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.
“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!
“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.
“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!
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.” (John 11.28-29, ESV)¹
¹Speaking of His sheep (disciples), Jesus gives all a beautiful promise – “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish” and “no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand”. Too often people claim that this means that His disciples cannot be lost.
The first problem is that this belief is built on a system of beliefs that state that the child of God cannot be lost (often referred to as once saved always saved), and the second problem is that this belief requires those who accept it to overlook the context of the verse in question and deny clear passages that teach a Christian can lose his salvation (see Gal. 5.4; James 5.19-20; Heb. 3.13; 2 Peter 2.20-22, etc.). Additioanlly, one has to overlook the fact that salvation and remaining saved is conditional.
For example, prior to giving this promise, Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 11.28, ESV). This implies that His disciples choose to “hear” and “follow”. To hear Jesus is to listen to all that He teaches and to follow Jesus is to obey all that He commands. Many people listen and yet do not follow (refuse to obey). The promise of eternal life does not apply to them. Many people claim to follow and yet do not listen (claim to have a relationship with Christ and yet live immoral lives). For example, Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6.46, ESV). The promise of eternal life does not apply to them.
Therefore, for all who listen and follow, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.”
If you’re interested in learning more about God’s will, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.