The One Faith

Published 2:23 pm Thursday, December 8, 2022

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In response to the request that I explain Paul’s writings in Ephesians 4, concerning the oneness statements of Paul, we will continue to explore his statements of Paul. Previously we examined the one God and the one baptism of Paul’s statements. In this article we will consider the one faith that he mentioned.
Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:4-6, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
The Bible uses the word “faith” in several senses throughout the New Testament. In context, the “one faith” Paul mentions in Ephesians 4 is none other than the Gospel itself. According to Luke in Acts 6:7, “a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Then in Acts 24:24 Luke stated that Felix “sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.” We learn in Galatians 1:23, that after his conversion, Paul preached “the faith which once he destroyed.” This begs the question, (what message did Paul preach)? The answer is clear, Paul preached the Gospel that Christ revealed to him (Galatians 1:11-12). As we examine these verses and others it is obvious that the “one faith” is the Gospel. It is this Gospel that is to be taught, heard, and obeyed by all men (Matthew 28:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:2,15). Paul stated in 2 Timothy 2:4, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
The Bible contains complete instructions that relate to mankind’s obedience to the truth that is the “one faith.” First, God’s people are “to continue in the faith” (Acts 14:22). Jude wrote, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3 KJV). If one is to overcome temptation there must be an obedience and continuance in God’s Word. The Christian must also have a firm foundation (Matthew 7:24-27). Luke stated in Acts 16:4-5, that the church is to be “established in the faith.” Christians accomplish this by keeping the teachings of the apostles. Third, God’s people are to “stand fast in the faith” (1 Corinthians 16:13). (See also 1 Peter 5:8). Next, Jesus wants His people to examine and test themselves daily to determine if they truly are “in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5). This is needed because that system of faith is the standard by which all men will be tried. Fifth, the Lord’s people are to strive together with one mind “for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27). Finally, as mentioned earlier, Christians are to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). According to 2 Timothy 4:7-8, this is what Paul had done throughout his Christian life.
The Bible also points out seven warnings regarding the “one faith.” First, we learn from what Elymas did to Sergius Paulus that we must not allow anyone to “turn us away from the faith” (Acts 13:6-12). Second, we must not “depart from the faith” by embracing false doctrines (1 Timothy 4:1). This is accomplished through a thorough study and good knowledge of God’s Word. Third, we must not “deny the faith” by failing to fulfill our domestic responsibilities (1 Timothy 5:8). Fourth, we must not allow covetousness to cause us to “err from the faith” (1 Timothy 6:10). Fifth, we must not allow false teaching to cause us to “err from the faith” (1 Timothy 6:20-21). Sixth, we must not become “reprobate concerning the faith” by resisting the truth (2 Timothy 3:1-8). Seventh, we must not give heed to anything that will prevent us from being “sound in the faith” (Titus 1:12-14).
(Tony Hoss is minister of the Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)

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