The Pharisees were in the office or seat of Moses. Jesus taught His followers to follow their words (pertaining to the Law of God), but not their personal examples.
Bill Onisick, characterizing the Pharisees as separatists, meticulously following man-made rituals and traditions, but oblivious of the weightier matters of the law, examines the deadly leavening of a Pharisee. The Pharisees performed their roles like acto. . .
Having their origin in the days of Ezra, the Scribes and Pharisees were extremely zealous for the law, separating themselves for this exclusive purpose.
Richard Ritenbaugh continues his exposition on the Pharisees, a group seemingly starting off on the right track under Ezra, but getting hopelessly sidetracked over the years, ultimately placing impossible burdens on the people they supposedly served. These. . .
Jesus blasts the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23, and He tells them they had ignored the "weightier matters." This article begins a series that explains why we should focus on certain virtues as we keep God's law.
Self-righteousness is defined as being smugly proud of one's own opinion and intolerant of others. What Job repented of was his misunderstanding of God.
God's forgiveness of us is directly tied to our forgiveness of those who have sinned against us! We must reciprocate God's forgiveness by forgiving others.
The problem with the Pharisees is that they never grasped the simplicity of the law, much less the spirit of it, but dissected it to be thought righteous.
In Galatians, Paul took issue with the Halakhah, not God's word. Halakhah was a massive collection of human opinion that placed a yoke on its followers.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on President Obama's ill-conceived endorsement of the mosque on Ground Zero, pleading tolerance, affirms that God Almighty is a jealous God, ordering that all competing religions to the true one be utterly exterminated. Jesus Chri. . .
Faith and fidelity to God and His way of life should be a major part of our character. In this fourth article on the weightier matters, it details what faith and fidelity are, how to recognize a lack of them in our lives and how to develop them so we can g. . .
People knew not to put new wine in old wineskins or a new cloth patch on an old shirt. Likewise, Jesus' new way of life is incompatible with old habits and beliefs!
Richard Ritenbaugh introduces his topic of covering sins by reflecting on the illegal trial of Jesus, in which false witnesses and false accusations were trumped up by the presumptuous Jewish religious leaders against the very Son of God. The Pharisees and. . .
None of God's law has been 'done away', though there is not always a literal application. Not every law of God has the same weight of importance.
Christ's command to seek first the Kingdom of God is in the midst of an admonition not to worry or take anxious thought, but instead to calmly set priorities. Seeking after righteousness is not necessarily synonymous with searching, but is instead an activ. . .
Bill Onisick, warning us that we are continually in danger of being deceived by our hearts and carnal nature, a nature which distracts us from following God, though we go through the motions, cautions us to not practice hypocrisy before Almighty God. Most . . .
John Ritenbaugh, acknowledging that Mitt Romney will be the standard-bearer of the Republican Party, suggests that Romney, of all the candidates, is perhaps closer to the current President's views than any of the others. Nevertheless, the leftist Democrat . . .
Jesus lists judgment as the first of the weightier matters in Matthew 23, verse. This article explains this term and shows why judgment is a major part of Christianity.
We must emulate the ways of God, demonstrating justice in our lives, thoughts, words, and deeds, preparing to judge in God's Kingdom. Not all sins are equal.
In this miraculous event recorded in Luke 14:1-6, Jesus deliberately heals a man with dropsy on the Sabbath at the house of a chief Pharisee. Martin Collins shows that Jesus was teaching them an unmistakable lesson about the purpose of the Sabbath day: It . . .
John Ritenbaugh examines four areas in which hairsplitting or non-salvation issues (such as eating white sugar, observing the right calendar, or occasionally eating out on the Sabbath) have threatened the unity of fellowship. What has brought about the dis. . .
The Parable of the Cloth and the Wineskins concludes a much longer narrative. The context and reveals deeper meanings and applications of the parable.
Only John records Jesus' healing of the man born blind, which shows Christ calling a people for Himself despite the efforts of the Jewish leaders to deter Him.
Now that we have considered the two main Old Testament words for "repentance," we can look at the New Testament Greek word metanoia. ...
Many have a love-hate relationship with mercy: They love to receive it, but hate to give it! Here is why we should lean toward mercy in all our judgments.
The Bible shows different forms of holiness, different forms of righteousness, and different forms of love. The holiness of the Old Covenant referred to something cut away, separated, or consecrated for special use—but not inherently moral or ethical. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh begins by recapping the first three chapters of the Book of Lamentation: "Woe is me" (Chapter 1), "God did it" (Chapter 2), and "If God is behind it, it must have been good" (Chapter 3). He then focuses on t. . .
Many 'church of God' organizations claim to be part of—or even the only—church of God. The Bible reveals specific characteristics of God's church.
The Sabbath is not a mere ceremonial observance, but identifies God's people as different, and consequently a perpetual irritant to the world.
David Grabbe, examining the saying, "ignorance is bliss," implying that a measure of peace may come to us if we do not know something that might be disturbing, cautions us that this ignorance is dangerous when it comes to the spiritual preparatio. . .
John Ritenbaugh, fearing that we may be following suit in the world's religions by focusing on "getting salvation" rather than preparing for service in God's Kingdom, cautions us that we must re-orient our mindset, seeking to grow in the stature . . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, reminding us that before our calling we were clueless, in a state of spiritual darkness, unaware of a better life, states that our lives after our calling could be considered a night and day difference, a flipping of poles from negative. . .
John Ritenbaugh, continuing his appraisal of humanism as an alternative to religion, suggests that humanism pervades the entire spectrum of the arts and the sciences, as well as theology. Because this world's educational system is so immersed in humanism, . . .
The effectiveness of a law is found in its purpose and intent rather than the letter. Love and mercy constitute the spiritual fulfillment of the Law.
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the topic of self-defense, examining the scriptural instructions for proactively avoiding or resolving dangerous conflicts. At the beginning of Acts 22, Paul, after clearing himself of a spurious charge (of taking a gentile int. . .
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