Welcome to the footnote¹ blog. Our goal each day is to examine a verse and give a short summary in commentary form or simply an encouraging note to help you remain faithful to God throughout the week. Either way we hope that the footnote¹ blog will comfort you through God's word and give you a better understanding of His will.
“Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (Rev. 2.6, ESV)
Many people believe it does not matter what one believes. Specifically speaking, one will say that it does not matter since we all believe in Jesus and beyond that, we are all on the way to heaven, just taking different paths. However, are there multiple paths to heaven (see John 14.6)?
Interestingly, one will not find the mindset that it does not matter in Scripture. In fact, the Bible calls for unity of believers (John 17.20-23), unity of doctrine (Eph. 4.1-6), and claims that only the truth will set us free (John 8.32) – while error will damn us to hell (2 Thess. 2.10-12).
Jesus answers the error of taking the position that one may believe whatever they will if Jesus is forefront in their life by commending the church at Ephesus for hating the doctrine (or teachings) of the Nicolaitans (cf. Rev. 2.15) – an apostate group of people misleading the disciples. If one can believe whatever doctrine – regardless of whether it is biblical or not, and still be faithful to God, why did Jesus hate the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, and why did the church at Ephesus reject them?
We contend it is because one can believe a lie and be damned. Have you believed a lie? How would you know? You can test all Bible teachers against God’s word (Acts 17.11; 1 Thess. 5.21; 1 John 4.1, etc.), including this writer.
Here is one example. Many teach baptism does not save. Have you heard this? Do you believe it? Notice the apostle Peter’s words (a spokesmen and messenger of Jesus Christ): “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3.21, ESV).
- The Bible teaches that baptism saves (Mark 16.16; Acts 2.38; 22.16, etc.).
- Many men say baptism does not save.
- Which one is the truth? Which source will you listen to? Will you believe a lie?
“The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” (John 12.48, ESV)¹
¹We must have standards for all we do in life. Standard is defined: “as a level of quality, achievement, etc., that is considered acceptable or desirable; ideas about morally correct and acceptable behavior; something that is very good and that is used to make judgments about the quality of other things" (Merriam-Webster). Thus, without standards we would and could not agree on anything and disunity and chaos would follow. For example, the employee policy hanging on the wall at work is the standard by which all employees must measure themselves. If an employee is found lacking in a particular area, his or her employer has the necessary tools to either help the employee improve or if the employee continues to spiral down, terminate them. Therefore, we understand the policy to keep the employee working effectively and efficiently.
Another standard worth mentioning is the handy dandy tape measure. Without it our buildings would be crooked and unstable and our furniture would be uncomfortable to look at and sit on! This is because we would never agree to the length of a piece of wood. One builder might say the length is 10 inches, while another argues the length is 14 inches. Thus, to eliminate disunity and chaos, these builders would have to adopt a standard by which they measure each piece of wood.
In the religious world, the Bible is our standard. With it we measure our faith (2 Cor. 13.5; James 1.25), our maturity in Christ (2 Tim. 3.16-17; 2 Peter 1.3) and our eternal outcome will be measured by our faithfulness (Rev. 2.10). Since God’s word will be the judge, that is, our standard, it would do us well to heed and obey the words of Christ in all things (Col. 3.17). BG
“Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.” (Psalm 119.104, ESV)¹
¹Are you struggling to overcome sin in your life? The Bible tells us many ways we can put a stop to sin. One way is by learning to hate it! In fact, as evident in our text, it is through God’s word that we learn to hate every false way.
We encourage all to read their bibles and internalize the scriptures. Let them dwell in your heart. Learn from Christ how to hate the sin in your life. Only then can you truly overcome sin.
We want to help you! E-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905 for more info!
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1.22, ESV)¹
¹Tonight may be the last night of our meeting, but there is much work to be done. First, we must take what we have learned and internalize it and let it dwell in our hearts, and second, we must apply it to our lives.
Let us be blunt. What is the purpose of this gospel meeting if we are not going to practice what we have learned? To learn about God’s will and refuse to seek to better ourselves is fruitless in the kingdom and destructive to our souls!
Therefore, James taught, “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1.21-25).
If you are interested in learning more about God’s will and how to apply the gospel to your life, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11.1, ESV)¹
¹Faith is defined or described differently by many people. Since the Bible is our standard, we must accept how God describes faith. First, it is assurance or confidence in God’s promises (things hoped for), and second, it is a conviction of things not seen.
Consider all the things we have not seen: God, Jesus, all Bible characters, the flood, the ark of the covenant, the resurrection of Jesus, miraculous healing, and on and on we could go.
Faith that has been establish upon the evidence of the Scriptures (Rom. 10.17), will be assured of what God has promised those who seek after Him and believe as truth things which we have not witnessed ourselves (See also Hebrews 11.2-3).
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb. 11.6, ESV).
The man that has faith is the one who pleases God, draws near to Him, and is commended by Him (cf. Heb. 11.2).
If you're interested in learning more about faith, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.