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.
“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’” (John 8.34-36, ESV)
Someone once said, “So long as a person is convinced He has no problem, He will seek no solution.” Therefore, people do not come to Jesus for forgiveness (the solution) because they do not believe they have a sin-problem.
However, the Bible teaches, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3.23, ESV). If you’re reading this, more than likely you have sinned (transgressed God’s law) and need salvation. Sin is the problem. Jesus’ cleansing blood is the answer. Since life is in the blood (Lev. 17.11) and death is because of sin (Rom. 6.23), choose life today! Choose to obey Jesus to be washed in His precious blood that saves (1 Peter 1.18-19, 22-23).
Obey Jesus today by being baptized upon your faith, repentance of sins, and confession of faith: “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” (Acts 22.16)
“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!
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3.16, ESV)¹
¹Jesus said, “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 7.21-23, ESV). Since we are to “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4.23, ESV) and “For as he thinks within himself, so he is” (Proverbs 23.7, ESV), it would do us well to protect and guard our hearts from sin entering in.
Peter wrote, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy…” (1 Peter 3.15). As we weed out the impurities in our life through repentance and abstinence of sin, we allow Christ and His word to have full reign in our hearts.
Brethren, is this something we are ever improving on? If you’re interested in learning about ways to allow God’s word and thankfulness for Him to dwell in your heart instead of the cares and pleasures of the world e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905. We will study with you anytime!
“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.” (Ephesians 4.28, ESV)¹
¹God has always been against theft. In fact, one of the ten commandments given by God was “you shall not steal” (Exodus 20.15, ESV). One of the reasons God hates stealing is because when we develop an evil desire for something earthly we replace God with that person or thing. Hence Jesus taught, “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 7.21-23, ESV). Notice that theft begins in the heart; ultimately taking the place of where God’s love and word is to reside.
Further, stealing is a result of covetousness; that is, “having or showing a great desire to possess something, typically something belonging to someone else”. When Satan knows that we desire possessions beyond what God has blessed us with, he will tempt us in many ways to gain those possessions. This is why God calls us to be content with what we have (1 Tim. 6.8) and to lay our treasures in heaven and not on earth where, interestingly, thieves break in and steal (Matt. 6.19-20)!
Finally, when we steal we do not love our neighbor (Rom. 13.9). Instead, God calls us to love our neighbor and to share with anyone in need.
There were Christians in Bible times who stole, though many repented (Rom. 2.21; Eph. 4.28; 1 Cor. 6.9-11), and unfortunately there will be Christians who steal today. Let us heed the warnings of Scripture because “the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (1 Thess. 5.2). We must always be prepared for the return of our Lord!
If you’re interested in learning more about God’s will and if you need help overcoming covetousness and the love of possessions and money so you can stop the sin of stealing, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matthew 5.7, ESV)¹
¹Jesus has called His disciples to be merciful toward those who have sinned against us. The reason being is because “as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Col. 3.13b, ESV).
Jesus told the apostles a story of a man who would not forgive (Read Matt. 18.21-35). Notice that mercy will not be shown to the person who does not show mercy. This is parallel to Jesus’ words, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6.14-15, ESV).
Are you holding a grudge? Are you bitter inside? Let us help you overcome these things. Only when one forgives is there true peace! E-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905 to learn more!