Spotlight On A Bible Verse: Ephesians 4:4-6
“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” When writing to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul reminded the Christians to “keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). In this letter, he did not merely tell them to be united, but by inspiration (I Cor. 14:37), he showed them (and us) the true “platform for unity” in the Lord’s church. If we are to be united, we need to respect the seven “one’s” (body, Spirit, hope, Lord, faith, baptism, and God) that needs to be among God’s people. These simple words are packed with meaning and truth that deserve more attention than we can devote in this short article. Just understand that when we remember the basis or foundation of religious unity, we will be able to withstand anything that Satan will throw at us! Satan tries to “divide and conquer” in order to get us away from Christ and devour us (I Pet. 5:8). Yet, in Christ, we have unity (Gal. 3:28) and victory (I Cor. 15:57)! Let us be active and fulfill Ephesians 4:3 by living Ephesians 4:4-6!
– Jarrod Jacobs
Spotlight On A Bible Verse: Acts 4:12
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” This verse is the end of a larger thought wherein Peter defended himself before the Sanhedrin for healing the lame man and preaching Christ (Acts 3). The Sanhedrin wanted to know what authority granted these men the right to heal the lame man (Acts 4:7). Acts 4:9-12 is the full answer. Verse 12 reminds us that salvation comes by no other “name” or authority than Christ! If anyone is to be saved, we will do it through the authority of Christ or not at all (Jn. 14:6; Col. 3:17). Buddha, Shinto, Mohammed, Confucius, Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, Aimee Semple McPherson, and anyone else has no authority on earth (Matt. 28:18). We will be saved by the teaching and authority of the Lord, or we will not be saved! It is as simple as that!
– Jarrod Jacobs
Spotlight On A Bible Verse: Romans 1:16-17
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” The apostle Paul declares the power of the gospel in his letter to the Romans. This is the power of God to save all men. Salvation is not reserved for a select, predestined few, but for all mankind. “To the Jew first and also to the Greek” tells us that all mankind has the opportunity to hear and obey if we will do it. Let us thank God that we have this blessing. We have the opportunity to be saved and can look forward to Heaven one day because of God and His love (Jn. 3:16). Let us not hide this message, nor be ashamed (II Tim. 1:8, 12), but speak out and live the gospel every day (I Pet. 4:11; Matt. 5:14-16). Much good will be accomplished, including saving ourselves and those who hear us (I Tim. 4:16)!
- Jarrod Jacobs
Calling On The Name Of The Lord
I am sure that our readers have heard people say words to the effect, “If you are not a Christian, all you need to do is call upon the name of the Lord, and you can be saved.” Some will teach that in order to be saved, you must say, “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner,” or similar things. Such teaching is a misapplication of what is said in Romans 10:13. There, the apostle Paul wrote, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” What does it mean to call on the name of the Lord? Let us read the context of Romans 10 and find out.
“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’ But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?’ So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:13-17).
Please notice that after the apostle Paul says we must call upon the name of the Lord to be saved, he asks a series of questions that point out what it means to call upon the name of the Lord. In order to call upon the name of the Lord, we must: 1) hear the gospel, 2) believe the gospel, and 3) obey the gospel! Therefore, calling upon the name of the Lord is a comprehensive thing, not simply saying the name, “Lord.” In Acts 2:21 we read the same phrase. Here, Peter quotes Joel 2:28-32. Peter shows that the events happening at this time on the day of Pentecost were a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy (v. 16). At this time, he said, “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).
What did he mean? Were they commanded to simply say, “Lord”? No! They were told to “hear these words” (Acts 2:22). Peter then proves that Jesus truly is the Son of God (v. 23-35), and said, “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). To “know for certain” is to believe. When the people asked what they needed to do to be forgiven of murdering the Son of God, Peter said, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins .... Then they that gladly received his word were baptized...” (Acts 2:38-41).
Therefore, when one calls upon the name of the Lord, he is simply obeying God’s plan of salvation to hear God’s word, believe that Jesus is the Son of God, repent and be baptized! Is this not simple? Of course, it is! Let this article be an encouragement to people to call upon the name of the Lord as the Bible directs before it is too late (II Pet. 3:9)!
“The Benefits Of The Gospel”
In the early days of the telephone, a man was hired who sold more phones than other salesmen. When the boss asked him how he did this, he said: “I tell potential customers that they can call their neighbor in their night clothes.” What is the point? It is that the BENEFITS to the customer are what sold the phone! Similarly, let us think about the Gospel of Christ and what benefits it has for us.
The salvation of souls is the greatest benefit of the Gospel! Paul said that the Gospel is God’s power to save (Rom. 1:16; I Cor. 15:1-2). We need to be saved from sin, and the gospel has the power to do it!
The Gospel provides knowledge concerning life (Matt. 10:28, II Cor. 4:16; Jas. 2:26). The Gospel declares that the Creator is God (Matt. 19:4; Acts 17:24-26), and that we can dedicate our lives to God or Satan depending on how we live (Matt. 7:13-14). In short, ALL things pertaining to life and godliness are found in the Gospel (II Pet. 1:2-3). Let us decide to acquire the knowledge God provides.
Another quality of the Gospel is its warnings. We are warned of the consequences of sin (Rom. 6:23), and against perverting the Gospel (Gal. 1:6-9; Rev. 22:18-19). We also see the consequences of refusing to obey the Gospel (Mk. 16:16; II Thess. 2:12).
Not only are we warned of things to avoid, but we are also told to strive for Heaven (Phil. 3:13-14; Jn 14:1-3)! It is the abode of God (Matt. 11:25; Acts 17:24). Passages like Revelation 7:16-17 give us a foretaste of what is to come to God’s faithful. Don’t you want to enjoy the benefits of the gospel?