God desires us to overcome our human nature and grow, but we tend to place major hurdles in the way of accomplishing this. This series of Bible Studies examines these impediments to overcoming.
In our relationship with God, we must emphasize principle over pragmatism. If we are led into deception, it is because our carnal nature wanted it that way.
Satan is capable of much greater complexity than man is. Still, we can envision how Satan deceives by considering some of the strategies in the world around us.
On the heels of self-deception and self-justification often comes self-righteousness. This obstacle to overcoming occurs when we set our own standards rather than God's.
Our world is full of lies and liars, and many in God's church are ignorant of just how much deceit is out there. Jesus tells us, however, that the best way to resist deception is being convicted of the truth.
Self-exaltation was one of the sins that got Satan in trouble—and we certainly do not want to follow his lead! Conversely, we are to humble ourselves so God can exalt us in due time.
Another impediment to overcoming our sins is self-justification. We tend to excuse ourselves for what we do, and this only makes it harder to become like God. He is more interested in our transformation than in how good we feel about ourselves!
In this companion piece to his "Willingness to Believe" message, Richard Ritenbaugh provides an effective antidote to gullibility and simple-minded credulity. Both tendencies emerge from time to time in the greater church of God. Like advertising. . .
David Grabbe reiterates that the term "god of this age" (II Corinthians 4:4) would be a colossal anomaly if Paul used it to refer to Satan. Except of the 2nd Century heretic, Marcion of Sinope, apostolic writers and early Church writers understoo. . .
Joseph Baity, commenting upon Google's nefarious desire to rank websites according to 'truthfulness,' points out that Google, along with any other search engine, government influenced or not, is hopelessly influenced by the Babylonian system, and is conseq. . .
The church of the Laodiceans is today's prevalent attitude. Is there hope? Can a Laodicean be in God's Kingdom?
In Part One, we learned that among the patterns woven through God's Word is a typical pattern of resistance against God, one that resides at the heart of every human sin: ...
Atonement, when we are commanded to afflict our souls through fasting, is a time of self-evaluation and repentance. This is the only way to have real unity with God.
English novelist and essayist, George Orwell wrote, "Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious." The claim of intelligence notwithstanding, sometimes it helps ...
David Grabbe, examining the saying, "ignorance is bliss," implying that a measure of peace may come to us if we do not know something that might be disturbing, cautions us that this ignorance is dangerous when it comes to the spiritual preparatio. . .
John Ritenbaugh, using the term "malignant narcissism" (from M. Scott Peck's book "People Of The Lie") to describe the blind Laodicean pride which denies our inherent sinfulness and imperfection by means of clever self-decptive quibblin. . .
The sin of pride underlies many of our other sins, and it is often the reason for the contentions we get into as brethren. John Ritenbaugh looks at the origins of pride and shows how it manifests itself in us.
Joseph Baity, reflecting on Marcellus,' oft-quoted pronouncement from Shakespeare's Hamlet, "something rotten in the state of Denmark," suggests that this aphorism has served as a shorthand for political corruption and intrigue in our culture. In. . .
God wants us to walk—live our lives—by faith, but our pride and vanity frequently get in the way. Critically, pride causes us to reject God and His Word.
In John 8:40, Jesus points out that, even though they were physically descended from righteous Abraham, the members of His Jewish audience acted as if Satan were their real father: "But now you seek ...
John Ritenbaugh, reminding us that political conspiracies have always been a part of our culture, citing four successful assassinations of Presidents and one resignation of a President forced out by a sinister political conspiracy, indicates that these con. . .
The world is so full of lying and other forms of deceit that "bearing false witness" has become a way of life for the vast majority of humanity. In discussing the ninth commandment, John Ritenbaugh reveals the relationship between telling the truth and fai. . .
If we are going to search for truth, we should not be seeking it in the philosophies of men, but rather in the fullness of truth found in God's revelation.
John Ritenbaugh indicts modern Israel for its blatant hypocrisy, playing games with God's truth. A community can only be established upon a foundation of stability and truth. The two most influential persons in any community are the preacher and king &mdas. . .
Christ cautions the Pergamos congregation to shun the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. The Church suffers when it harbors those who compromise and offend.
What is it to be poor in spirit? This attribute is foundational to Christian living. Those who are truly poor in spirit are on the road to true spiritual riches.
The Ninth Commandment: You Shall Not Bear False Witness.
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