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.
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6.44, ESV)¹
¹Many appeal to John 6.44 as proof text that the only way to come to Jesus is for God the Father to draw them. In fact, one may hear exactly this language from preachers and teachers and rightfully so because the language is biblical. The problem is in the way they interpret this passage. Many believe Jesus is saying that there is an irresistible "drawing power" that is applied by the direct operation of the "Holy Spirit." However, there are two problems with this interpretation. First, the Holy Spirit is not even mentioned in the passage. Second, it assumes that the Holy Spirit draws someone separate and apart from God's word; that is, through feelings or "personal experiences" where the Holy Spirit irresistibly "drew them to God." One could possibly concede that this is true if it did not contradict other passages within Scripture and if the Lord Himself did not explain what He meant. After Jesus told them that they could not come to Him unless the Father draws them, He taught, "It is written in the Prophets, 'And they will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me" (John 6.45, ESV). Therefore, Jesus tells us exactly what He meant by being drawn to Him by the Father - those who have heard and learned (and that through His revelation of Jesus, the Bible) from the Father. Since faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10.17), I cannot have faith or be drawn to the Son of God without first hearing it and learning of it from God's revealed word.
The gospel is calling us to obey Jesus today (2 Thess. 2.14; 1.8). If you're interested in learning more e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2.21, ESV).¹
¹Before Jesus left this earth, He told the apostles that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations…” (Luke 24.47, NKJV).
Therefore, on the day of Pentecost Peter told everyone that they needed to prepare for the coming judgment by “calling on the name of the Lord”. There is a misunderstanding in the religious world about this statement. What exactly did he mean?
After preaching the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Peter told the convicted murderers (Acts 2.36-37), “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…” (Acts 2.38, ESV). Obviously, Peter did not preach anything different in verse 38 than he did in verse 21. Both require the same authority, the name of Jesus Christ, and both end with the same result, salvation.
When the Jews asked what they must do (Acts 2.37), Peter explained by inspiration exactly what he meant. Therefore, it must be understood that to “call on the name of the Lord” to be saved is explained by “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins....”
No wonder Saul was later told, “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22.16, ESV).
Have you called on the name of the Lord to be saved? It is not a verbal calling (as in a “sinner’s prayer” – which has no Scriptural support), but a calling on the Lord in baptism for the forgiveness of sins (cf. 1 Peter 3.21; Heb. 10.22). If you’re interested in learning more about what is required to be saved, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16.16, ESV)¹
¹There are at least five different views of Mark 16.16. Let us examine them all.
View #1: “He who believes and is baptized will not be saved.”
- Those who believe this view: Atheists, Muslims, Jews, etc.
- Why? Because they do not believe in God or the Bible.
- Problem with this view: There is a God and His majesty and existence is seen in the creation of this world (Psalm 19.1; Rom. 1.19-20).
View #2: “He who does not believe and is not baptized will be saved.”
- Those who believe this view: Universalist [one that claims all will be saved].
- Why? Ultimately, because they cannot believe in a God that would send anyone to hell.
- Problem with this view: God says some will be saved and others will be lost: Matt. 7.13-14, 21-23; Rom. 6.23, etc.
View #3: “He who does not believe and is baptized will be saved.”
- Those who believe this view: Catholics, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc.
- Why? This view means infant baptism. They believe babies are born in sin and therefore they must be baptized to be saved (where’s the Scripture?).
- Problem with this view: The Bible says one must hear (Rom. 10.17), believe (John 8.24), repent of sins (Acts 2.38), and confess Jesus (Rom. 10.9-10) before one may be baptized. Can a baby do any of that?
View #4: “He who believes and is not baptized will be saved.”
- Those who believe this view: Baptist, Methodist, Lutherans, etc.
- Why? They do not believe baptism is necessary for salvation. However, they believe salvation is by “faith alone”.
- Problem with this view: Jesus said baptism is essential in Matt. 28.18-20. James said we are not saved by “faith only” (James 2.24). Since Jesus requires faith (John 3.16), repentance (Luke 13.3), and confession (Matt. 10.32-33), then one cannot be saved by “faith alone”.
View #5: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.”
- Those who believe this view: Those who believe Jesus, the Son of the living God.
- Why? Because they want to listen to Jesus (Matt. 17.5), obey Jesus (Luke 6.46), and be saved by Jesus (John 14.6).
- Problem with this view: None. This is the only view that quotes Jesus. The truth is, salvation and forgiveness of sins is found in baptism in the name of Jesus (Acts 2.38; 22.16; Gal. 3.27, etc.).
If we our honest with God’s word, we can see that Jesus’ words are truth and are in opposition to the views of the religious world. This raises the questions, "Which view is a lie?" and "Have you believed a lie?"
What is your view of Mark 16.16? Let me know. If you’re interested in learning more about the different views of Mark 16.16 e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.
“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe…” (Hebrews 12.28, ESV)¹
¹God has given us so much to be thankful for. In our text, the Christians were to be grateful for receiving the prophesied kingdom that was impossible to destroy (Isaiah 2.2-4; Dan. 2.44; Acts 2, etc.). Even Jesus said that “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16.18). The result of receiving this kingdom is to offer God acceptable worship and this worship is conditioned upon reverence and awe [godly fear] (cf. John 4.24).
Because “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col. 1.13), we ought to be thankful in prayer (Eph. 1.15-16; Heb. 13.15), in song (Col. 3.15-16), and in our daily walk as Christians (1 Peter 2.9).
If you’re interested in learning more about the kingdom God has given us please e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905. We would love for you to become a citizen of His kingdom today (Eph. 2.19; Phil. 3.20)!
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." (1 Peter 5.10, ESV)¹
¹Contextually, Peter wrote about the suffering that his readers were experiencing and would continue to experience. Though these saints were being grieved by various fiery trials, their genuineness of faith was being tested (1 Peter 1.6-9; 4.12, etc.). In other words, remaining faithful in a dark world will involve hardship, and even more so, remaining faithful through suffering proves our commitment to God. In reality, it separates those who love the Lord and those who give Him lip service.
However, to help these suffering saints endure these trials Peter instructs them how to conduct themselves throughout their life here on earth and builds them up by reminding them of the promises of God to deliver them in the end (please read both 1 and 2 Peter for these instructions and promises). This helps explain our text at hand. Simply put, Peter's point is after we have been tested and found to be genuine that the God of all grace will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us. In other words, we will receive the end of our faith - the salvation of our souls (1 Peter 1.9). What great promises! We may have many hardships that we must endure, but our Father who calls us to His eternal glory in Christ says this is just for a little while, and does not compare to the eternity that awaits us (see 1 Peter 1.6; 2 Cor. 4.17; Rom. 8.18).
Are you in Christ (Gal. 3.26-27)? If we suffer, Peter instructs us not to suffer as a sinner, but as a Christian who has entrusted himself to a faithful Creator (1 Peter 4.12-19). If you want be comforted with the peace that only Christ can give you, e-mail Bryan Garlock or text 903.308.4905.