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.
“If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!”
As Paul closed His first letter to the Corinthians, he held nothing back. “Do you love Jesus or not?” “If you do not love Jesus, you will be accursed” – a thing devoted to destruction. (1 Cor. 16.22) While these words apply to all unbelievers, those within Paul’s audience were demonstrating their lack of love by fighting amongst themselves and living unholy lives. Thus, even believers who neglect to love Jesus as they should will suffer the same consequences as the unbeliever!
How, then, can I know if I love Jesus? Our Lord answers this: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14.15) Therefore, those who are not moved to obey the gospel do not love Him and deserve to be eternally cut off from the presence of the Lord.
As if Paul’s words were not direct enough, he stressed this coming curse by saying, “Our Lord, come!” Judgment is coming. Judgment will be executed. Fortunately, for those who love Jesus, grace will be with them (1 Cor. 16.23). Therefore, we must decide today where we will align ourselves. Will we be Jesus’ friend by our love for Him (John 15.14), or will we devote ourselves to destruction by choosing to become His enemy?
Contact us today if we can help you learn more about Christ. Call/text: 903.308.4905 or message us on Facebook.
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4.9-10, ESV).¹
¹God gave us the Bible through inspired men to reveal the love He has for all mankind. Within its pages, the apostles show the cross of Christ as our focal point of faith. Therefore, the love God made known is the love we must reciprocate if we are to be His children (1 John 4.19; 3.2). We accomplish this through obedience and faithfulness to Him (John 14.15).
John continued, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us” (4.11-12). The reason we are to love one another is because God loved us. Further, we are to love the Father because, “…he first loved us” (19).
The Father’s love was sacrificial. He sent His Son to die on a cross for our sins (John 3.16). Thus, if His love for us cost Him something, our love for Him ought to cost us something. His sacrifice teaches us that love is not selfish, but looks out for the interest of others (1 Cor. 13.5; Phil. 2.4). Are we willing to count the cost of being a disciple of Jesus Christ? We must forsake the world and forsake sin. We must love the Father and love one another. This will take sacrifice on our part!
If you’re interested in learning more about God’s love, please e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2.21, ESV).¹
¹Before Jesus left this earth, He told the apostles that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations…” (Luke 24.47, NKJV).
Therefore, on the day of Pentecost Peter told everyone that they needed to prepare for the coming judgment by “calling on the name of the Lord”. There is a misunderstanding in the religious world about this statement. What exactly did he mean?
After preaching the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Peter told the convicted murderers (Acts 2.36-37), “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…” (Acts 2.38, ESV). Obviously, Peter did not preach anything different in verse 38 than he did in verse 21. Both require the same authority, the name of Jesus Christ, and both end with the same result, salvation.
When the Jews asked what they must do (Acts 2.37), Peter explained by inspiration exactly what he meant. Therefore, it must be understood that to “call on the name of the Lord” to be saved is explained by “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins....”
No wonder Saul was later told, “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22.16, ESV).
Have you called on the name of the Lord to be saved? It is not a verbal calling (as in a “sinner’s prayer” – which has no Scriptural support), but a calling on the Lord in baptism for the forgiveness of sins (cf. 1 Peter 3.21; Heb. 10.22). If you’re interested in learning more about what is required to be saved, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4.7, ESV)¹
¹Want to hear the secret to defeating Satan? The Lord's brother, James, wrote that if we resist him, he will flee from us. Peter wrote concerning Satan, "Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5.8b, ESV). We all know when lions attack; when their prey is weak or is not paying attention. Hence, Peter calls us to remain sober-minded and vigilant against the lion's attacks (1 Peter 5.8a). This involves us being spiritually alert at all times because spiritual carelessness breeds all kinds of opportunities for the devil. Furthermore, when we understand that God has always provided us with a way of escape from temptation (1 Cor. 10.13), resisting the devil is not only possible, it is expected. Therefore, when we stand firm in our faith (1 Peter 5.9), the seeking-someone-to-devour lion loses his prowling and devouring abilities. In other words, when we fully surrender to God by humbly submitting to Him, we take away any opportunity for the devil to catch us off-guard (cf. Eph. 4.27).
This leads us to an interesting thought: If we do not give him an opportunity, what power does he have over us? In fact, James says that if we resist him that he will flee from us. If a lion is fleeing from us it is because we are stronger than he is! Therefore, Satan only has the power we choose to give him (See Romans 6 for additional study)! And if no power, no control! If you’re interested in learning more about God’s word and how you can have power over Satan instead of the other way around, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
Psalm 119.97, "Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day."¹
¹The Psalmist beautifully describes God throughout the book of Psalms. One thing that stands out is the importance that the writer places on his meditation of his Creator. As the book opens, we immediately read, "Blessed is the man... [whose] delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night." (Psalm 1.2 ESV). Not only did he meditate on God's law which included His precepts, statutes, testimonies, and promises (Psalm 119.15, 23, 99, 148), but he also filled his mind with all that God has done, namely, His wondrous works and mighty deeds (Psalm 77.12; 119.27; 143.5). All this and more was constantly on his mind as he contemplated the overwhelming greatness of God! The Psalmist said, "Let ... the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight..." (Psalm 19.14 ESV). What about us? What are we are meditating on, and is our meditation pleasing to Him (see Phil. 4.8-9)?
If you're interested in learning more about God's word email Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.