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.
“And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.” (Acts 6.7, ESV)¹
¹The apostle Paul’s purpose in preaching the gospel was to bring people to the obedience of the truth. We read in Romans, “through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations” (Rom. 1.5, ESV) and “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Rom. 6.17-18, ESV), and “Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith…” (Rom. 16.25-26, ESV).
Peter taught, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God...” (1 Peter 1.22, ESV).
It is often said that all one has to do to be saved is to believe in Jesus. However, we learn from these verses that one must obey. Since “the faith” and “the truth” are “the gospel,” then what Luke records in Acts about the priest is that they were obeying the gospel. While there are facts of the gospel (Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, etc.), there are also commands of the gospel. These commands involve not only believing in Jesus (Acts 16.31), but loving God (Matt. 22.37), having a godly sorrow for the sins committed against Him (2 Cor. 7.10), repentance (Acts 2.38), confession of Christ (Matt. 10.32), baptism in His name for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2.38), and faithfulness unto death (Rev. 2.10). If you've done these things and continue to remain faithul then you are like the Priest who became obedient to the faith!
"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16.16, ESV)¹
¹There are at least five different views of Mark 16.16. Let us examine them all.
View #1: “He who believes and is baptized will not be saved.”
- Those who believe this view: Atheists, Muslims, Jews, etc.
- Why? Because they do not believe in God or the Bible.
- Problem with this view: There is a God and His majesty and existence is seen in the creation of this world (Psalm 19.1; Rom. 1.19-20).
View #2: “He who does not believe and is not baptized will be saved.”
- Those who believe this view: Universalist [one that claims all will be saved].
- Why? Ultimately, because they cannot believe in a God that would send anyone to hell.
- Problem with this view: God says some will be saved and others will be lost: Matt. 7.13-14, 21-23; Rom. 6.23, etc.
View #3: “He who does not believe and is baptized will be saved.”
- Those who believe this view: Catholics, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc.
- Why? This view means infant baptism. They believe babies are born in sin and therefore they must be baptized to be saved (where’s the Scripture?).
- Problem with this view: The Bible says one must hear (Rom. 10.17), believe (John 8.24), repent of sins (Acts 2.38), and confess Jesus (Rom. 10.9-10) before one may be baptized. Can a baby do any of that?
View #4: “He who believes and is not baptized will be saved.”
- Those who believe this view: Baptist, Methodist, Lutherans, etc.
- Why? They do not believe baptism is necessary for salvation. However, they believe salvation is by “faith alone”.
- Problem with this view: Jesus said baptism is essential in Matt. 28.18-20. James said we are not saved by “faith only” (James 2.24). Since Jesus requires faith (John 3.16), repentance (Luke 13.3), and confession (Matt. 10.32-33), then one cannot be saved by “faith alone”.
View #5: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.”
- Those who believe this view: Those who believe Jesus, the Son of the living God.
- Why? Because they want to listen to Jesus (Matt. 17.5), obey Jesus (Luke 6.46), and be saved by Jesus (John 14.6).
- Problem with this view: None. This is the only view that quotes Jesus. The truth is, salvation and forgiveness of sins is found in baptism in the name of Jesus (Acts 2.38; 22.16; Gal. 3.27, etc.).
If we our honest with God’s word, we can see that Jesus’ words are truth and are in opposition to the views of the religious world. This raises the questions, "Which view is a lie?" and "Have you believed a lie?"
What is your view of Mark 16.16? Let me know. If you’re interested in learning more about the different views of Mark 16.16 e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
1 John 2.22 "Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son."¹
¹Since many in the religious world misunderstand the passages concerning the antichrist, there are many theories as to his identity. However, the answer is simple. The word antichrist simply means "against Christ". Read 1 John 2.18-23; 4.1-6 and 2 John 7-9. Notice that these passages help us to define the antichrist. Any person who does not confess Jesus is from God and any person who denies that Jesus Christ came in the flesh is the antichrist. Notice that "now many antichrists have come" (1 John 2.18). This proves the fact that the antichrist is not one specific individual, but multiple individuals. Further, we learn that antichrists are "in the world already" (1 John 4.3). Therefore, we are not awaiting some future devil-like creature that has horns and red eyes. It is anyone opposed to Christ coming in the flesh. Those who deny Christ now will be denied on the judgment day (2 Tim. 2.12). Are you for or against Christ?
Are you interested in learning more about God's word? Contact Bryan Garlock