Ephesians 4 starts with a heavy emphasis on unity.

1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation by which you are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Even in Paul's time, there were already signs of divisions.

Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Nearly a couple of thousands years later, the unity situation seems to be worse than ever.

What does Paul mean by "the unity of faith"? Is it different from the "one faith" in verse 5? Is this a prophecy/sign that we are looking forward to?

1 Answer 1


There are two matters to be discussed here: Division and Unity.


That there were various divisions already apparent in the church in Paul's day was well known as he discusses these at some length in the first three chapter of 1 Cor. Since then, divisions have multiplied and there is no sign yet that this will abate.

I am one that does not entirely regret such divisions. (Some are most unfortunate and have done a great deal of damage an history would be better off without them.) Divisions have created healthy discussions and clarified our thing on numerous topics as this very site demonstrates.

Despite the divisions, there are many parts of Christianity that are moving closer - again, this very site would been impossible just 60 years ago when many sections of Christianity refused to speak to one another. Now, at least, we are talking and with a common language of what the Bible actually says. If the church were homogeneous, no such discussion would have occurred.


Back to the text at hand, Eph 4:13. V13 should not be divorced from v11 & 12:

And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for works of ministry and to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ.

Note that Paul is essentially saying that the variety of gifts of the Spirit have been given to the church in order to built it (us, its members) up UNTIL it we reach "the full measure of the stature of Christ". Now, it is a simple matter of everyday experience that none of us has reached (either morally or sinlessly) the measure of Christ!! Such will only occur when the Lord returns and were are finally and fully perfected (see I Cor 15). Only at that time will we fully understand and be perfectly united.

BUT, until Jesus returns we need to continue to build each other up until that great day when we will understand and "not see through a glass darkly" 1 Cor 13:12.

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