The first parable of Matthew 13 lays the groundwork (pun intended) for the remainder of the chapter. Martin Collins explains the various soils upon which the seed of the gospel falls, and the reasons why growth—or its lack—results.
God spreads His Word liberally among the world's people. Besides God's direct involvement in converting people, the difference between one growing in it and another "dying on the vine" is the soil in which the Word is planted, explained in Jesus' Parable o. . .
The Bible, in both parables and prophecies, interprets itself and remains consistent in its use of symbols. We cannot arbitrarily attach meaning to symbols.
The Mustard Seed parable is commonly interpreted as an illustration of church growth. However, rightly dividing the word of truth shows a sobering reality.
Matthew 13 contains more parables than any other chapter in the Gospels. What many fail to realize is that they are related in theme and organized to teach Christians specific lessons. Martin Collins explains that they provide a prophetic summary of the de. . .
Bible students do not often consider Christ's parables to contain intrigue, but His Parable of the Wheat and the Tares has its share! Martin Collins explains this story of a sinister enemy sowing his agents among the saints.
Most commentators see this parable as a positive message of the growth of the church. However, deeper study shows that they have it exactly backward!
Like its physical counterpart, spiritual growth happens slowly. A newly baptized Christian will not produce the fruit of the spirit as easily as a mature one.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Deuteronomy 30:19-20, reminds us that we are called to a lifetime of decisions and judgments. We have problems with judging fellow brethren in different groups of the greater Church of God, of which at least three claim to be t. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, commenting on the dry and hard clay in South Carolina, a real challenge to cultivate, identifies some grounds of comparison Christ cites between ourselves and clay (soil). In the Parable of the Sower, Christ describes 1.0) hard, impenet. . .
Drawing an analogy between kudzu and the thorns in the Parable of the Sower, Mike Ford shows how we have to "weed out" detrimental habits that choke our lives. If we want to produce quality fruit, we must weed the garden!
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on God's creation of plants (Genesis 1:11-13), observes that God demonstrates His practicality and efficiency by establishing the genotype within the seed capable of infinite reproduction. God also gave humans the means to master . . .
In Part One, we saw how important listening is in God's Word and therefore how vital it is for Christians to establish an attitude and habit of hearing. ...
David Grabbe, taking issue with nominal Christianity's faulty doctrine of dominion theology (the belief that it is the Church's responsibility to spread God's Kingdom before Jesus Christ returns), using the "kingdom as leaven" parable as proof, t. . .
John Ritenbaugh insists that the ability to do miracles does not identify a speaker as a representative of God, especially if the signs entice one to depart from the Word of God. Jesus warns that if we ask God for protection from demonic influence, we cann. . .
When Solomon visits the Temple, he comes away from his observations of the worshippers with a sense that too many treat religion far too casually and carelessly, forgetting that they are coming before the great God. As John Ritenbaugh explains, Solomon adm. . .
No act is insignificant because of two "natural" principles: the tendency for increase and what is sown is reaped. John Ritenbaugh shows that in regard to sin and righteousness, these principles play major roles in our lives.
God's calling and predestination can be confusing, especially the verse that 'many are called, but few are chosen'. Why does God not just choose everyone?
James Beaubelle reminds us that, if it were not for the ability to change, we could never grow to become like Christ. We may begin our journey on shifting sand, but we must end on the solid mountain. Not all change on our part is productive, especially if . . .
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.
Ronny Graham, drawing some comparisons from the example of the town crier who provided the sole means of news and communication for the relatively illiterate society of Medieval Britain, reminds us that hearing is also a large part of our Christian lives. . . .
Time—it marches relentlessly on, and we have only so much of it. Yet we waste a lot of it on foolish pursuits, procrastination and distractions. John Ritenbaugh explains how getting control of our time puts us in the driver's seat in our pursuit of G. . .
Why does God want us to keep the Feast of Tabernacles? John Ritenbaugh shows that the Feast is far more than a yearly vacation!
John Ritenbaugh warns that having anxiety, foreboding and fretting about physical provisions (food, clothing, and shelter) and to be distracted or distressed about the future (Matthew 6:34) demonstrates a gross lack of faith and is totally unworthy of our . . .
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