What are the implications of our being united to Christ through baptism, and how does this new reality affect the way we live here and now? As a result of this new union, how should we then relate to other members of the body of Christ?
On this program, the hosts are continuing their survey of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, and they will discuss the first half of chapter 4. Join us for this new edition of the White Horse Inn.
“Salvation may have been grounded in eternity past but where the point of contact is for each believer is in holy baptism. That’s very clear here in Ephesians and it turns out that holy baptism is the great demographic leveler. It doesn’t matter if you’re Black or White, Latino, Caucasian. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich, poor, slave or free, Jew or gentile. You receive holy baptism and it does away with any kind of hierarchical scheme or privilege, elitism, racism, sexism, classism. All that goes out the window and that’s what it means to be part of this new humanity, this new creation that God has brought upon humanity through the redemption of Christ and our unity has to be grounded in that. No one has more of a spiritual experience that trumps another person and elevates them with more of an endowment to the Holy Spirit than another person.”
Term to Learn
“The Gifts of the Holy Spirit”
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness (Rom. 12:4–8).
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills (1 Cor. 12:1–11).
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts (1 Cor. 12:27–31).
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ (Eph. 4:11–12).
(Scripture from the English Standard Version)