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 . . .
One aspect of sovereignty that causes some confusion is predestination. John Ritenbaugh explains how God's sovereignty does not remove a person's free moral agency.
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. . .
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. . .
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.
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?
God's sovereignty is one of the most important issues a Christian must consider. Is God supreme in all things? Have we acknowledged that He has total authority over us in particular?
Before the political left hijacked the term "choice," its philosophical meaning was "an individual's freedom to determine the moral course of his own life." This is, of course, what theologians and philosophers call "free moral agency" or "free will." ...
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. . .
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.
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. . .
Though fasting deprives the physical body of nutrition and strength, a proper, biblical fast adds conviction and depth to the inner, spiritual man.
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.
A reason lies behind the devastating wars that have plagued mankind since the beginning. John Ritenbaugh gives the uncomplicated solution: Men have broken the sixth commandment!
Many people divide sin into physical and spiritual sins, but the Bible clearly says that all sin is lawlessness.
John Ritenbaugh summarizes the true nature of God in contradistinction to the Trinitarian error: 1) God is not mere essence; both the Father and the Son have separate, substantive bodies. They are one in mind and purpose, just as we can be one with Them. S. . .
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. . .
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.
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, ...
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. . .
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 ...
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. . .
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. . .
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. . .
It is commonly believed that the Ten Commandments are part of the ritualistic law, and that they lasted only until Christ. But here is the rest of the story.
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 a fruitless exercise—that God has everything already planned. John Ritenbaugh explains, however, that we must change our ideas about the function of prayer: It is not to change God's mind but ours!
Justification does not 'do away' with the law; it brings us into alignment with it, imputing the righteousness of Christ and giving access to God for sanctification.
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.
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. . .
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.
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