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 this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matt. 26.28, ESV)
In instituting the Lord’s Supper, Jesus told His disciples to divide amongst themselves the fruit of the vine which represented His blood which He shed on the cross for our sins. At this point, He had not yet voluntarily poured out His blood, but He explained to them that His blood would be “of the covenant” and “for the forgiveness of sins.”
By “of the covenant,” Jesus meant that His blood would enact the New Testament, or New Covenant, as the Old Covenant was to be done away with at the cross (Col. 2.14; Eph. 2.14-16, etc.). Therefore, we are to live in obedience to the covenant of Christ (His law) and no longer submit to the Law of Moses.
By “for the forgiveness of sins,” Jesus meant that His blood would be the cleansing power necessary to wash away our sins (cf. Rev. 1.5; 1 Peter 1.2, 18-19, etc.) and to purchase the church (Acts 20.28).
When do we have our sins washed away? Peter preached, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…” (Acts 2.38). Notice how baptism accomplishes exactly what Jesus’ blood would accomplish – forgiveness of sins. Consequently, when we are baptized into Christ (Rom. 6.3-4; Gal. 2.26-27; Eph. 5.26-27), we are washed in His cleansing blood. Ananias told Saul, “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” (Acts 22.16)
While all men are accountable to the new covenant, not all men will experience forgiveness of sins. That is because the promise of forgiveness of sins is only found in obedience to the new covenant.
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10.28, ESV)
This author truly understands the fear created by evildoers and criminals, and more specifically, terrorism. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit has given us comfort through His word. In Matthew 10.28, Jesus reminds us that we should not fear those who can kill the body. Why? Simply put, because they cannot kill the soul. It is comforting to know that no matter what happens to us in this life – up to and including death – our soul cannot be affected. Therefore, what is there to fear from man?
In fact, God has promised, “‘…I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Heb. 13.5-6). Elsewhere, the Holy Spirit said, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8.35-39) Once again, the faithful have nothing to fear because the faithless can do nothing to our soul.
Whom, then, shall we fear? Jesus said, “…fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” If we live for unrighteousness here and now, we will experience true fear on the day of judgment. However, if we live for righteousness, there is nothing to fear. John taught, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4.15-18).
Whom do you fear? If you’re a faithful Christian you have nothing to fear – whether you are facing an earthly threat or the judgment seat of Christ.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6.46, ESV)
In comparison with Jesus’ word above, let us also notice Jesus’ words elsewhere: “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” (Matt. 7.21) and “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15.8-9).
The religious world says we can be divided, we can practice a false religion, we can continue in sin, we can neglect to go to worship God, and we can choose to not be truly devoted to Him. However, as long as we claim “Christ as Lord” and occasionally tell people that we are “followers of Christ” or “believe in God” that we are “righteous” and heaven-bound. This is far from the truth. Jesus refutes these claims by teaching that we must not only call Him “Lord,” but fully trust and submit to His will in faithful obedience.
Are you one of the many who claims allegiance to Christ, and yet, upon honest examination of your life you know that your heart is far from Him? Let us help you learn about Christ and what it means to truly follow Him. Contact Bryan Garlock | Message us on Facebook | Call/text 903.308.4905
“You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him” (Deut. 13.4, ESV)
To walk indicates ongoing action. Therefore, walking after God demands ongoing worship toward Him and a willing heart to obey His commandments. Moses taught the Israelites that they were to continuously walk in service to God. They did not always do this and God ultimately punished those who chose not to keep Moses’ words. Let this be a lesson to us (Rom. 15.4).
Those who do not hold fast to Him walk in a direction contrary to His word. They are walking after this world. Sadly, their focus is on serving self rather than serving God. Christ said, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it” (Mark 8.35, ESV). Until we abandon the practice of living for self and walking after the desires of the world (losing ourselves for Christ), we cannot please our Heavenly Father.
Are we seeking to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 13.3) or are we seeking to satisfy ourselves? The latter is not walking after the Lord your God!
“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord” (Colossians 3.20, ESV)
There are two important points here.
First, as children we are to obey our parents in everything. Obviously, obedience in everything would not include sinful things, but things right in God’s sight. To obey our parents includes being respectful to them, honoring them, completing all the tasks they give us to do, etc. The way we treat our parents is an indicator of the way we will treat God.
Second, as children we are to obey our parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. We make our heavenly Father very happy when we choose to obey our parents. In fact, when we obey them, we obey God. The two go hand in hand.
Are you a child? Then this verse is for you!