Thursday, January 31, 2013
Thursday, January 24, 2013
A man deviously joined the orchestra of the emperor of China. For years, he posed as a flute player even though he couldn’t play a note. Then the emperor requested a solo performance from each of his musicians. The imposter tried everything to evade the king’s request. Seeing no way out, on the day he was to perform, he committed suicide, giving rise to the saying, “He refused to face the music.” (Excerpt from Pure Religion: A Study of James by David Bragg.)
This reminds me of many, today, who refuse to face the facts:
Ephesians 4:4-6 teaches us that…
…There is ONE Body
- This is obviously the church as listed in Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23. Christ promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18-19) and accomplished it on the 1st Pentecost after His resurrection, adding the saved to it (Acts 2:47).
…There is ONE Spirit
- The third member of the Godhead who dwells in the church (1 Corinthians 3:16) giving it life (John 6:63). One Spirit means only one Word and one Doctrine revealed to man through the apostles and inspired writers (2 Peter 1:20-21).
…There is ONE Hope
- The hope of the world is eternal life (Titus 1:2) and salvation through Jesus Christ. He has promised eternal life (1 John 2:25), and we can have assurance of it by the writing of the apostles (1 John 5:13, 20).
…There is ONE Lord
- Jesus Christ is Lord of all (Acts 10:36) made such by God (Acts 2:36). He has been given all authority in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). Paul acknowledged Jesus as Lord (Acts 9:5-6) and then later referred to him as “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15).
…There is ONE Faith
- While there are many “faiths” in the world in which man believes, there is only one Faith that can and will ever save him. Faith in Jesus Christ is not someone’s personal faith, but rather a system of faith (Ephesians 2:8; Jude 3) (the Gospel) whereby man may appropriate the grace of God by obedience to the words, commands, etc. of Jesus Christ (Acts 6:7; John 14:15).
…There is ONE Baptism
- There had been other baptisms in past times: Unto Moses (1 Corinthians 10:1-3); John’s baptism (Acts 19:1-5); Of suffering (Matthew 20:22-23); Of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11) fulfilled in Acts 2, 10. There will be a baptism in the future of fire (judgment, Matthew 3:10-12). But, at the time of Paul’s writing (approximately 62 A.D.), there was but one baptism: Jesus commanded it (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16); It is in water and for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 8:36-39; 22:16); It is a burial (Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:3-4); and it is for salvation (1 Peter 3:20-21).
…There is ONE God, Father of all
- One God, the Creator (Father) who is the basis for all unity “above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:6). He must be known and acknowledged as “the only true God” (John 17:3). He is the God of the Jews and the Gentiles (all of mankind) (Romans 3:29-30). “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever.” (1 Timothy 1:17).
There is also coming a day that we must each face. Try as one may, there is no way to escape it. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Each must appear before “the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10). While the facts above are certain as evidenced by Scripture, we must believe them and practice them.
God has for all a plan of redemption that includes the above-mentioned verses from Ephesians. May we ever be obedient and proclaim it wherever we go, motivated by the fact that we must face the music!