The verse to which you refer, my dear friend, is found in Ephesians 4:5. It is part of the Apostle Paul’s teaching on how Christians should conduct themselves as members of the “body of Christ,” or the “church. I realize you didn’t ask for this, but if you’ll permit me, I’d like to expand on the meaning of this verse when taken in the context of Ephesians 4 as there are some very important truths for the Christian in this section.  So, we read in Ephesians 4:1-6: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 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”.

As you can see in verse 1, Paul is beseeching Christians to walk (live) in a manner worthy of our calling or vocation. The first three chapters of Ephesians speak about the Christian’s “calling,” which is our position as Christians.  In chapter 4, we are talking about acting out in our lives and in the church this calling in a manner which is most suitable for those who have been saved by His amazing grace. One of the characteristics of Christians should be, as in Ephesians 4:3, that we endeavor to “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace…”. To better understand verse 3, we must define what this “unity of the Spirit is. You might recall that the early church was made up of Jewish and Gentile Christians. However, in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, Christ has brought all believers, be they Jewish or Gentile, into one body, with no distinctions. But, given their different histories and beliefs, and their differing practices, how is this “peace” to be established and maintained? How are people from such different backgrounds to be kept from clashing with one another? Well, Christians are to “keep” the unity of the Spirit, not “create” it. The Holy Spirit brings believers into the church, all on the common ground of faith in Christ Jesus; and so the unity is created by the Spirit, and not by men. This is not a confederation wrought by people, but rather the Lord has made this unity of believers, and it should be reflected in our behavior one to another. We are charged with keeping it in love (see verse 2 above), and not disturbing it through bickering with one another or by forming sects, such as having separate churches for different groups: i.e., a “Jewish Church and a “Gentile Church”. We are all one in Christ Jesus, and we are not to disrupt that order by our personal preferences or through unloving behavior.  

Now, as I have alluded to above, the church, in its universal sense, is the body of Christ to which every true believer belongs. And, how do we become part of the body of Christ?  This is something that God accomplishes for us by the “baptism” of the Holy Spirit. And when are we baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ?  This happens the minute that one believes the Gospel and is saved (See Acts 2: 41-47; Ephesians 4:4; Colossians 3:15; 1Cor 12:13; Romans 12:5).

So now, we see how that true Christians are all one body (the body of Christ-one universal church), and they are brought into this church by one Spirit, the Holy Spirit, into one calling (verse 4). All true Christians have the same Lord and the same faith, and they are brought into the body of Christ once and for all by the same Holy Spirit in verse 5 above (the baptism of the Holy Spirit; see also 1 Corinthians 12:13). But now, I believe that the baptism spoken of in verse 5 refers also to our water baptism, which is our testimony to the world that we are saved. This is distinct from the baptism of the Spirit-remember that the Holy Spirit enters a Christian the moment s/he believes, and that the Holy Spirit is the One that adds us to the body of Christ. But again, water baptism is done once a person has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and is saved, and this is done only once, to show the world you are a Christian, and that you intend to walk like a Christian in this world.

All of these first 6 verses of Ephesians 4 highlight and support the fact that born again Christians, all are of the body of Christ, and all are indwelt by the same Holy Spirit. So, in our practical walk here on the earth, we are to endeavor to keep the unity that the Holy Spirit has created, and this is done not through compromise, but rather through the bonds of love and peace seeing we are all one in Christ Jesus…one Lord, one faith, one baptism. But again, I must stress that this section of Scripture does not in any way support accepting false doctrine in a compromise of truth just so that people in an assembly can get along, regardless of what they may believe. The assumption here is that true Christians tolerate only sound doctrine in the local assemblies, and I believe that Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians brings this out very clearly. True Christians are to conduct ourselves in a spirit of love and forbearance as in Ephesians 4:2; but, we must always hold fast the truth of Scriptures. So, forbearing one another never means accepting corrupt behavior or false doctrine.  (SF)  (529.5)