KEEPING THE ONENESS
Ephesians 4:3 refers to the oneness of the Spirit, while 4:13 refers to the oneness of the faith. When you believed in the Lord Jesus, the Spirit of God entered into you. That Spirit, in you and in so many other believers, is the very oneness. The lights in the ceiling are individual units until the electric current is turned on; then they become one. They are not one in themselves but in the electricity. Believers likewise are one by the current of the Spirit in all of them. How can we keep this oneness of the Spirit which is already ours?
The faith in verse 13 means what we believe; we listed some of the items of our faith in the previous message. These beliefs concerning Christ’s Person and redemptive work comprise our Christian faith. Because we hold these beliefs in common, we have oneness.
ADDING OUR CONCEPTS
Unfortunately when we are saved and come into the church, we bring some things from our past with us. As time progresses, we also pick up other things and treat them as items of the faith though they are not.
Suppose, for example, that there are four students who are saved during a gospel campaign. The Spirit enters into all of them; thus they have the oneness of the Spirit. Further, they all believe the same thing: they have the same faith. One of them, however, a doctoral student, comes into the church with some peculiar concept; eventually his concept becomes a great problem to the church. Another student decides to study theology after being saved. He quits his secular studies and goes to a so-called theological seminary where he is indoctrinated with modernism. The third one starts attending a Baptist church and becomes persuaded that immersion as practiced by the Baptists is the only right kind. The fourth one gets involved in speaking in tongues.
On the day the four were saved, they were one. But now, if they come together, surely they will fight. The doctoral student will defend his strange concept; the theological student, his modernistic interpretations; the Baptist, the practice of immersion; and the Pentecostalist, the speaking in tongues. What has happened to the oneness? In addition to the oneness of the Spirit and the oneness of the faith, they have taken on something. Actually what they have picked up as their choice is a toy and reveals that they are just children. Yes, one may be earning a Ph.D. degree, but in the Lord he is a little boy who likes to play with his toy. The other “children” need their “toys” too, whether modernistic teachings, insistence on immersion, or speaking in tongues.
Verses 13 and 14 of Ephesians 4 remind us that when we come to the oneness of the faith, we shall “henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.” All these doctrines are winds blowing us from the real oneness.
As you grow, you will lose interest in your toys. After you grow up in the Lord, you will find that the age of toys is over. Then you will have the oneness of the Spirit and the oneness of the faith. No doctrine will blow you away.
Remember that the church and its nature are Christ and that the standing of the church is the genuine oneness. Sooner or later you will find the winds blowing around you. Some in the charismatic movement may ask you if you have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and tell you how good it is to speak in tongues. Will you allow this wind of doctrine to blow you away from the genuine oneness?
(Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41), Chapter 17, by Witness Lee)