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.
“in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began” (Titus 1.2, ESV)¹
¹Prior to the creation of this world, eternal life in Christ Jesus was authored by God. This demonstrates just how much He loves us!
John says, “And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life” (1 John 2.25, ESV). Only those who obey Jesus have this hope of eternal life. In fact, Jesus said “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life” (John 5.24, ESV).
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19.10, ESV)¹
¹Why did Jesus come to this earth? There are many reasons. Here are just a few.
- To reveal His Father (John 1.18).
- To be an example for His followers (1 John 2.6).
- To train His disciples for their task (Matt. 28.19-20).
- To preach the gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 4.17).
In our text, we learn that Christ came to seek and to save the lost – us (Rom. 3.23).
Why? Because He loves us! Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15.13, ESV).
If you want to learn more about why Jesus came to this earth, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
“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.
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3.1, ESV)
Let us examine two separate points about our text.
First, if you have not been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2.38; 22.16) then this verse does not apply to you. Someone argues, “Not true. The verse says nothing about baptism and baptism does not save.” This argument overlooks the context of Colossians chapters two and three. Notice chapter two along with parallel passages:
“In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses…” (Colossians 2.11-13, ESV)
Notice at least two ingredients to being raised with Christ: faith in the powerful working of God, the resurrection of Christ, and baptism!
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 6.3-11, ESV).
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…” (Eph. 2.1-8, ESV)
Notice the point of these passages. One is lost in sin and then obeys the gospel by being baptized into Christ, having his sins washed away (Acts 2.38; 22.16), that is, being made alive together with Christ (Col. 2.13; Rom. 6.8, 11; Eph. 2.5), and ultimately being “raised” with Him to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6.4).
Hence why Paul said, “If then you have been raised with Christ….” Friend, if you believe that Paul is not speaking about being raised with Christ after dying with Him and being buried with him in baptism, then you are not being honest with the texts above or the immediate context in Colossians chapters two and three. Friend, if you believe baptism does not save, you have believed a lie (2 Thess. 2.10-12)!
Peter, an inspired apostle of Jesus Christ contradicts all the false teachers who teach baptism does not save: “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)
Second, if you have been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, then you have an obligation to the Lord:
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3.1-4, ESV).
We seek the things above and set our minds on the things above by putting sin to death and being conformed to the image of our dear Lord (See Colossians 3.5-17). Are we doing just that?
If you have not been baptized and are interested in learning more about salvation contact me. Maybe you have been baptized, but were baptized believing baptism did not save you and that you were already saved prior to immersion. Notice above that we are baptized into Christ, made alive together with Him and are raised with Him in baptism. These are all truths that do not apply to the believer until he or she is baptized. Therefore, if you see the truth today that baptism does play an essential role in your salvation, be baptized in His name for the forgiveness of your sins! E-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25.46, ESV)¹
¹It has been said that the word “eternity” is the longest word in the Bible. Since we are time bound people, we do not understand what constitutes eternity. Our understanding of an average lifespan of 70-80 years is literally nothing in comparison to eternity. James taught, “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4.14, ESV).
Eternity is not measure as we measure time. There is no seconds, hours, days, months, or years; it is a place without beginning or end. Simply put, we cannot even begin to perceive the concept of eternity.
Where will you spend eternity? The way we live presently determines that outcome. Jesus says that the unrighteous (those who disobey) will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous (those who obey in faith) into eternal life.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to serve God and prepare for eternity, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.