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.
“Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (Rev. 2.6, ESV)
Many people believe it does not matter what one believes. Specifically speaking, one will say that it does not matter since we all believe in Jesus and beyond that, we are all on the way to heaven, just taking different paths. However, are there multiple paths to heaven (see John 14.6)?
Interestingly, one will not find the mindset that it does not matter in Scripture. In fact, the Bible calls for unity of believers (John 17.20-23), unity of doctrine (Eph. 4.1-6), and claims that only the truth will set us free (John 8.32) – while error will damn us to hell (2 Thess. 2.10-12).
Jesus answers the error of taking the position that one may believe whatever they will if Jesus is forefront in their life by commending the church at Ephesus for hating the doctrine (or teachings) of the Nicolaitans (cf. Rev. 2.15) – an apostate group of people misleading the disciples. If one can believe whatever doctrine – regardless of whether it is biblical or not, and still be faithful to God, why did Jesus hate the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, and why did the church at Ephesus reject them?
We contend it is because one can believe a lie and be damned. Have you believed a lie? How would you know? You can test all Bible teachers against God’s word (Acts 17.11; 1 Thess. 5.21; 1 John 4.1, etc.), including this writer.
Here is one example. Many teach baptism does not save. Have you heard this? Do you believe it? Notice the apostle Peter’s words (a spokesmen and messenger of Jesus Christ): “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).
- The Bible teaches that baptism saves (Mark 16.16; Acts 2.38; 22.16, etc.).
- Many men say baptism does not save.
- Which one is the truth? Which source will you listen to? Will you believe a lie?
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov. 16.18, ESV)
Pride is a dangerous thing. It causes us to have an envious mindset, to think higher of ourselves than we ought to (as if we are superior to others), to refuse to forgive or to ask for forgiveness, to play the victim when confronted with our sins, to be unwilling to be corrected (even to the point of ridiculing the person offering the correction), or to refuse to obey the gospel (a prideful man sees no reason to obey or ask for forgiveness).
There is nothing wrong with being proud of or taking pride in your work and your accomplishments. There should be a sense of healthy respect for yourself in how you behave, dress, and fulfill your duties. However, if we put our deeds on display to be seen by others, we have lost the battle to the “pride of life” offered by Satan (1 John 2.15-17).
Solomon tells us that there are seven things God hates, one of which is “a proud look” (Prov. 6.16-19, KJV) or “haughty eyes” (ESV). This is commonly known as “pride”. If God hates those who have an unhealthy and high opinion of oneself, we can be sure that destruction will follow.