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.
“You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him” (Deut. 13.4, ESV)
To walk indicates ongoing action. Therefore, walking after God demands ongoing worship toward Him and a willing heart to obey His commandments. Moses taught the Israelites that they were to continuously walk in service to God. They did not always do this and God ultimately punished those who chose not to keep Moses’ words. Let this be a lesson to us (Rom. 15.4).
Those who do not hold fast to Him walk in a direction contrary to His word. They are walking after this world. Sadly, their focus is on serving self rather than serving God. Christ said, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it” (Mark 8.35, ESV). Until we abandon the practice of living for self and walking after the desires of the world (losing ourselves for Christ), we cannot please our Heavenly Father.
Are we seeking to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 13.3) or are we seeking to satisfy ourselves? The latter is not walking after the Lord your God!
“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!
“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” (Romans 6.6, ESV).
The Bible calls all who have been born again to put the old man of sin to death and to put on the new man of righteousness (see Eph. 4.22, 24; Col. 3.9-10).
Paul taught that this putting off and putting on happens in baptism. Notice: “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” (Rom. 6.3-6).
It is only when we are raised with Christ after being buried with Him that we can “walk in newness of life” having put off our “old self”.
If you have not been baptized into Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, then you are still lost in sin. Choose today to put off that old man of sin “and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4.24)!
“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4.4-6, ESV)
It is obvious that we live in a religiously divided society. A quick drive down the road shows the multiplicity of churches and religions. Whatever you like, you can be sure there’s a church that is willing to accommodate. However, was this ever God's will or did He desire something else?
Paul shows us that we are to be united. By laying out the platform for unity, we are not left to wonder how we are to maintain unity. It is by our respect for the seven “one’s” that we can truly enjoy the unity God has provided in Christ.
- One Body – There is only one church which Christ will save, that is, His church, the church (body) of Christ.: Eph. 1.21-22; 5.23; Acts 20.28; Rom. 16.16
- One Spirit – There is one spirit that has revealed one revelation (or standard) and one plan of salvation for all of mankind to follow (Eph. 3.3-4; 2 Peter 1.3-4). Since the Holy Spirit guided the apostles into all truth (John 16.13) and since they wrote down the truth for our learning, then there are no more revelations or truth to reveal (Jude 3). Anyone who claims extra-biblical revelations stands in direct opposition to the one Spirit.
- One Hope – Those who are God’s children can hope (not wishful thinking, but an expectation) in heaven and eternal life (1 Peter 1.3-4).
- One Lord – There are no other masters to be served. Jesus is the one and only with all authority and power. It is only through Him that we can be saved, no one else (John 14.6; Acts 4.12).
- One Faith – Not many faiths (as the religious world tells us there are), but only one (Jude 3). Just as there is one gospel, there is one faith! Will you be obedient to the one faith (see Acts 6.7)?
- One Baptism – Paul says there is only one baptism. Therefore, if there is water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism today, then we have one too many baptisms. Thus, the one baptism is water baptism in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. It is the only baptism commanded in Scripture (Matt. 28.18-20; Mark 16.15-16; Acts 2.38; 8.16; 10.47-48; 22.16; Rom. 6.1ff; Gal. 3.26-27, etc.). Note: Holy Spirit baptism is not for us today, but was only for the apostles (John 14-16). Additionally, baptism “in the name of Jesus Christ” is, and has always been, water baptism (see Acts 2.38, etc.).
- One God and Father – There is only one true and living God; all other gods are false, man-made “spiritual beings” or crafted from wood or stone, and created in the mind of man. God was not created, but is eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, over all, and everywhere present, and He wants to be your Father! He wants to love you and shower you with blessings!
“Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity…” (Heb. 6.1, ESV)
To be bear fruit as disciples of Jesus, we must grow in His word (2 Peter 3.18). It is only when we are growing and abounding in God’s word, faith, and love that we can “go on to maturity”. In fact, one of Paul’s purposes of preaching and teaching was that “we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Col. 1.28).
Why, then, do we not sometimes see growth in our life or the lives of other Christians? In Hebrews, the writer identified many reasons for a lack of spiritual growth. Let us notice a few of them.
Hebrews 5.11-6.6 reads, “About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”
The Bible tells us that some had become dull of hearing (spiritual laziness in learning the word of God), had not grown enough (because they were stuck on a spiritual milk diet – the first principles of the Scriptures), would not allow the word to change them (where they could truly learn God’s will of what is right and wrong), and failed to “go on to maturity”, thereby leading some to fall away.
If we are not maturing in God’s word and if His love is not being perfected in us (see 1 John 2.5), then we are dull of hearing and are developing an unbelief that leads to falling away from God.
Can we help you grow to be a mature person in Christ? If you are not a disciple of Jesus, then first things first! Become a Christian by obeying the gospel and then let us help you. Contact us today! E-mail | Message us on Facebook | Call/text 903.308.4905