The Branch of God's Planting
'Ready Answer' by Bill Onisick
God's Word often employs the metaphor of grafting a branch into a rootstock, the best known of which is Paul's use of it in Romans 11. Bill Onisick describes the process of grafting and the measures that must be taken to ensure a healthy plant, comparing them to what God does to graft His elect into His spiritual Family, to the rootstock of Jesus Christ our Savior.
Excellence in Character (Part Three)
Bible Study by Martin G. Collins
God's purpose is a family matter; He is reproducing Himself in human children transformed to spirit. He wants each member of His Family to have the same righteous character that He does. To this end, Martin Collins writes, each Christian must develop godliness through righteous behavior and service, adding virtue to their faith.
Leaving Christianity Behind
'World Watch' by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Millennial Generation, those born in the 1980s and 1990s, is changing the face of the nation, transforming society on both public and private matters - and religion too. Richard Ritenbaugh explores why young people, including Generation Z, are rejecting religious practice for values of their own invention.
God's Kingdom in the Parables (Part One)
'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe
Many Bible teachers have their perspectives on Jesus' parables, but they are too often more flights of spiritual fancy than Bible-based interpretations. David Grabbe focuses on both the context of the parables of Matthew 13 and the fact that they are "kingdom parables," identifying their perhaps unexpected subject.
Specks as Mirrors
'Ready Answer' by David F. Maas
As Jesus teaches in Matthew 7:1-5, human beings tend to be quite skilled at seeing other people's faults, even the little ones. David Maas suggests that our ability to see the specks in others' eyes may indicate spiritual deficiencies in ourselves, as we project our own sins onto others. Seeing our behaviors mirrored in others' actions should give us insight into ourselves and provide incentive to make godly changes.
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Eight): Hebrews 1
'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh
Who was Jesus Christ? Believers think they know Him from the accounts in the four gospels, which are admittedly limited (John 21:25). Scripture as a whole reveals Him to be so much more! John Ritenbaugh explains that the first chapter of Hebrews delivers a knock-out punch to skeptics like many first-century Jews who claimed He falls short in qualifying as our High Priest and Savior.
God's Kingdom in the Parables (Part Two)
'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe
Jesus' parables in Matthew 13 center on a repeated phrase, "The kingdom of heaven is like . . .," and thus they are often called His "Kingdom Parables." David Grabbe expounds on the Parables of the Wheat and the Tares, the Mustard Seed, and the Leaven, keeping this theme at the forefront and showing that Jesus' original audience could easily understand that He spoke directly to them.
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Seven)
'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh
Early Christians, particularly the Jews among them, failed to realize just how indispensable Jesus Christ is to salvation. Their misunderstanding stemmed from their connections to the Old Covenant and its rituals. John Ritenbaugh summarizes why the epistle of Hebrews is so vital to Christians then and now: It explains the unique place and power of Christianity's High Priest.
Excellence in Character (Part Two)
Bible Study by Martin G. Collins
The Bible speaks a great deal about virtue, those excellencies of character that imitate the holy and righteous character of Jesus Christ. Martin Collins explains that Scripture defines virtue as a strength or power that disciplined people use to produce beautiful traits of goodness.
Cleansing God's People
'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe
God chose the people of Israel to be a holy people, an example of righteousness before the world. However, the Bible testifies that they turned from God early and often. David Grabbe explores the prophecies of Haggai 2 that foretell the good news of Israel's future cleansing and blessing through the work of Jesus Christ.
Unity and Division: The Blessing and the Curse (Part Five)
'Ready Answer' by Charles Whitaker
Most of the twelve curses recited by the tribes of Israel on Mount Ebal contain a common theme: They focus on secret sins, hypocrisies. In closing his series, Charles Whitaker emphasizes that our Savior desires our total commitment to the truth and to Him, and unless they repent, hypocrites will find themselves among those to whom Christ will say, "I never knew you."
Rebels With a Cause
'World Watch' by Joseph B. Baity
It is not unusual for various groups to protest in support of their various causes, but since the end of 2019, we have witnessed frequent, passionate, and violent demonstrations all over the world. Joseph Baity sees these marches—some of which have turned violent—as signs of increasing instability and conflict.
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Six)
'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh
American culture is in obvious decline, and it is undoubtedly linked to the fact that mainstream Christianity is bereft of moral leadership. While it may turn around, the outlook is bleak. John Ritenbaugh exhorts the reader to remember God's purpose for humanity, which His Word reveals and which He is working tirelessly to accomplish.
Unity and Division: The Blessing and the Curse (Part Four)
'Ready Answer' by Charles Whitaker
During the wilderness trek of the children of Israel, God commanded the people to utter blessings from Mount Gerazim and curses from Mount Ebal after they entered the Promised Land. Charles Whitaker comments on the twelve curses, most of which deal with, not obvious sins, but more hidden ones that give rise to hypocrisy among those who claim to follow God.
This Body of Death
'Prophecy Watch' by Ted E. Bowling
Under the guise of justice, the Romans were masters of cruelty and torture. We need to look only at their extensive practice of crucifixion to realize how true this is. Ted Bowling describes a lesser-known method of torture in which convicted murderers were shackled to their victims, a picture of a sinful individual's relationship with his iniquities.
The Pope Edits Jesus
'World Watch' by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
One line of Jesus Christ's model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 reads, "And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." Though these words come from the lips of our Savior Himself, the current Pope, Francis, says that Jesus is wrong: God does not lead us into temptation, but we fall into temptation. Richard Ritenbaugh examines the Pope's reasoning and finds it wanting.
Excellence in Character (Part One)
Bible Study by Martin G. Collins
In this world, living virtuously is not easy. Those who try to do right often suffer ridicule and face some form of discrimination when they fail to join their more sinful acquaintances in their wickedness. Martin Collins begins a three-part series on excellent character, showing that this world needs to see examples of everyday virtue, if only as a witness against it.
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Five)
'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh
If church members are to grow in grace and knowledge and be zealous in producing fruit to God's glory, they need to have their priorities in the right place. John Ritenbaugh focuses on Christ's words in His Sermon on the Mount about laying up treasures in heaven, explaining that we will avidly pursue what we value. If we desire to attain to the Kingdom of God, we must desire what God desires.
Unity and Division: The Blessing and the Curse (Part Three)
'Ready Answer' by Charles Whitaker
The Bible contains many examples of division and even several that God Himself brought about as a result of His judgments. Charles Whitaker focuses on an Old Testament example of this, when God instructed the Israelites to divide themselves by tribes on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal to pronounce blessings and curses. This ancient division provides several lessons that can be applied to the church of God.
The Falling Away
'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe
The apostle Paul penned only a few prophecies in his many letters, and one that receives a great deal of interest is his foretelling of a falling away not long before Christ's return. David Grabbe unpacks the details of this prophecy, showing that the coming apostasy is worldwide in scope and will put tremendous pressure on members of the church to slip from belief in the truth.