“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.”Ephesians 4:4-6
John Calvin writes in his commentary on the above passage from Ephesians, “Some consider the unity of the Spirit to mean that spiritual unity which is produced in us by the Spirit of God. There can be no doubt that He alone makes us “of one accord, of one mind,” (Philippians 2:2,) and thus makes us one; but I think it more natural to understand the words as denoting harmony of views.”
It seems fair that we have a harmony of view regarding Christ as Head, the Christian calling, Christ as Lord, and God as Father. The Cross is exclusive in its efficacious work. There is only one way to salvation. There is only one true faith.
Calvin goes on to write regarding verse 4 “that we are subject to a law which no more permits the children of God to differ among themselves than the kingdom of heaven to be divided.” And what exactly does this look like? Recall the words of Jesus as he taught the disciples to pray, “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The unity on earth is to mirror the unity in heaven and in one particular way. We must be united in the will of God and that it be done.
For the cessationist, what is the revealed will of God on earth in the present church age? The word of God, Scripture, is that revealed will. In commenting on verse 5, Calvin observes that “Christ cannot be divided. Faith cannot be rent. There are not various baptisms, but one which is common to all. God cannot cease to be one, and unchangeable.” We are no more permitted to differ over what words are God’s words than the kingdom of heaven is to differ over which words are God’s words.
Where do we learn that there is one Lord, Christ? The Bible. Where do we learn that there is one faith? The Bible. Where do we receive faith? By hearing the Bible. Where do we learn that there is one God? The Bible. Where do we learn this one God is Father to the Christian? The Bible. Where do we learn of the one Holy Spirit? The Bible. Where do we learn from this one Holy Spirit? The Bible. Yet the epistemological source, the ground and foundation of where we learn all these “ones” is not one. The English-speaking believing community does not have one God’s word from the one Spirit to learn of the one God, the one Spirit, the one faith, the one Lord.
We here at StandardSacredText.com concur with Calvin in confessing that “Christ cannot be divided. Faith cannot be rent. There are not various baptisms, but one which is common to all. God cannot cease to be one, and unchangeable.” And as such, There cannot be various God’s words, but one which is common to all. God’s word cannot cease to be one, and unchangeable.