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 he says, ‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6.2, ESV)
Have you ever put off completing a ten-page paper for English class? Have you ever put off completing your assignments for work or finishing that important project for the boss? Have you ever put off applying for something important like a job, college application, loan, etc.?
In some way or another, we have all put something off. Consequently, have we ever regretted putting something important off? Together, we can say, “Absolutely!” Why, then, is it that we put things off that we know affect our lives or the outcome to a situation? Two reasons come to mind: It is because we falsely believed we had plenty of time to do accomplish our goals at a different time and/or it is because we chose less important things, namely distractions, to fill our time.
God teaches us not to put off obeying Him. In fact, just as the examples used above, we can falsely believe we have enough time to obey God. In doing so, we fill our lives with other things of lesser importance and subsequently run out of time because of these distractions.
If you are planning to become a Christian tomorrow, next week, or next year, you falsely believe you have time to do it and/or you believe you have other things more important to accomplish before you can make such a commitment to God. Be warned, your time may run out! Do not believe that just because God has been longsuffering with you up until this point, that He will beyond this day.
Why is it so important to obey God today?
- James 4.13-15; Luke 12.16-21: Because with each day that goes by we are in danger of running out of time.
- Eph. 1.3; Rom. 8.1; 1 Peter 5.7, etc.: Because with each day that goes by that we are not obeying God we are not enjoying spiritual blessings in Christ.
- Heb. 3.7-11: Because with each day that goes by that we are not loving God, we are hardening our hearts against Him.
“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3.15)
The Bible tells us there is one Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (Eph. 4.5). He is to be the master and ruler of our lives. In fact, we are to empty our hearts of all things evil and sanctify Christ in our hearts, counting Him as Holy, filling our hearts with His word and love.
Those who accept Jesus as Lord have some obligations. If we believe that Jesus is the master of our lives, then we will believe that we are judged by His teachings. This will affect how we view the Scriptures and our obedience thereof.
For example, one who does not view Jesus as their Savior may still be in agreement with His teachings about murder or theft, etc.: “I would never do that!” However, for those of us who claim to be followers of Christ how do we respond to Jesus when He goes against everything we have ever believed? Our traditions? Our preconceived ideas? Or our desires?
The acid test of whether Jesus is Lord of our lives is when we obey God’s word even when it goes against what we want in this life. When Jesus says, “no,” do we still honor Him with our respect and obedience? Or do we elevate ourselves above God by creating a false God that will allow us to get away with the things we want to do?
*These thoughts are adapted from an article by Mark Dunugan.
“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!
“Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’”. (Ecclesiastes 12.1, ESV)¹
¹How can you remember your Creator in the days of your youth?
- By choosing to read and study your Bible.
- By choosing good friends and avoiding those who practice wickedness.
- By choosing to stand up for God when no one else will.
- By choosing to pray and be thankful to God throughout the day.
- By choosing to love your enemies instead of wanting to fight them.
- By choosing to serve others, be kind to them, and respectful to all.
- By choosing to obey your teachers and other authority figures.
- By choosing to listen to our parents, honor them, and obey their commands.
There are many other things a young person can do to remember his or her Creator; however, we must maintain these things or else as we grow and experience sin and its deceptive motive, we have no desire for the things of God.