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.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1.1, ESV)
Christians have faith that God created the heavens and the earth (Heb. 11.6). However, atheists claim it is silly to put one’s faith in all-powerful being that could create this world. Interestingly, evolutionists claim that everything evolved over billions of years from nothing. Since evolutionists were not there to observe this process, their belief is just that – faith. Therefore, Christians and atheists both have faith; the Christian, in a Creator and the atheist, in nothing.
Is it reasonable to have faith that something came from nothing? For example, the device you’re holding or the computer you’re using to read this article did not come from nothing. It is impossible! In fact, the materials used to create your device had to already be available for inventors, engineers, and scientists – in other words, intelligent designers. If one was to argue that we can in fact create something from nothing, then they could not use the materials already available and they would have to start with nothing – but then they would have to be God to do that.
It is reasonable to believe in an all-powerful Creator. In fact, creation demands a creator. The question is, are you willing to serve your Creator and reap the blessings promised before the world was even created?
“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
“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4.4-6, ESV)
It is obvious that we live in a religiously divided society. A quick drive down the road shows the multiplicity of churches and religions. Whatever you like, you can be sure there’s a church that is willing to accommodate. However, was this ever God's will or did He desire something else?
Paul shows us that we are to be united. By laying out the platform for unity, we are not left to wonder how we are to maintain unity. It is by our respect for the seven “one’s” that we can truly enjoy the unity God has provided in Christ.
- One Body – There is only one church which Christ will save, that is, His church, the church (body) of Christ.: Eph. 1.21-22; 5.23; Acts 20.28; Rom. 16.16
- One Spirit – There is one spirit that has revealed one revelation (or standard) and one plan of salvation for all of mankind to follow (Eph. 3.3-4; 2 Peter 1.3-4). Since the Holy Spirit guided the apostles into all truth (John 16.13) and since they wrote down the truth for our learning, then there are no more revelations or truth to reveal (Jude 3). Anyone who claims extra-biblical revelations stands in direct opposition to the one Spirit.
- One Hope – Those who are God’s children can hope (not wishful thinking, but an expectation) in heaven and eternal life (1 Peter 1.3-4).
- One Lord – There are no other masters to be served. Jesus is the one and only with all authority and power. It is only through Him that we can be saved, no one else (John 14.6; Acts 4.12).
- One Faith – Not many faiths (as the religious world tells us there are), but only one (Jude 3). Just as there is one gospel, there is one faith! Will you be obedient to the one faith (see Acts 6.7)?
- One Baptism – Paul says there is only one baptism. Therefore, if there is water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism today, then we have one too many baptisms. Thus, the one baptism is water baptism in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. It is the only baptism commanded in Scripture (Matt. 28.18-20; Mark 16.15-16; Acts 2.38; 8.16; 10.47-48; 22.16; Rom. 6.1ff; Gal. 3.26-27, etc.). Note: Holy Spirit baptism is not for us today, but was only for the apostles (John 14-16). Additionally, baptism “in the name of Jesus Christ” is, and has always been, water baptism (see Acts 2.38, etc.).
- One God and Father – There is only one true and living God; all other gods are false, man-made “spiritual beings” or crafted from wood or stone, and created in the mind of man. God was not created, but is eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, over all, and everywhere present, and He wants to be your Father! He wants to love you and shower you with blessings!
“Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son, in truth and love.” (2 John 3, ESV)
- Grace: God’s favor toward sinners; giving us what we don’t deserve (salvation).
- Mercy: God’s compassion for sinners; not giving us what we deserve (death).
- Peace: When we are in fellowship with God because of His grace and mercy and our faith.
We can have all these spiritual blessings and more that are given from the Father and His Son when we obey God in faith. Express your faith in Him today by repenting of the sins in your life (a change of mind and will – no longer practicing sin) (Acts 17.30-31), confessing your faith (that Christ is the Son of God) (Rom. 10.9-10), and being baptized for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 22.16). Only then will Grace, mercy, and peace be upon you!
“for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.” (Galatians 3.26, ESV)
Much of the religious world believes we are saved by faith only. In fact, many will appeal to Galatians 3.26 to prove this very point. However, sadly, verse 27 is always overlooked. Paul continued, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3.27, ESV).
It is true that we are children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. However, our faith in Christ demands our obedience to Him and this is demonstrated by verse 27. Therefore, Paul’s point is that those who believed in Christ were baptized in His name. Jesus said it this way, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16.16). We would do well not to stop at verse 26!