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.
“If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!”
As Paul closed His first letter to the Corinthians, he held nothing back. “Do you love Jesus or not?” “If you do not love Jesus, you will be accursed” – a thing devoted to destruction. (1 Cor. 16.22) While these words apply to all unbelievers, those within Paul’s audience were demonstrating their lack of love by fighting amongst themselves and living unholy lives. Thus, even believers who neglect to love Jesus as they should will suffer the same consequences as the unbeliever!
How, then, can I know if I love Jesus? Our Lord answers this: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14.15) Therefore, those who are not moved to obey the gospel do not love Him and deserve to be eternally cut off from the presence of the Lord.
As if Paul’s words were not direct enough, he stressed this coming curse by saying, “Our Lord, come!” Judgment is coming. Judgment will be executed. Fortunately, for those who love Jesus, grace will be with them (1 Cor. 16.23). Therefore, we must decide today where we will align ourselves. Will we be Jesus’ friend by our love for Him (John 15.14), or will we devote ourselves to destruction by choosing to become His enemy?
Contact us today if we can help you learn more about Christ. Call/text: 903.308.4905 or message us on Facebook.
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” (Gal. 5.25)
To live by the spirit is to “keep in step with the spirit,” “walk by the spirit,” (Gal. 5.16) or be “led by the Spirit” (5.18). To walk by the spirit is to “not gratify the desires of the flesh” for the spirit is against the flesh (5.16-17) and those who belong to Jesus have put sin (the flesh with its passions and desires) to death (5.24). Elsewhere Paul said, “So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Rom. 8.12-13)
Are you living by the Spirit? Are you practicing “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” (5.22-23). Paul taught, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Rom. 8.14)
“Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (Rev. 2.6, ESV)
Many people believe it does not matter what one believes. Specifically speaking, one will say that it does not matter since we all believe in Jesus and beyond that, we are all on the way to heaven, just taking different paths. However, are there multiple paths to heaven (see John 14.6)?
Interestingly, one will not find the mindset that it does not matter in Scripture. In fact, the Bible calls for unity of believers (John 17.20-23), unity of doctrine (Eph. 4.1-6), and claims that only the truth will set us free (John 8.32) – while error will damn us to hell (2 Thess. 2.10-12).
Jesus answers the error of taking the position that one may believe whatever they will if Jesus is forefront in their life by commending the church at Ephesus for hating the doctrine (or teachings) of the Nicolaitans (cf. Rev. 2.15) – an apostate group of people misleading the disciples. If one can believe whatever doctrine – regardless of whether it is biblical or not, and still be faithful to God, why did Jesus hate the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, and why did the church at Ephesus reject them?
We contend it is because one can believe a lie and be damned. Have you believed a lie? How would you know? You can test all Bible teachers against God’s word (Acts 17.11; 1 Thess. 5.21; 1 John 4.1, etc.), including this writer.
Here is one example. Many teach baptism does not save. Have you heard this? Do you believe it? Notice the apostle Peter’s words (a spokesmen and messenger of Jesus Christ): “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).
- The Bible teaches that baptism saves (Mark 16.16; Acts 2.38; 22.16, etc.).
- Many men say baptism does not save.
- Which one is the truth? Which source will you listen to? Will you believe a lie?
“…for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matt. 26.28, ESV)
In instituting the Lord’s Supper, Jesus told His disciples to divide amongst themselves the fruit of the vine which represented His blood which He shed on the cross for our sins. At this point, He had not yet voluntarily poured out His blood, but He explained to them that His blood would be “of the covenant” and “for the forgiveness of sins.”
By “of the covenant,” Jesus meant that His blood would enact the New Testament, or New Covenant, as the Old Covenant was to be done away with at the cross (Col. 2.14; Eph. 2.14-16, etc.). Therefore, we are to live in obedience to the covenant of Christ (His law) and no longer submit to the Law of Moses.
By “for the forgiveness of sins,” Jesus meant that His blood would be the cleansing power necessary to wash away our sins (cf. Rev. 1.5; 1 Peter 1.2, 18-19, etc.) and to purchase the church (Acts 20.28).
When do we have our sins washed away? Peter preached, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…” (Acts 2.38). Notice how baptism accomplishes exactly what Jesus’ blood would accomplish – forgiveness of sins. Consequently, when we are baptized into Christ (Rom. 6.3-4; Gal. 2.26-27; Eph. 5.26-27), we are washed in His cleansing blood. Ananias told Saul, “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” (Acts 22.16)
While all men are accountable to the new covenant, not all men will experience forgiveness of sins. That is because the promise of forgiveness of sins is only found in obedience to the new covenant.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1.1, ESV)
Christians have faith that God created the heavens and the earth (Heb. 11.6). However, atheists claim it is silly to put one’s faith in all-powerful being that could create this world. Interestingly, evolutionists claim that everything evolved over billions of years from nothing. Since evolutionists were not there to observe this process, their belief is just that – faith. Therefore, Christians and atheists both have faith; the Christian, in a Creator and the atheist, in nothing.
Is it reasonable to have faith that something came from nothing? For example, the device you’re holding or the computer you’re using to read this article did not come from nothing. It is impossible! In fact, the materials used to create your device had to already be available for inventors, engineers, and scientists – in other words, intelligent designers. If one was to argue that we can in fact create something from nothing, then they could not use the materials already available and they would have to start with nothing – but then they would have to be God to do that.
It is reasonable to believe in an all-powerful Creator. In fact, creation demands a creator. The question is, are you willing to serve your Creator and reap the blessings promised before the world was even created?