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.
Does It Matter What We Believe?Tuesday, May 23, 2017
“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)
If you’re interested in learning more about the kind of faith we are to have to be pleasing to God please e-mail Bryan Garlock, message us on Facebook, or text 903.308.4905.
The Truth About the ChurchThursday, May 11, 2017
“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
If you want to learn more about the church you can read about in the Bible, message us on Facebook, e-mail Bryan Garlock, or text 903.308.4905.
*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 Us Be Just Christians and Members of the Lord's ChurchThursday, March 09, 2017
“…And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians” (Acts 11.26, ESV)¹
¹The name “Christian” simply means a follower of Christ. Besides Acts 11.26, the Bible uses the word Christian two other times within Scripture (see Acts 26.28; 1 Peter 4.16). It is no secret that the Bible is silent concerning denominations and their titles. For example, one cannot find the words “Baptist*,” “Methodist,” “Catholic,” “Lutheran,” etc. and yet all these denominations claim to be followers of Christ and believers of the Bible. Since faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10.17), it should be noted that one cannot have faith in that which he cannot read within Scripture.
Furthermore, since God’s word clearly condemns denominationalism (John 17.20-21; 1 Cor. 1.10), one must completely rid themselves of this human tradition (Matt. 15.1-9). In fact, this is what it seems many of the founders and early followers of denominations sought for. Consider the following:
Methodist denomination (founded in 1739): “Would to God that all party names and unscriptural phrases and forms which have divided the Christian world were forgot...” (John Wesley, Hardeman's Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 5, pg. 60) John Wesley (1703-1791) was the founder of Methodism.
Lutheran denomination (founded in 1526): “I pray you to leave my name alone, and call not yourselves ‘Lutherans,’ but ‘Christians.’ Who is Luther? My doctrine is not mine. I have not been crucified for anyone. St. Paul would not permit that any should call themselves of Paul, nor of Peter but of Christ. How, then, does it befit me, a miserable bag of dust and ashes, to give my name to the children of Christ? Cease, my dear friends, to cling to these party names and distinctions; away with them all; let us call ourselves only ‘Christians’ after him from whom our doctrine comes.” (Martin Luther, The Life of Martin Luther, pg. 262) “Lutherans” (as they are known today) were founded by Martin Luther (1483-1546) but were named “Lutheran” posthumously.
Baptist denomination (founded in 1609): “I look forward with pleasure to the day when there will not be a Baptist living. I hope they will soon be gone. I hope the ‘Baptist’ name will soon perish, but let Christ’s name last forever.” (Charles Spurgeon, Spurgeon Memorial Library, Vol. 1, pg. 168) Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) was an influential Baptist pastor.
The evidence is clear. Not only is denominationalism condemned by God, it was condemned by its founders and early followers. If you’re interested in learning more about denominationalism, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
*The Bible does mention “John the Baptist” but this is simply identifying John’s role as one who baptized people and has nothing to do with the modern day sect that comes themselves “Baptist.” He can also be referred to as “John the Immerser.”