Eph. 4:4, “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call”
Paul implores us to walk in a manner worthy of our calling and part of that is maintaining the unity of the Holy Spirit.
The unity comes as we understand there is only one body, the body of Christ and one Spirit, the Holy Spirit, and one hope.
The unity the Holy Spirit creates is within the church. There is only one body of Christ, and that is the church.
One way we maintain the unity of the Spirit is by being a part of the body of Christ. As those in union with Christ, we are members of the universal church, but that is not enough. We work eagerly to maintain the unity of the Spirit by being a member of a local church, a local manifestation of the universal body of Christ.
There is no other body of Christ but the church. If we refuse to take part in a local church, we are actively fighting against the command to maintain the unity of the Spirit.
There is only one Holy Spirit. Therefore, there are not many unities that we maintain but only one. Notice there seems to be a close connection to the body of Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Without the work of the Holy Spirit, no one would enter into the church. The Holy Spirit changes our hearts and causes us to be born again (see John 3). Without His work, we would still be outsiders, alienated from God and His promises (Eph.2:11-12).
The church must be Spirit led. Every member of the church of Jesus Christ has the same Spirit dwelling within them. Since we are indwelt by the same Spirit, we can maintain the unity He created.
As Christians, we are all members of the same body, the one body of Christ the church. We all have been regenerated by and are now indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Additionally, we were called to one hope.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?” It answers, “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
Every person created has the same chief end, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Our problem, everyone’s problem, is we have sinned, and we fall short of the glory of God. We do not meet the standard, the righteousness of God. We miss the mark. We do not glorify God. Apart from Christ we do not and cannot enjoy God.
But, when the Holy Spirit calls us, we can no fulfill the purpose for which we were created. Now, glorifying God and enjoying Him are the reason we live as Christians. We can now fulfill our purpose because of Christ alone.
Much like all creatures have the same end when we are recreated by the Holy Spirit, we all have the same hope. We are not called to separate hopes but the same. Notice the unity that is running throughout this passage. The Holy Spirit created unity, and we maintain it. There is one body, the church, and one Spirit that brings us into the church. Additionally, the Holy Spirit calls us to one hope.
We learn an important truth here about the Holy Spirit. He always creates and leads us to unity. He will not lead us to have separate hopes and threaten the unity He created. We all have one hope to which we have been called. The hope of the glory of God which is found in the face of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4-6).
Our hope is that we can glorify and enjoy God now and indeed will do this forever. Right now, is practice for eternity. When we dwell with God, we will glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. Our hope is not something we are unsure will happen, but we are confident it will happen because of who God is.
Live in Hope
We live as those who have great hope because of Christ. The Holy Spirit united us to Christ, and now we are in a vital, living relationship with him. Our hope is sure because of Him.
As you live in this hope ask yourself how committed you are to Christ’s one body the church. If your hope in Christ seems weak, perhaps it is because you are not committed to what Jesus is. Are you encouraging others with the same hope you have been given?
What will you do today to live in this hope?