We may not realize it, but our Christian lives are constantly under construction. It is this point of view that will make it easier for us to deal with both spiritual setbacks and progress.
In the world of money, growth is of supreme importance. Regrettably, this approach has taken root within Christianity, too—both true and false. "Success" for a church is all too often measured in income, membership, and new converts, all of which are. . .
A great deal of confusion exists—even among professing Christians—about true conversion. Contrary to many who teach it, confessing the name of Jesus is not how the Bible defines a converted person. ...
Charles Whitaker shows that spiritual growth mimics our physical growth to maturity. If we continue in the process, we will "grow into" our potential as God's children.
We have learned that conversion is primarily a process, a transformation of a Christian's nature from human and carnal to godly and spiritual. ...
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.
Mark 4 contains a parable that is not often discussed, probably because it does not appear in Matthew 13 or among those well-known parables that Luke alone records, like the Parable of the Good Samaritan. ...
Ryan McClure, drawing a spiritual analogy from the fascinating metamorphosis of a monarch butterfly, from a lowly larva to an aviation marvel, able to journey thousands of miles, displaying magnificent regal colors, makes a comparison to our own metamorpho. . .
Ryan McClure, acknowledging that self-reflection over our own spiritual progress (perhaps without seeing any progress) has potentially a negative effect, avers that we should understand self-reflection as a God-given tool to produce abundant spiritual frui. . .
Ted Bowling, drawing a spiritual analogy from the growth of a pineapple, observes that it takes a long time from planting to harvest—approximately three years for the plant to mature. At first, all that matures is the foliage. The majority of the gro. . .
What is perfection? Does God require perfection of us? Mike Ford defines Biblical perfection and shows to what standard God holds us accountable.
Most of our Christian lives will be spent going on to perfection. But what is it? How do we do it? This Bible Study will help explain this broad, yet vital subject.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread immediately follows the Passover. In it we see how hard it is to overcome and rid our lives of sin.
The Bible describes many men, but one of the most important is the new man. What is this new man? Charles Whitaker explains that the new man is a creative effort of renewing our minds in cooperation with God.
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. . .
David Maas, focusing on Philippians 2:12, where Paul urges us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, takes issue with misguided theologians who have tried to create a false dichotomy between grace and works or grace and law. One of their co. . .
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. ...
Many people, even in the church, fail to understand the kind of righteousness God is looking for. David Maas shows that God wants it written on our hearts—not just a set of dos and don'ts or rewards and punishments.
It is quite rare to see a person who truly hungers and thirsts after God's way, but this is the kind of desire God wants us to have. John Ritenbaugh explains what Jesus means in this fourth beatitude.
John Ritenbaugh warns that Satan, through subtle doctrinal changes, has attempted to obliterate one major step in the conversion process, namely the sanctification step. Sanctification is the only step which shows (witnesses) on the outside; its effects ca. . .
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.
John Ritenbaugh explains that justification is not the end of the salvation process, but merely the doorway to a more involved process of sanctification, symbolized by the long journey through the wilderness toward the promised land, a lengthy purifying pr. . .
The seven Sabbaths in the count to Pentecost represent the process of the firstfruits becoming spiritually complete, that is, perfect and blameless.
In this message, John Ritenbaugh, using the parable of Luke 11:24-28, admonishes that being cleaned up (or purged of leaven) is only the beginning of the growth process. To be made clean only prepares us for producing fruit. God's concern is for us to matu. . .
What does the Bible mean when it says we should count it all joy when you fall into various trials? What is this joy we must experience? How do we come by it? Using his personal experience with his wife's cancer, Mike Ford shows how joy and trial go togeth. . .
Ted Bowling, reflecting on his recent participation in the 40th reunion of Frankfort, Indiana High School, recounts his initial feelings of apprehension at the prospect of being re-immersed in the culture of 40 years ago, in which jocks, nerds, cheerleader. . .
Protestantism unthinkingly presents grace as "free." However, Scripture shows that God expects a great deal of effort from us once we receive it—it is costly.
The spirit of the law does not do away with the letter of the law; without the letter, there is no spirit because there is no foundation. Examples show God's will.
The Parable of the Sower and the Seed exemplifies a number things that can happen to prevent us from having a place in God's spiritual harvest.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing upon II John 5, an epistle which cautions about deceivers who would denigrate the value of work, considers the straining on the point "we cannot earn salvation" a red herring, diverting our attention from the true value . . .
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.
Paul's admonition to the Corinthians to desire to prophesy has confused some due to a fundamental misunderstanding of what prophesying really is. Bill Cherry examines this command in its context, showing that it has everything to do with Christian fellowsh. . .
John Ritenbaugh, discussing our journey to perfection or sanctification, asserts that even though everything we need in this quest has been given to us, our spiritual growth is largely dependent to the extent that we believe (and act upon this belief) in t. . .
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