relationship with Christ. Seeing that faith and baptism put one into the one body (Acts 2), and faith and baptism put one into Christ, we can conclude thatbeing in Christ and being in the one body are the same thing.

  2. Paul equally noted that all spiritual blessings are in Christ (Ephesians 1:3), therefore, all spiritual blessings are only available to those who believe and are baptized. Or, one could say that all spiritual blessings are only available to those in the Lord’s church. This would equally mean that no spiritual blessings are available to the person who has not been baptized or to the person who is not a member of the Lord’s church.



Other Designations


Thus far, we have observed that the expressions “one body”, “church”, and “in Christ” all refer to the same relationship. Yet, this relationship is also referred to under a couple more designations:


  • The Kingdom of God/Christ: “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).


  1. We have already seen the connection of faith and baptism to entrance into the one body (1 Corinthians 12:13), the church (Acts 2) and being in Christ (Galatians 3:26-27). In the above passage, faith and baptism (water and the Spirit) are also linked with entering the kingdom of God.

  2. Acts 2:41,47 says that the Lord added people to the church and in Colossians 1:13, the Holy Spirit says that God hastransferred us into the kingdom of His Son.

  3. The result of baptism in Acts 2:38 is the forgiveness of sins. Similarly, in the kingdom, Paul said we have “redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).

  4. Other passages equally link faith and baptism with the forgiveness of sins (Acts 22:16).


  • The Saved: “He who has believed and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16).


  1. This verse agrees with the fact that those in the church are forgiven of their sins (Acts 2:38,41), that all spiritual blessings are found “in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3), that the kingdom of Christ is a place of redemption (Colossians 1:14), and that Jesus is the Savior of those in the body (Ephesians 5:23).

  2. Other passages equally link baptism with salvation (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21).


  • The Household of God: “I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God” (1 Timothy 3:15).


  1. In Galatians 3:26-27 faith and baptism result in one becoming a son or child of God.

  2. This passage says that another name for the one body, or the church, is the household of God. Therefore, faith and baptism stand between a person and becoming a child of God. Or, in other words, prior to baptism, I am not a child of God.


Colossians 2:12-13


Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions”.


  • Baptism is a burial. Therefore, it is an immersion in water, only for people who are spiritually dead. The denominational view, that one is saved some time prior to baptism, does not fit the biblical text, for one does not bury people who are alive. If we are already alive prior to baptism, then we do not need to be buried and raised with Him.

  • Once again, faith is not something opposed to baptism, but rather, is something inherently linked with it. So if faith is linked with baptism, baptism is equally linked with faith. Without faith, baptism is pointless and without baptism, faith does not save.

  • Baptism is called a work of God, just as faith is called a work of God (John 6:29). When God works in baptism, He removes our sins and performs the circumcision without hands (Colossians 2:11).

  • The transgressions that separated us from God were not the transgressions of Adam, our ancestors or our parents, but they were the sins that we committed (Colossians 2:13 “all our transgressions”).

  • In this text, as well as others, salvation is not placed prior to baptism, but is placed after it (2:13). To argue that one can be saved without baptism is to say that one can be saved without faith (Colossians 2:12) or repentance (Acts 2:38). When people try to get around the verses that stress the need to be baptized, we need to impress upon them that they are equally undermining passages that mention repentance and faith (Mark 16:16; Galatians 3:26-27).


Let us simply to contend to trust God’s way of saving us and appreciate the relationship that He established, a relationship that still exists; a relationship that He wants us to become a member of and enjoy.