Hardly anyone is willing to take responsibility for his actions. Are people innocent when leaders lead them astray? Can we rightly blame others for our actions?
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 the book of Ezekiel, God exposes the falsehood behind a common Israelite proverb that earlier generations should be blamed for the present pitiful state.
Last Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of the horrific church shooting in Brookfield, Wisconsin. On that fateful day, Terry Ratzmann entered the rented, hotel meeting room and opened fire with a semiautomatic pistol. A minute later, 22 rounds had been. . .
The sins of our forebears have affected us. In the enigmatic incident in II Samuel 21:1-6, David was prevailed upon to turn over seven descendants of Saul to be executed in retribution for Saul's genocidal treatment of the Gibeonites. To be sure, the Gibeo. . .
All of the sufferings in the present had their origin in the Garden of Eden when our parents sinned, seemingly in secret. The effects of sins radiate outward.
Jesus Christ did not preach collective salvation and did not remove the responsibility from any of us for overcoming or qualifying for His kingdom.
John Ritenbaugh warns us against blaming our sins on something other than ourselves. God holds us personally responsible for our part in any sin (James 1: 12-16). Joseph's example proves that even the most difficult temptation can be resisted and overcome,. . .
Do we tend to shirk responsibility by 'passing the buck'? David Maas explores why we do this and proposes a solution for shouldering our responsibilities—and growing in character.
God gave Adam and Eve a neutral spirit and free moral agency; they chose the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, predisposing their offspring to sin.
Spiritually, male and female have equal potential. Rights and legalities are far less important than spiritual development, subject to God-ordained gender roles.
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. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh reminds us that war has personally touched only a fraction of Americans. Not since the aftermath of the 'Civil' War has any part of the nation suffered the ravages of war and the bitterness of defeat. The offspring of Jacob, for the most. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that (1) not all flesh is the same, nor is all spirit the same either. God's Holy Spirit is the only variety of Spirit guaranteed eternal life; the other forms of spirit, including angelic beings like Satan the devil, are subject. . .
John Ritenbaugh, cuing in on Romans 8:31-39, cautions us that the study of Ecclesiastes, a work composed by a highly gifted man, was intended for those mature in the faith. Even those with God's Spirit find the book to be difficult, and discover that life . . .
Martin Collins affirms that the contrite or broken-hearted person finds special favor with God, and a humble or contrite spirit is indeed a precursor to forgiveness and spiritual healing. No offering without a sincere, contrite, genuine, and humble heart i. . .
John Ritenbaugh clarifies that, in terms of salvation, grace and works are mutually exclusive (Ephesians 2:8-10), but good works are the result (or the fruits) of God's creative efforts. Grace frees one; works prove that one has been freed. Grace (or the g. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that biblical history substantiates that God does not always have the church perform the same functions continually, but sometimes drastically alters the course according to needs and conditions. The perceived detours are necessa. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh warns that these laments contain little that is jovial or uplifting, but instead are saturated in despair, sorrow, mourning, and even recrimination against God on the part of a personified Jerusalem, whom God depicts as a grieving widow,. . .
John Ritenbaugh, cuing in on Psalm 73:1-9, describing the despair of someone seeing the wicked prosper while the righteous suffer, affirms that it is a delusion that people in the world are leading comfortable lives. Christian living, while not comfortable. . .
John Ritenbaugh admonishes the greater church of God that we make a conscious effort to feed the flock (devoting more effort, time, energy, and money than for preaching the Gospel as a witness for the world) until we get ourselves straightened out first. T. . .
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