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Ephesians 4:5

ESV one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
NIV one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
NASB one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
CSB one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
NLT There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
KJV One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
NKJV one Lord, one faith, one baptism;

What does Ephesians 4:5 mean?

This brief verse adds three more "ones" to those shared in verse 4. These repeated references to unity highlight our intended harmony. We are meant to conduct ourselves as members of a single universal community of believers: the church.

First, Paul's use of "one Lord" is a clear reference to Jesus. He is called "Lord" on more than 20 occasions throughout this letter to the Ephesians.

Second, there is "one faith." Here, Paul is primarily referring to salvation (Ephesians 2:8–9), but the context also extends to imply the necessary, foundational teachings of the church. There is room for liberty regarding non–essentials in the body of Christ (Romans 14). However, there are some fundamentals which every Christian should accept. These foundations of the faith are important for true unity within the church.

Baptism, mentioned third, is often overlooked in contemporary Protestant churches. Baptism was closely associated with salvation, often taking place on the same day as a person's acceptance of Christ (Acts 2:41). It identified a person as a follower of Christ, one who accepted Jesus as Lord. This teaching also has interesting implications regarding our understanding of baptism. There is often debate within the Christian community over New Testament references to baptism, especially as it relates to practices such as baptizing infants. Scriptural references also differ from the practice of many churches to require a period of education prior to baptism.
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