What does Scripture say about free-moral agency? Are we human puppets on a string, manipulated from above? How does free will relate to God's sovereignty?
Richard Ritenbaugh, reminding us that Americans, whose country was founded on the principle of freedom, are fiercely protective of their rights, narcissistically claiming freedom means to do, go, say, or think whatever they want, often selfishly insisting . . .
Here in the United States, we are rapidly approaching our nation's Independence Day. It was two hundred and forty-one years ago, on July 2, 1776—not July 4 as many people believe ...
In April 1607, three small English ships lay anchored in Chesapeake Bay as 104 men left their vessels to plant their feet on solid ground. ...
David Grabbe, unraveling several apparently contradictory scriptures, exposes a fundamental flaw in western thinking—namely the binary (that is, either-or) thinking that leads us to construct false dilemmas. Perhaps the best example of this is the on. . .
One aspect of sovereignty that causes some confusion is predestination. God's sovereignty does not remove a person's free moral agency — we must still choose.
John Ritenbaugh explores several nuances of the term grace, describing a generous, thoughtful action of God, accompanied by love, which accomplishes His will, equipping us with everything we will need to be transformed into the Bride. Even though we, like . . .
John Ritenbaugh demonstrates the relationship of God's will, predestination, and choice (or free moral agency). Using the analogy of a child summoned by a parent to clean up his room, he points out that the dawdling, complaining, and other acts of disobedi. . .
God's sovereignty and free moral agency set up a seeming paradox. Just how much choice and freedom do we have under God's sovereign rule?
Those who emphasize one trait of God, or one doctrine, at the expense of the others run the risk of distorting the truth, creating a grotesque caricature.
True Christianity is a religion of constant vigilance in a conscious endeavor—striving, struggling, and making choices—to do what is right to please God.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that to the called, nothing happens in a vacuum and "time and chance" no longer applies. Like a proactive, responsible parent, God restricts free moral agency to keep His children from getting hurt. Through His foresigh. . .
John Ritenbaugh reflects that God, through His sovereignty, has personally placed each of us in the organization in which we can grow the most. We have a solemn responsibility to exercise our free moral agency, having authority and dominion over animals, a. . .
In this message on the subject of planning and God's sovereignty, John Ritenbaugh stresses that we are obliged to respond to God because He has interfered in our lives, causing us to repent, giving us His Holy Spirit, and limiting our options. We should pl. . .
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that nothing takes place in a vacuum for those who are called; moreover "time and chance" no longer apply in the normal sense. Even when we exercise free moral agency, God engineers circumstances and outcomes so that we. . .
Though fasting deprives the physical body of nutrition and strength, a proper, biblical fast adds conviction and depth to the inner, spiritual man.
God's sovereignty is one of the most important issues a Christian must consider. Have we acknowledged that He has total authority over us in particular?
John Ritenbaugh, continuing his exposition on Ecclesiastes 6, appraises the book of Ecclesiastes as the most bluntly profound book in the entire Bible, pointing to our urgent need to develop a relationship with God. We did not create ourselves or give ours. . .
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. . .
Mark Schindler, establishing some foundational principles that God does not create chaos and confusion, but has re-established order after Satan's rebellion, points out the danger and folly of presumptuously choosing standards of right and wrong rather tha. . .
As we closed Part One, we saw that Jesus Himself requested of the Father that His disciples, which we are, be sanctified: "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, ...
Mark Schindler, reflecting on Michael Abraschoff's book, It's Your Ship, suggests that just as a captain of a ship wants decision-makers, not just order takers, God expects members of His family to be decision-makers. We cannot follow the example of Satan,. . .
God not only rules in heaven, but He is also sovereign on earth! He is not an absentee landlord, but One who is actively involved in administering His creation.
We are assured that even though inexplicable things happen in our lives, God is still sovereign. We must develop childlike faith to trust in Him for solutions.
As we watch the self-centered insanity growing in a world held captive by the perverted mind of Satan, we perceive that God has filled—and continues to fill—its positions ...
Like Joseph, we need to realize that God—not ourselves—is the Creator, engineering events that form us into what He wants us to become.
Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove, a bestselling book and television miniseries in the 1980s, contains the story of a cowboy who fails to perceive the line between right and wrong, and for his lack of moral sense, he pays with his life. Mike Ford consi. . .
Having shown that God is involved in world affairs, John Ritenbaugh concludes by showing that God's hand was definitely involved in the scattering of the church. Our reaction needs to be positive: that, if He felt it needed to be done, we should respond by. . .
The true nature of God differs greatly from the trinitarian concept. Having created us in His form and shape, God desires to develop us into His character image.
A major theme of the book of Ecclesiastes is satisfaction. In his wisdom, Solomon assiduously sought out the answer to the question, "What brings a person true satisfaction?" John Ritenbaugh proposes that God desires far more for us than mere satisfaction:. . .
John Ritenbaugh contends that those who believe in the "once saved always saved" doctrine foolishly fail to see that God has a more extensive and creative plan for mankind than merely saving them. One can fail to bring forth fruits of repentance . . .
God's sovereignty seems to imply that prayer is pointless. Yet the function of prayer is not to change God's mind, but ours!
Is God sovereign over angels? What about mankind's choices? God's sovereignty is absolute as He directs events toward the culmination of His plan.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Titus 3:1-3, suggests that when the government is so evil and inept, it is difficult to live up to the admonition of these verses. Human governments tend to produce nothing, but gobble up wealth and liberty. God has taught us t. . .
Humanity finds itself inhabiting a world that is the place of restraint for untold numbers of malevolent spirits, all of whom hate God and desire to destroy mankind. John Ritenbaugh reiterates that our human nature reflects these spirits' attitudes, and th. . .
Many people divide sin into physical and spiritual sins, but the Bible clearly says that all sin is lawlessness.
We need free moral agency to be transformed into God's image. Unless one has God's Spirit, he cannot exercise the internal control to be subject to the way of God.
Progressives tend to believe that human nature is perfectible and evolving. Conservatives tend to believe that human nature is evil and must be controlled.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on "Heavenly places in Christ", asserts that Christianity is an other-worldly religion, where we walk by faith, not by sight. We are to be "cut out" from the world in order to be a "cut above" throu. . .
We must put our lives, treasure, and honor on the line, picking up our cross daily, declaring our independence from carnality, evil and bondage to sin.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the recent demise of our prior fellowship, suggests that many of us have been guilty of making an idol of the church, letting it stand between God and ourselves. Our obligation is to follow the life-saving message (a message . . .
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