John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that we ought to be devoting considerable time getting to know our prospective bridegroom, like the Apostle Paul desiring to conform to Christ in every way before the marriage. This challenge becomes extremely complicated because. . .
The book of Hebrews teaches that our relationship to Christ as our Savior, High Priest, and King is the key to salvation. He shows us the way to the Father.
We cannot become weary of well-doing, allowing our first love to deteriorate, looking to the world for satisfaction. Here are 8 tests of our love for Christ.
John Ritenbaugh reminds us that we do not have immortality as a birthright (the lie which Satan told Eve), but that God is the sole source, making our relationship with God and God's judgment the most important focus of our life. One common denominator in . . .
John 1:1-3 reveals Jesus' pedigree as the Logos (Spokesman), whose function was to declare or reveal the Father. He had existed with His Father from eternity.
John Ritenbaugh, acknowledging that salvation cannot be earned or bought, reminds us that a gift is still a gift even though a condition has to be met. Meeting a condition does not (as Protestants would have us believe) change the character of a propositio. . .
In examining the letter to Laodicea, we can easily see to what extent a relationship deficit stands at its core. Beginning with the name, Laodicea means "the people judge." ...
In the unsettling letter to the Laodiceans, Jesus paints a picture of Himself in relation to the church that reveals His people care about other things.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the rather humble circumstances surrounding our calling, cautions us to avoid partiality in our judgments. Jacob, because of his favoritism of Joseph brought about untold jealousy and strife within his family. God judges impa. . .
The letter to Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-21), the Parable of the Faithful and Evil Servants (Luke 12:35-40), and the fifth chapter of the Song of Songs all picture Jesus Christ standing behind a door, waiting for His people to respond. ...
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the lyrics of Bob Dylan's war protest song in 1964 "With God on Our Side," analyzes the conundrums Dylan proposes, "If God is on our side, is He as murderous as we are?" "If God is really on our side,. . .
John Ritenbaugh explains the significance of "the fellowship of His sufferings" and "being conformed to His death" (Philippians 3:10). Christ's death had both a substitutionary and a representative aspect. The former pays for our sins, . . .
Christ endured many more than three temptations; rather, He was tested continuously, and perhaps the intensity increased as He neared the end of His life.
We tend to avoid acknowledging our weaknesses, but at some point, each of us will admit our powerlessness and inability to carry out God's will on our own.
While we are all different, we are all vulnerable to something, such as fear of deprivation, harm or shame. In response, we all create protective defense mechanisms.
John 15:4-5 in the Phillips translation gives us a great deal to consider: "You can produce nothing unless you go on growing in me. ...
Can a book like the Song of Songs contain prophecy that is applicable to today? Richard Ritenbaugh shows that, far from being just a book about married love, the Song of Songs relates to the present condition of the church.
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that the times we are about to go through will be unparalleled history, suggests that we need to keep our vision before us. We have the obligation to be loyal to Jesus Christ. We cannot, as our forebears did on the Sinai, harde. . .
Some know that Christ is at the door, but they will not rouse themselves from their spiritual lethargy to open it.
Living faith has its roots in fervently, diligently seeking God and His righteousness with intense desire (like a passionate lover) through habitual prayer.
John Ritenbaugh avers that the Book of Hebrews is "must" reading for all members of God's church who ardently seek the key for personal spiritual growth through a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ—the most important Being Who has ev. . .
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on John 17:3, maintains that to have eternal life we have to know God. Eternal life is to live a quality life as God lives, having developed an intimate relationship with God, living by ever-increasing faith. In order to develop t. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the estimated 50,000 "Christian" organizations currently extant, suggests that a tiny fraction of the world's people are following "the Way." Doctrinal purity, according to Jesus Christ, does not consist o. . .
Fruit is not produced immediately; it is produced only when a plant is both mature and stable enough that mere survival is no longer its top priority.
Our physical bodies, like the walled cities of ancient times, has a defense system to keep out invaders. Spiritually, how well do we maintain our defenses against error and contamination? John Ritenbaugh urges us to listen diligently to God's Word for true. . .
Austin Del Castillo, observing the ballooning prayer list, the continuing fractures occurring throughout the greater Church of God, and the high frequency of people offended, asserts that, unless our primary relationship is with God the Father and Jesus Ch. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on Jesus Christ's prayer for unity in John 17, insists that unity with our brethren is impossible without unity with God first. Adam and Eve severed this unity by yielding to Satan's influence, stimulating their minds with a nov. . .
Members of God's church usually come home from the Feast of Tabernacles with renewed spiritual vigor. Yet, we are painfully aware that some fall away each year. John Ritenbaugh shows that we must actively seek God and His righteousness to ensure that we wi. . .
Love doesn't become 'love' until we act. If we don't do what is right, the right feeling will never be formed; emotions are largely developed by our experiences.
John Ritenbaugh, in Number Eight of his series on the background of the Book of Hebrews, emphasizes that, although flesh withers like grass, the instruction (Torah) of God's Word is not "done away," but rather endures forever. Salvation comes thr. . .
John Ritenbaugh tackles the eternal security doctrine, a teaching that militates against good works, something that God had ordained for all of us. Works demonstrate our faith, our response to God's calling and His freely given grace. Reciprocity is always. . .
As he begins concluding his series, John Ritenbaugh writes that the offerings have a great deal to do with our relationship with God. How closely do we identify with Christ? Are we walking in His footsteps? Are we being transformed into His image?
John Ritenbaugh, re-iterating that internal evidence substantiates the high probability that the Apostle Paul authored the Book of Hebrews, stresses that Christ's ultimate goal is to bring the entire creation under the Father's subjection when God will be . . .
John Ritenbaugh, suggesting that most of us resemble the Samaritan woman in our understanding of the value of our calling, maintains that our relationship with God is our sole protection from carnal human nature and the deadly pulls of the world. Whatever . . .
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that God works in mysterious ways, assures us that, because of God's calling, we have a far clearer understanding of His purposes than those yet uncalled. Powered by the spirit in man, no individual is able to understand God, a. . .
Paul knew that only through strengthening his relationship with God was he able to both abound and be abased. When we are in trouble, we need to contact God first.
God has often used micro metaphors to illustrate macro events. For example, in Isaiah 1:4-6, God compares the whole nation of Israel to a sick patient with an incurable disease, signalling impending captivity. The church has been alternately compared to a . . .
John Ritenbaugh focuses on the Old Testament emphasis on the dwelling in booths and the sacrifices as the context for rejoicing (Leviticus 23:40-44). Even though the Feast is an interlude from our customary activities, it is not a vacation (a cessation fro. . .
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