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.
“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!
“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!
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3.1, ESV)
Let us examine two separate points about our text.
First, if you have not been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2.38; 22.16) then this verse does not apply to you. Someone argues, “Not true. The verse says nothing about baptism and baptism does not save.” This argument overlooks the context of Colossians chapters two and three. Notice chapter two along with parallel passages:
“In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses…” (Colossians 2.11-13, ESV)
Notice at least two ingredients to being raised with Christ: faith in the powerful working of God, the resurrection of Christ, and baptism!
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 6.3-11, ESV).
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…” (Eph. 2.1-8, ESV)
Notice the point of these passages. One is lost in sin and then obeys the gospel by being baptized into Christ, having his sins washed away (Acts 2.38; 22.16), that is, being made alive together with Christ (Col. 2.13; Rom. 6.8, 11; Eph. 2.5), and ultimately being “raised” with Him to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6.4).
Hence why Paul said, “If then you have been raised with Christ….” Friend, if you believe that Paul is not speaking about being raised with Christ after dying with Him and being buried with him in baptism, then you are not being honest with the texts above or the immediate context in Colossians chapters two and three. Friend, if you believe baptism does not save, you have believed a lie (2 Thess. 2.10-12)!
Peter, an inspired apostle of Jesus Christ contradicts all the false teachers who teach baptism does not save: “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…” (1 Peter 3.21, ESV)
Second, if you have been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, then you have an obligation to the Lord:
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3.1-4, ESV).
We seek the things above and set our minds on the things above by putting sin to death and being conformed to the image of our dear Lord (See Colossians 3.5-17). Are we doing just that?
If you have not been baptized and are interested in learning more about salvation contact me. Maybe you have been baptized, but were baptized believing baptism did not save you and that you were already saved prior to immersion. Notice above that we are baptized into Christ, made alive together with Him and are raised with Him in baptism. These are all truths that do not apply to the believer until he or she is baptized. Therefore, if you see the truth today that baptism does play an essential role in your salvation, be baptized in His name for the forgiveness of your sins! E-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3.16, ESV)¹
¹John 3.16 is a verse that is loved by all in the religious world. In fact, it is the gospel (good news) message in a nutshell. Unfortunately, too many people distort this wonderful verse and teach something Jesus does not mean.
First, some teach that one must simply believe in Christ (as in a mental faith that Jesus lived and died for us), and secondly, that this belief (mental faith) is all one needs to be saved. While it is true that Jesus said we must believe to be saved, surely no one would exclude repentance from our sins, confession of our faith that we believe in Jesus, baptism in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, and obedience and faithfulness to His will for the rest of our lives (Acts 17.30-31; Rom. 10.9-10; Acts 2.38; Luke 6.46).
Simply put, the believer of John 3.16 is obedient to Christ in all that He commands or he is not the believer Jesus is speaking about!
Will you obey Jesus today?
‘G’od so loved the world, that he gave his
‘S’on that whoever believes in him should not
‘P’erish but have
That’s the GOSPEL!
If you’re interested in learning more about the gospel, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
“And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” (Acts 22.16, ESV)¹
¹This tell us when Saul, later Paul the apostle, was saved from his sins, added to the body of Christ, and became a Christian.
However, those who hold to a faith only doctrine try to refute God’s word by saying that Saul was saved on the road to Damascus when Jesus appeared to Him. If that's the case, why did Luke record that Saul was told to be baptized to wash away his sins? What sins did he have to "wash away" if he was already saved? In fact, if he was saved on the road then he was saved in his sins, not from his sins. Further, Jesus expressly said there was something for him to do when he arrived in Damascus. Interestingly, he was told to be baptized to wash away his sins.
Some argue that since Ananias called Saul "brother Saul" (Acts 22.13) that this indicated that he was already saved. The apostles often called sinners "brothers" or "brethren" not because they were brethren in a spiritual sense, but because they were brothers or kinsmen according to the flesh (See Acts 2.29 [Peter called them brothers before they were saved (2.38, 41)]; Rom. 9.3, etc.). Further, remember, Luke records that Saul was to be baptized to wash away his sins. If he was saved when Ananias called him brother Saul, what sins did he have to wash away?
These are not the only arguments that we could examine that are used against Acts 22.16, but, simply put, no amount of pervasive-type arguments change the truth of Acts 22.16. Either Saul was to be baptized to wash away his sins and call on the name of the Lord, or he was not. Which is it reader?
Have you been baptized to wash away your sins? (See also Acts 2.38) We'd love to study with you! E-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.