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 we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” (Gal. 5.25)
To live by the spirit is to “keep in step with the spirit,” “walk by the spirit,” (Gal. 5.16) or be “led by the Spirit” (5.18). To walk by the spirit is to “not gratify the desires of the flesh” for the spirit is against the flesh (5.16-17) and those who belong to Jesus have put sin (the flesh with its passions and desires) to death (5.24). Elsewhere Paul said, “So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Rom. 8.12-13)
Are you living by the Spirit? Are you practicing “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” (5.22-23). Paul taught, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Rom. 8.14)
"So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Gal. 6.10, ESV)
A look through Scripture shows that the Christian family (brothers and sisters in Christ) are to care for one another (Acts 2.44-45; 4.32-37; 11.27-30, etc.). This is not to undermine others who are not Christians, but there are provisions put in place by God to help the needy saints first and foremost (1 Cor. 16.1-2). This is one way that God takes care of His faithful children as He has promised.
Now, as far as helping others, God sees to it that they are blessed too. His reasoning for that is so that they see Christians helping them and then desire to turn to God through the worthy deeds of saints (Gal. 6.10; Eph. 4.28; Heb. 13.16; Matt. 5.16, etc.).
So, we are to do good to all and especially to the household of faith because the household of faith has a family relationship that the world simply does not understand and never will. Family helps family first.
“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!
“Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (Galatians 4.16, ESV)¹
¹Paul recorded some blunt things in the book of Galatians. For example, please take the time to read Gal. 1.6-10; 2.4-5, 11-14; 3.1, 10; 4.9-11, 20-21; 5.2-4, 7-9, 12, 19-21, etc.
It was necessary for him to be forceful with these brethren because some were seeking to return to the law of Moses thereby forfeiting their salvation. Therefore, they had to be warned!
It is in this letter that Paul questions the Galatians who were turning to a different (false) gospel: “Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?”
Without fail, any who proclaim the truth today will make enemies. It is one of those things that “come with the job”. One reason why those who speak the truth make enemies is because the truth (light) exposes the error (darkness). People in sin and who want life on their terms do not like for someone to condemn them of their actions. It takes a humble person who hates sin and is willing to acknowledge the error of his ways before he will admit any wrongdoing.
Though Paul had something to say to these brethren, whatever he said was motivated by his love for them (Eph. 4.15). The same is true for us. We publish daily articles all designed to bring people to Christ or to help Christians remain faithful to Him. Each article written and each sermon preached at the Franklin Drive church of Christ is prepared with love and seeks for the goal of everyone’s salvation.
If you’re interested in learning more about God’s will please contact us! We may have some hard things to say, but if you’re willing to listen with a desire to obey as you learn, then you will be on your way to fellowship with God and the joy and peace that comes with knowing Christ! E-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5.19-21, ESV)¹
¹Have you ever notice that Paul says “and things like these” in the above text? What exactly is meant by “and things like these”?
First, anything that is contrary to God’s will is included in those four words. Even things not mentioned in the Bible. For example, purposely running the red light. Nowhere are those laws expressed in God’s word, but obeying the government is (Rom. 13, etc.). We must understand that the Bible is not so much a book of “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots”, but it is a book of principles. Consequently, even if it breaks God’s law in principle alone, it is sin and included in “and things like these”. Therefore, Christians must learn to discern between right and wrong to be able to overcome Satan (Heb. 5.11-14).
Too often people put degrees on sin as if there are “acceptable sins”. However, all wrongdoing is sin (1 John 5.17) and whenever one fails to do what he knows that it is right to do, it is sin to him (James 4.17). Simply put, anything contrary to God’s law is included in “and things like these”.
Let us notice some other “lists of sins” found throughout Scripture that would be included in “and things like these”:
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” (Prov. 6.16-19, ESV)
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matt. 7.21-23, ESV). Notice that this includes all works that are seen by us to be “good works”. Yet, if they are not according to God’s word, they are not good works and are included in “and things like these”.
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matt. 25.41-46, ESV)
“And he said, ‘What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’” (Mark 7.20-23, ESV)
“They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.” (Rom. 1.29-31, ESV; see also vv18-32)
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6.9-11, ESV).
“But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them…” (Eph. 5.3-7, ESV)
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” (Col. 3.5-8, ESV)
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” (2 Tim. 3.1-5, ESV)
“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Rev. 21.8, ESV)
These are just some of the sins mentioned in the Bible. For everything else, we need to train ourselves in God’s word to be able to discern right from wrong!
If you’re interested in learning more about sin e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905. We can help you overcome sin in your life and learn what true freedom – freedom in Christ – feels like!