I am the last person to speak authoritatively on mathematics, but I’m pretty sure that I’m safe on this one.Okay, maybe not. If you do the math, seven multiples of one will always be seven. But if you follow the formula prescribed in the New Testament, it always equals one. I’ll leave the math equations to the experts and stick to what I know a little more about – the Bible.
[blockquote]Ephesians 4:4-6 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.[/blockquote]
In mathematics there can only be one correct answer. Three multiplied by four can only be twelve. If any other number is proposed as the product, it is wrong (trust me on this one, I’ve got the graded papers to prove it). When it comes to the teachings of the Bible, the same principle is true. If we do what God says, we are obedient and righteous. Obedience and righteousness are the products of hearing and doing. In math, if you mishandle the multipli- cand and the multiplier, it will always result in an incorrect product – which will give you a red X on your paper every time (I know the x threw a little algebra at you, but you can figure it out). In matters of religion, if you mishandle either the hearing of the message or the application (doing), you will always reach an incorrect product which the Bible calls SIN (not to be confused with sine which is a geometry term).
If you attempt to have Christ as ― head over all things to the church‖ (Eph. 1:22) but believe that one church is as good as another, you do not have ONE BODY. The head of the body doesn’t have that body teach salvation through repentance and baptism for one group of believers, but that salvation is only for the elect for another group of believers, while for a third group salvation is achieved merely through acceptance but can never be achieved through baptism. All those things are taught by men, but only one is taught by God. Mishandle what you hear or fail to do what you hear on the subject of baptism results in differ- ent bodies of faith. That violates Eph. 4:4. It is SIN.
If you attempt to have the Holy Spirit guide you in all matters of religion but you believe that the Holy Spirit operates upon you in ways contrary to the Scriptures (which are inspired by the Holy Spirit – 2 Tim. 3:16), then you will have a different spirit. God’s Holy Spirit was given by Christ to the apostles to guide them into all the truth (Jn. 16:13), and they have delivered that truth once for all (Jude 3) so that you and I can know all things (Jude 5). Convince yourself that the Holy Spirit is guiding you in a different manner than is determined in Scripture, and you will be led into error. Test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world‖ (Eph. 4:1). To fol- low any Spirit but the Holy Spirit violates Eph. 4:4. It is SIN.
If you fix your hope on anyone other than the resurrected Christ, you do not have a living hope (1 Pt. 1:3). You can’t obtain an inheritance imperishable, undefiled and unfad- ing (1 Pt. 1:4). Any other hope violates Eph. 4:4. It is SIN.
If you want salvation through anyone other than Christ, you will be disappointed. There is salvation in no one else (Acts 4:12) and there is no other way (Jn. 14:6). Any other ―savior‖ or leader violates Eph. 4:5. It is SIN.
If you chose any faith other than the one that was delivered to the apostles through the Holy Spirit (Jn. 16:13) and given in its totality (Jude 3), then you have chosen a faith that violates Eph. 4:5. It is SIN.
If you chose a baptism mode that isn’t immersion or practice baptism as a means of identification rather for redemption, then you violate Eph. 4:5. It is SIN.
If you chose any god, and the world’s religions offer you thousands, but deny the God of heaven and earth as being the Creator and only God with whom we have to do (Heb. 4:13), then you do not obey the one God of Eph. 4:6. It is SIN.
Do the math on this and see for yourself. And help someone else do their math. It matters!