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.
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” (Col. 1.13, ESV)
When we were sinners, we were walking in darkness (Eph. 2.1-3; John 8.12, etc.). However, Paul taught that when we obeyed the gospel we were transferred from the realm of darkness and sin to the Kingdom of Christ. This is consistent with Jesus’ teachings about building His church (Matt. 16.18). The church is simply the “called out”. The gospel calls us (2 Thess. 2.14) out of this dark world and out of sin and puts us in a wonderful place where righteousness and peace dwells. As citizens of this Kingdom we enjoy many benefits: fellowship with our Father who loves us and sustains us, providing for all our necessities, the privilege to boldly approach our loving and merciful King in prayer, an advocate, Jesus the righteous, who pleads for us when we transgress the King’s law (upon repentance and confession), an eternal home that has been prepared specifically for its citizens and a life full of comfort, peace, contentment, and joy, and free of sin, anxiety, strife, and misery. Why do people turn these wonderful provisions and promises down?
If you want to be a part of this Kingdom, obey the gospel today by “believing in God” and “believing God”! You believe in God by believing that He exists and you believe God by listening and obeying Him! God says to repent of your sins, confess faith in His Son, and be baptized in His Son’s name for the forgiveness of sins. Only then can you be transferred into His Son’s Kingdom! Let us help you today. E-mail Bryan Garlock | Message us on Facebook | Call/text: 903.308.4905
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1.6-7, ESV)¹
¹This writer recently went to a funeral where the speaker claimed that “it does not matter what faith you are as long as Jesus is your Savior” (paraphrased). However, the Bible teaches us the complete opposite. It is sad that this man claims to speak for God and yet he spoke something that God did not say.
Paul, an inspired apostle of Jesus told the 1st century Christians that there was no other gospel. In fact, he even taught that there is only “one faith” (Eph. 4.5) whereas the gentlemen above spoke as if there are many faiths. Admittedly, while there are many “faiths” as seen in the religious world, God only approves of one. [Note: “the faith” is the same thing in Scripture as the gospel. If there are many faiths, there are many gospels. For a study of this, please contact us.]
Paul continued, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1.8-9, ESV). Notice that he repeated himself and that his words bring serious consequences! It matters what we believe! We cannot just claim to believe one thing either not taught in Scripture or contrary to Scripture and then claim to be a follower of Jesus! If we are following Jesus it is because we are listening to Him and obeying His will on His terms.
Please understand that the world and false teachers will tell you that you can religiously believe and practice whatever you want, but the Bible teaches otherwise. The question is, “Will you accept what the Bible says or will you be like those who believe a lie?” (See 2 Thess. 2.10-12)
“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16.18, NKJV).¹
¹I once heard a preacher ask, “If you had to write a ten-page paper about the church you are a member of, could you use only the Bible or would you have to use outside sources?”
The truth is, many churches would have to use outside sources because many of their doctrines, beliefs, practices, and even their names cannot be found within the pages of the Bible.
Jesus said, "Upon this rock I will build My church…" (Matthew 16.18). This is the church that began in Acts chapter two in Jerusalem. Following the baptism of the first converts to Christ, Luke records, "…And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." (Acts 2.41-47). Further, scripture refers to the church, the saved, as His body (Colossians 1.18). Since there is only one body (Eph. 4.4), there is only one church. Scripture mentions no other.
In the New Testament, groups of believers who lived in the same area joined their efforts and resources to form local congregations, also called "churches" (Galatians 1.2). The apostle Paul called these groups "churches of Christ" in Romans 16.16.
Jesus established the church, not men. It is His. Therefore, it wears His name.* He is the purchaser (Acts 20.28), founder (Matthew 16.18), head (Eph. 1.22-23; Eph. 5.23) and Savior of His body (Ephesians 5.23). Since churches in the New Testament are called churches of Christ, and since we strive to be nothing more than a New Testament church, at Franklin Drive we call ourselves after the pattern of the scriptures (2 Tim. 1.13), the church of Christ.
We are confident that we can be a church that you can read about in the Bible. We are simply a local group of Christians (Acts 11.26), seeking to serve God based on the teachings revealed in His word. We are not affiliated with any denomination or cult, but are an independent body of Christians acknowledging Christ as the only head of the church (Eph. 1.22-23; Eph. 5.23). BG
*Questions for you to consider:
- If we cannot read about denominations (baptist, methodist, catholic, lutheran, etc.) in Scripture, why do they exist?
- Why not call ourselves after our Savior? As individuals, Christians, and as a local church, the church of Christ?
- If you're a member of a church you cannot read about in Scripture, why do you support it?
- If you had to write a ten-page paper about the church you are a member of, could you use only the Bible or would you have to use outside sources?
We pray you'll consider these questions. We would love to hear your answers. Contact us today!
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3.16, ESV)¹
¹The Bible teaches us in Colossians chapter three to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. In a parallel verse, the Bible says, “speaking [addressing, ESV] to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5.19, NKJV).
Notice that God wants us to sing (see also Matt. 26.30; Acts 16.25; James 5.13, etc.). Further, He wants us to teach while singing. While some songs are designed to praise God, other songs are designed to encourage us to obey the gospel or to remain faithful. This can only be done through A cappella music, for no mechanical instrument ever taught any man the gospel.
Since God wants us to sing, the melody is to be made in our hearts. While melody can certainly be made mechanically, the melody that pleases our Father and is commanded by Him is the melody produced in the heart and from the fruit of our lips.
If you’re interested in learning more about singing and praising God according to His word, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905. Also, you’re welcome to come to our gospel singing tonight (March 31st, 2017) at 7pm.
“And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women” (Acts 5.14, ESV)¹
¹What is meant by “added to the Lord” and how does one accomplish this? First, we should note that there are other verses where this language is used (cf. Acts 2.41, 47; 11.24) and second, whenever one is seeking to understand a passage it is not only wise to study all the passages together, but it is expected and commanded by God (Matt. 4.4; 2 Tim. 2.15; 2 Peter 1.19, etc.). In other words, one can easily come away from the verse above believing one thing when in fact not all the evidence has been presented.
Notice the following verses laid out in order:
“So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2.41, ESV)
- Notice that those who were baptized were those “who received his word” and “were added that day”.
- At least two questions arise: “What were they added to?” and “If they were not baptized, were they added?”
- The first question is answered in the same context in verse 47 below. The second question is “no”.
“praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2.47, NKJV)
- First, notice that the Lord does the adding; certainly, it is His right to do so.
- Second, our question above has been answered. They were added to the church by the Lord.
- Interestingly, we learn that those who are members of His church are also members of His body (Eph. 1.22-23, etc.). This means that those added by the Lord are added to His body; the same body He is the Savior of (Eph. 5.23).
- Also, note that the only ones that the Lord was adding were “those who were being saved”.
- Who was being saved? Per Acts 2.41 it was “those who received his word were baptized, and … were added that day”.
- Now we can better understand the next two verses.
“And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women” (Acts 5.14, ESV) and “for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.” (Acts 11.24, ESV)
- These two texts do not exclude Acts 2.41 and 47.
- Much of the religious world see believers who were added as those who have a mental faith in Jesus. On the other hand, the bible shows that believers who are added are those who have received the word of God and have been baptized; one cannot separate the two.
- Therefore, when Luke writes “believers were added…” he is not recording anything different than he previously recorded, nor he is not claiming that “belief only” adds one to the Lord; he is simply letting the reader know that these were men and women who not only received God’s word, but obeyed it.
When we harmonize each verse above, we understand that to be added to the Lord we must receive the word of God, believe it, and obey it. To obey the gospel is to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2.38). Only then can we be called believers who have been added to the Lord (Acts 2.41, 47).
Are you interested in learning more about being saved and added to the Lord? E-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.