The apostle Peter provides valuable insight on the place of Christian suffering: "For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. . . ."
If we are merely seeking a crown of glory, hoping to skirt by Christ's suffering, we must ask ourselves whether we really accept the Passover cup.
Even suffering that may not be as a direct result of our faith is part of the trials of this age. It will bear positive fruit if it is approached in faith.
Even while in the process of being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus showed mercy on the stricken Malchus, healing his detached ear. Martin Collins continues to explore this incident in the life of Christ, showing that He was true to His Father's. . .
Martin Collins, asking why Christians must endure such horrendous persecution and struggle, asserts that Paul warned in Acts 5 that the church would always be in danger of deception from within and opposition from without. "Opposition from without&quo. . .
Our lives must be totally wrapped up in Christ, exemplifying His character. As we overcome, taking the same steps as Christ did, we will receive His reward.
As we follow the pattern set by Jesus Christ, we will suffer as God prepares us for roles of great glory as members of His Family.
We have all seen "WWJD?" on bracelets, T-shirts, and the like. Perhaps a better question to ask is, "What Did Jesus Do?" because He left us the perfect example of godly living in the four gospels!
Martin Collins suggests that we live in a society that paradoxically feels no shame for its dishonesty and deceit, but feels profoundly ashamed of God and His way of life. It is axiomatic that those who follow God's ways will suffer ridicule or persecution. . .
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, . . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that Christ's sacrifice was not merely substitutionary, but representative, with Christ giving us a pattern to live our lives- mortifying our flesh and putting out sin. From this pattern, we realize that living righteously does n. . .
Martin Collins, asking whether suffering and sorrow come upon those whom God the Father or Jesus Christ loves, identifies four distinct Old Testament Messianic prophecies fulfilled by Christ's death and all cited by the Apostle John. They include (1) the d. . .
John Ritenbaugh stresses that sacrifice (as an act and as a way of life) is absolutely necessary for the working out of God's plan. In taking undue attention off the self, sacrifice creates peace, prosperity, cooperation, and most of all, character. As cal. . .
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 Ritenbaugh, using athletic running metaphors, emphasizes that we, like the Apostle Paul, must discipline ourselves, apply concentrated effort, and run with endurance to attain our reward or office (not to attain salvation, as some anti-nomian teachers. . .
Martin Collins, observing that, in the first five books in the Bible, there are no statements of "Thank you," nevertheless reminds us that the thank offerings in Leviticus 21:29 indicate that thanksgiving has a singularly profound meaning. King D. . .
As God has designed the physical healing process, God has also designed spiritual healing, requiring that faith, suffering, and healing be part of the same process.
John Ritenbaugh contends that our pilgrimage began with our calling and ends with our destination in the Kingdom of God as members of His Royal Priesthood. It seems to have been God's choice to call foolish, base, and despised individuals to confound the w. . .
How do we, as modern Christians, bear our cross as Jesus commands? He meant far more than simply carrying a stake over our shoulders! This article shows how vital denying ourselves and taking up our cross is in following Christ.
Persecution and martyrdom are not popular topics among Christians today, but they are facts of Christian life. Richard Ritenbaugh explains the fifth seal's cry of the martyrs and God's response.
Martin Collins, reiterating that Romans 8 provides assurance that we are of God, asks us to consider that the sufferings we go through now are miniscule compared to the glory which we will later receive, completely eclipsing the glory of Adam and Eve befor. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the analogy or metaphor of wilderness wanderings, focuses on the role of suffering or persecution (pressure) in perfecting the saints. God the Father perfected Jesus Christ (our Elder Brother, High Priest, and Mediator) throu. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh acknowledges that although many in God's church have gone through sore trials and tests of sorts, virtually no one has gone through the nightmarish persecutions suffered by the early Christians in Imperial Rome. Because most of us have l. . .
Affliction is a necessary aspect of life, yielding strength of character, while ease and comfort weaken us. Christ was perfected as High Priest through suffering.
Martin Collins, realizing that most people, both outside and inside the church, crave assurance , avers that we can have assurance that we are God's heirs and offspring if we are led by the spirit, remaining on the sanctified path of fellowship, growing co. . .
The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the Apostle Paul, in this prison epistle, conveyed to the Philippians his optimism that the apparent misfortune was actually a blessing, actually enabling Paul to magnify his effectiveness, enabling more fruit to be borne. P. . .
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. ...
Martin Collins, focusing on Paul's third trial before a secular ruler, following the inconclusive decisions before Felix and Festus, points out that King Agrippa was of a more decisive character. He sought to implement Paul's appeal to Caesar without delay. . .
John Ritenbaugh observes that Hebrews is addressed to a people living at the end of an era, who were drifting away, had lost their first love or devotion, and were no longer motivated by zeal. Through lack of prayer, Bible study, and meditation, they had i. . .
Bill Onisick, focusing on the concept of the bread of affliction in Deuteronomy 16:3, admonishes us that the unleavened bread we consume consists of purity without hypocrisy, similar to a perfect gem held up to the sunlight. We have been de-leavened, but w. . .
The Father and the Son are two distinct beings, not co-equal as the trinity doctrine proclaims, but with the Son deferring to the Father in all things.
Richard Ritenbaugh, focuses again on Book Two, aligned with Exodus, Ruth, and Pentecost, emphasizing the wave loaves made of beaten down flour with leavening and baked with intense heat—loaves which symbolize us and our preparation for the Kingdom of. . .
Persecution is not a subject we normally like to think about, but it is a fact of life for a Christian. John Ritenbaugh explains why Jesus says we are blessed if we are persecuted for righteousness' sake.
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 warns that the sheer variety of choices (distractions) available to us today (with their potential accompanying temptations and enervating time-wasting diversions) is extremely stressful because it automatically increases sin and lawlessnes. . .
Martin Collins, asking us if we have ever wanted to give up from our deluge of trials, reminds us that our predecessors have had similar sentiments. The conversion of the apostle Paul, his subsequent training, and lengthy service was not a walk in the park. . .
Martin Collins, reflecting that Satan's perverted desire to ascend to the apex of the universe was totally opposite to Jesus Christ's desire to empty Himself of His divinity, becoming a human being and assuming the role of a bondservant, concludes that the. . .
If we are not receiving God's correction or chastisement, we should be concerned! God's chastening is what He uses to sanctify His spiritual children.
Everyone needs a little encouragement on a regular basis. Barnabas tends to be one of the forgotten apostles, yet he provides a sterling example of encouraging others.
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