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.
“Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.” (Acts 8.4, ESV)¹
¹In the context, Christians were dealing with persecution including prison time, beatings, and/or death (See the books of Acts). Despite this, Christians went about preaching the word. In fact, since the Christians were so diligent in teaching others, Luke recorded in Acts that the church multiplied by the thousands and yet persecutions abounded!
What’s our excuse for not teaching others? Is it the television? Coming home after a long day and putting up our feet to watch T.V. sounds great. Is it the internet? Spending time surfing the net and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter is very relaxing. Is it tiredness? Indeed, forty to fifty hours a week at work can be exhausting. Too many activities? Little Johnny has soccer, Suzie has softball, Bobby has piano lessons, Bill has chess club, etc. Of course, these activities are necessary.
Surely one can see the sarcasm above. Simply put, we put too much before our God. We focus on the wrong things. We fill our lives with so much that we neglect spiritual things. If we find ourselves not teaching sinners, isn’t it time we examine our lives and discover what we need to eliminate to make time?
Perhaps time is not the issue. Perhaps a lack of knowledge is the reason why we do not teach. What are we doing about that, brethren? Are we diligently studying? Are we seeking to learn God’s word to teach our family or friends?
Here are the facts: If Christians in the first century lived in a time with no electricity and no modern-day comforts, and dealt with constant hardship due to persecution and yet still taught sinners, then God will not accept our excuses of being too tired, wanting to watch our favorite television shows, or that little billy has football practice every afternoon, etc. It is scary how many of us will be using those excuses on judgment day!
“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!
“Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4.18, ESV)¹
¹The apostle Paul desired that no one be torn down in their faith, but rather built up (Eph. 4.29; Rom. 14-15.1-7, etc.). One way to build each other up is to encourage one another with God’s word. In the context of 1 Thess. Chapter 4, Paul was encouraging the brethren with the truth about the return of Jesus.
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thess. 4.13-18).
As Christians let us always seek to encourage one another by keeping our actions and speech pure, but also by teaching one another from God’s word!
Do you need encouragement from God’s word? At the Franklin Drive church of Christ we always seek to speak the things of God that bring about peace, unity, encouragement, and love. Please contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about God’s will for your life! E-mail Bryan Garlock, message us on Facebook, or text 903.308.4905.
“Judge not, that you be not judged.” (Matthew 7.1, ESV)¹
¹Too often people stop with verse one of Matthew chapter seven. It is as if they do not know that verses 2-6 even exist. Jesus’ point is that if we are going to judge someone, we must make sure the log has been taken out of our eye before focusing on the speck in our brother’s eye. That is how we judge with righteous judging (John 7.24). Additionally, God’s word has already made the judgments. Those who teach sinners to obey Jesus are simply restating what God has already stated in His word and has authorization to do so (Mark 16.15; Matt. 28.19; etc.).
Below are some ways people use Matthew 7.1 along with the translation.
- "Only God can judge me" translation "leave me alone so I can sin".
- "You don't know my heart" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "We all sin" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "God knows my heart" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "Don't push your religion on me" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "I thought Jesus said, 'Don't judge'" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "Don't cast stones" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "You are judging" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "God is love" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "That's your interpretation" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "Why do you care?" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "No one likes a Bible thumper" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "Don't talk to me about religion" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
- "You have a holier than thou attitude" translation "leave me alone so I can sin."
What’s your excuse to continue in sin? If you want to be left alone so you can continue in sin, then God will leave you alone after the judgment.
If you’re interested in learning more about God’s will, we would be more than happy to help you. Our goal is to live righteous lives so that we can properly help you overcome sin in your life too. E-mail Bryan Garlock, message us on Facebook, or text 903.308.4905 to study with us!
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1.6-7, ESV)¹
¹This writer recently went to a funeral where the speaker claimed that “it does not matter what faith you are as long as Jesus is your Savior” (paraphrased). However, the Bible teaches us the complete opposite. It is sad that this man claims to speak for God and yet he spoke something that God did not say.
Paul, an inspired apostle of Jesus told the 1st century Christians that there was no other gospel. In fact, he even taught that there is only “one faith” (Eph. 4.5) whereas the gentlemen above spoke as if there are many faiths. Admittedly, while there are many “faiths” as seen in the religious world, God only approves of one. [Note: “the faith” is the same thing in Scripture as the gospel. If there are many faiths, there are many gospels. For a study of this, please contact us.]
Paul continued, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1.8-9, ESV). Notice that he repeated himself and that his words bring serious consequences! It matters what we believe! We cannot just claim to believe one thing either not taught in Scripture or contrary to Scripture and then claim to be a follower of Jesus! If we are following Jesus it is because we are listening to Him and obeying His will on His terms.
Please understand that the world and false teachers will tell you that you can religiously believe and practice whatever you want, but the Bible teaches otherwise. The question is, “Will you accept what the Bible says or will you be like those who believe a lie?” (See 2 Thess. 2.10-12)