The book of Hebrews teaches that our relationship to Christ as our Savior, High Priest, and King is the key to salvation. He shows us the way to the Father.
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that we ought to be devoting considerable time getting to know our prospective bridegroom, like the apostle Paul desiring to conform to Christ in every way before the marriage. This challenge becomes extremely complicated because Satan has deliberately designed this world to burn up our precious time, …
It behooves God's called-out ones to recognize Jesus Christ as providing the access to God the Father, the Way and the Life.
In the unsettling letter to the Laodiceans, Jesus paints a picture of Himself in relation to the church that reveals His people care about other things.
Jesus Christ was not just an extraordinary man, but also possessed the massive intellect needed to create, design and implementing all manner of life—He was God.
There is a direct relationship between loving Christ and doing the right works. God's love for us places us under a compelling obligation to reciprocate.
We cannot become weary of well-doing, allowing our first love to deteriorate, looking to the world for satisfaction. Here are 8 tests of our love for Christ.
John 1:1-3 reveals Jesus' pedigree as the Logos (Spokesman), whose function was to declare or reveal the Father. He had existed with His Father from eternity.
Our lives parallel what Christ experienced: crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and glorification. The death of self must precede resurrection and glory.
John Ritenbaugh suggests that the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 represent characteristics or attitudes which will be extant at the end time, levels of spiritual growth against which members may measure their growth. Although flitting from one church group to another is not advised, we do have the opportunity to sort our …
Christ endured many more than three temptations; rather, He was tested continuously, and perhaps the intensity increased as He neared the end of His life.
Christ is uncertain how much the Laodiceans really desire what He has offered them. Other things are competing for their attention. Will they open the door?
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the exploration of Lewis and Clark, asks whether we would have what it takes to help in the exploration, such as having health, strength, courage, motivation, observant, patient, and enduring hardships. Our trek to the Kingdom of God requires just as much vigor as Lewis and Clark's explorers. …
The Bible emphasizes marriage as the primary bond of society. The purpose for the marriage relationship is to depict the marriage of Christ and His bride.
Martin Collins, affirming that the thing that sets Christians apart from others is that they believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead and that He is alive and actively interceding for us right now, admonished us to know, follow, and strive to conform to Christ's image. Our goal is to know Christ on a personal and intimate basis, …
Like with the heroes of faith, our testing will be commensurate with the job God has prepared for us. We must make our relationship with God our top priority.
Having experienced the turmoil of the Catholic—Protestant clash, the framers of our Constitution did not want any sect dictating religious doctrines or practices.
In Laodicea, the people judge, but they are judging according to themselves. They are not seeking the will of Christ, and thus their judgment is distorted.
When we mortify the flesh, refusing to feed the hungry beast of our carnal nature, we suffer. Suffering for righteousness' sake helps us to know Christ.
The epistle of Hebrews is so vital to Christians in the first century and now because it explains the unique place and power of Christianity's High Priest.
We tend to avoid acknowledging our weaknesses, but at some point, each of us will admit our powerlessness and inability to carry out God's will on our own.
The Jewish converts to the Way, although having had the benefit of Messianic prophecies, did not recognize the powerful significance of Psalm 8.
God personally communicated with Adam, Eve, Abraham, Moses, the prophets, and to us through His Son. With the Scriptures, God teaches His faithful today.
The Book of Hebrews is a must-read for all members of God's church who seek the key for spiritual growth through a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ.
To counteract complacency, Hebrews warns against neglecting God's invitation of salvation, which He does not guarantee until sanctification has run its course.
Hebrews emphasizes that spiritual growth and glorification depends on an individual's relationship with Christ, the centerpiece of the Book of Hebrews.
The offerings have a great deal to do with our relationship with God. How closely do we identify with Christ? Are we being transformed into His image?
The book of Hebrews' audience consisted of converts from Judaism, suffering estrangement from family and community, excommunicated from the temple.
Gary Garrett, acknowledging that, while the Old Testament Israelites, under the Prevailer with God, provided the type of the Israel of God, Jesus Christ, who was called out of Egypt, fulfilling multiple Messiahship prophecies, is actually God's Israel. The Israel of God makes up the body identified in Galatians 6:15-16. The …
Without a meaningful relationship with Christ, God's people cannot possibly bear fruit. Our responsibility is to yield to God's creative work in our lives.
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. ...
Works demonstrate our faith, our response to God's calling and His freely given grace. Reciprocity is always a part of our relationship with God.
Here are five easily neglected doctrines, which, if carelessly observed or distorted, could jeopardize the salvation of God's people.
Should we only pray to God the Father, given Christ's words in the model prayer and His proclamation that the Father was greater than He?
Martin Collins, contrasting the world's mega-churches with the church that Christ is building, focuses on the body analogy (I Corinthians 12), illustrating the interconnectedness of all members to Christ and to each other. In considering the differing functions of the body's parts, we realize that not one is unimportant or …
Fruit is not produced immediately; it is produced only when a plant is both mature and stable enough that mere survival is no longer its top priority.
Christ's resurrection is of paramount importance to us, because Jesus alone has the keys to our own resurrection and eternal life as firstfruits.
John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that the times we are about to go through will be unparalleled history, suggests that we need to keep our vision before us. We have the obligation to be loyal to Jesus Christ. We cannot, as our forebears did on the Sinai, harden our necks in disbelief and disobedience as a result of flagging faith. …
John Ritenbaugh, suggesting that most of us resemble the Samaritan woman in our understanding of the value of our calling, maintains that our relationship with God is our sole protection from carnal human nature and the deadly pulls of the world. Whatever consumes our time has the power to either edify or distract us. Faith and …
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on Jesus Christ's prayer for unity in John 17, insists that unity with our brethren is impossible without unity with God first. Adam and Eve severed this unity by yielding to Satan's influence, stimulating their minds with a novel diversion. Sin automatically separates us from God. The key to …
Some know that Christ is at the door, but they will not rouse themselves from their spiritual lethargy to open it.
Living faith has its roots in fervently, diligently seeking God and His righteousness with intense desire (like a passionate lover) through habitual prayer.
John Ritenbaugh reveals that the valley-of-shadow imagery symbolizes the fears, frustrations, trials, and tests needed to produce character, quality fruit, and an intimate trust in the shepherd. His rod, an extension of his will and strength, serves not only against predators, but also prevents members of the flock from butting …
While we are all different, we are all vulnerable to something, such as fear of deprivation, harm or shame. In response, we all create protective defense mechanisms.
Austin Del Castillo, observing the ballooning prayer list, the continuing fractures occurring throughout the greater Church of God, and the high frequency of people offended, asserts that, unless our primary relationship is with God the Father and Jesus Christ, a positive relationship with our called-out brethren will be …
Eternal life is to live a quality life as God lives, having developed a close relationship with God, living by faith and accepting His sovereignty over all.
He who loves God must love his brother, including every fellow human being. Our closeness with God transcends the other human relationships.
John Ritenbaugh contends that history is not confined to the past. We are actively participating in it just as surely as the prominent figures of the Bible. As citizens of Jerusalem above, we need to have our minds singly focused on the heavenly homeland where Jesus Christ dwells, mortifying our flesh, realizing that we need to …
The unity of God's church does not derive from organizational expertise, the conformity of ecumenism, or the tolerance for evil, but from the family model.
We all had somewhat carnal reasons for responding to God's calling, but we must lay those aside in favor of truly seeking Christ and His righteousness.
John Ritenbaugh warns that the sheer variety of choices (distractions) available to us today (with their potential accompanying temptations and enervating time-wasting diversions) is extremely stressful because it automatically increases sin and lawlessness, automatically decreasing love, zeal, and affection. Like our society, …
Can a book like the Song of Songs contain prophecy that is applicable to today? Richard Ritenbaugh shows that, far from being just a book about married love, the Song of Songs relates to the present condition of the church.
Love doesn't become 'love' until we act. If we don't do what is right, the right feeling will never be formed; emotions are largely developed by our experiences.