None of us is born with godly character; we develop it over a lifetime, working with God to develop right habits, conforming to God's holy characteristics.
Obedience to God's instructions in Scripture brings a Christian excellent benefits, and one of the greatest of these is working with God to grow in holy and righteous character. James Beaubelle explains the relationship between character and reputation, showing that our goal is to become transformed into the very image of Jesus …
Scripture defines virtue as a strength or power that disciplined people use to produce beautiful traits of goodness.
Jesus Christ is the architect of the church, indicating that the institution must take on the characteristics of the Builder, reflecting His character.
Though fasting deprives the physical body of nutrition and strength, a proper, biblical fast adds conviction and depth to the inner, spiritual man.
If we are not following the true gospel that Christ proclaimed, we will wind up somewhere other than the Kingdom of God!
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?
The key to success in adult life stems from habitually choosing lawful and productive behavior over unlawful and unproductive behavior now.
John Ritenbaugh asserts that after justification, for grace to be made dominant, its influence must extend beyond justification, into the sanctification stage where the believer must yield himself to righteousness, keeping God's commandments making himself a slave of righteousness. God's grace is manifested by His giving gifts, …
Misguided theologians have tried to create a false dichotomy between grace and works. We do works of obedience to build character, not to earn salvation.
John Ritenbaugh assures us that God is involved in the minute details of every converted person's life just as much as He is in the major historical world events. As a new creation of God (II Corinthians 5:17) we receive continuous, meticulous, detailed attention through the creative activity of His grace which never stops. God, …
The 'no works' doctrine says that all one has to do is believe in Jesus and accept His grace, and one's sins will be forgiven. This has disastrous effects.
Job was righteous because of the work of God, forming his righteousness out of nothing, guiding events and providing an environment in which character was formed.
True Christianity is a religion of constant vigilance in a conscious endeavor—striving, struggling, and making choices—to do what is right to please God.
John Ritenbaugh asserts that when God created Adam, He prepared only a foundation for mankind's eventual spiritual creation undertaken by the Second Adam. Spiritual creation requires much intense pressure and continual testing to determine character. Jesus went through this process first to provide us an example. We are to be …
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.
When God introduces marriage, the first thing He does is to put it on a spiritual plane. Our relationships should include this God-plane quality.
John Ritenbaugh, citing Abraham Lincoln's statement that the true test of man's character is his responsibility to govern or administrate, asserts that a man's way of governing is determined through his world view. Man should aspire to live as God lives, as demonstrated through Jesus Christ's example rather than human nature's …
Character has been defined as "what you do in the dark." It is what you are when no one else can see you. Mike Ford uses the story of Joseph in Potiphar's house to extract some lessons about character.
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 somewhat modifies his amazement at individuals who made gigantic sacrifices in the fledgling days of the Radio Church of God, concluding that it is in fact God who expends the lion's share of the energy, putting us all through flip flops in our sanctification process. Our yielding to God's will is a relatively …
Spiritual maturity does not come about without difficulty, and suffering is one of God's tools to perfect us. Suffering refines endurance and character.
The events in today's news can seem overwhelming, but there are strategies to turn the sanctification process into an exciting adventure.
Magic is always used as some kind of weapon, but not to build or develop moral strength or character. God chooses a life-long process of sanctification.
Ryan McClure, reflecting on insights gleaned from the reality show Castaways, which demonstrates the various responses of individuals placed in survival conditions. Some respond to community needs, others respond solipsistically. In scriptural references to places of safety, similar challenges to community are posed, as when God …
Richard Ritenbaugh, reiterating the five symmetrical and correlative sets of documents and events (the Torah, the Megilloth, the books of the Psalms, the summary psalms, and the five seasons), focuses on second set (comprising Book 2 of Psalms, Exodus, Ruth, Psalm 147, and the Pentecost season). In this section, the psalmist …
The spiritual new man is one who is reconciled to God and has chosen to collaborate with Him in creating a totally new mind—one just like Christ's!
Have you ever considered what it will be like right after Christ returns? What will you do, as a king, to help and govern the people placed under you?
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that God is a working God, creating holy, righteous, divine character with the goal of recreating man in His image. From the time of our justification until our glorification in God's Kingdom, it almost seems 'downhill,' with sanctification being a difficult road. Works are not only required during …
We have heard the courtroom mantra, 'the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.' Behavior shows that many shy away from 'nothing but the truth'!
Works cannot earn us salvation. However, they play many vital roles in our Christian walk toward the Kingdom of God, especially in developing holiness.
The Sabbath rest depicts the miracle of conversion, in which the transformation of mankind into God's image brings about a rest in which God takes pleasure.
David Maas, cuing in on Paul's declaration of a debt he owed to Greek and Barbarian, to both the Hebraistic Jewish world view and the Hellenistic world view, observing that God has chosen to canonize the Scripture in both Hebrew and Greek, contends that these major two dominant forces in western culture were meant to be …
An emphasis on hyper-grace is wrong-headed, denying any need for repentance and overcoming, and totally at odds with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
In this preview of the Millennium, Richard Ritenbaugh cautions that the Wonderful World Tomorrow is not something that is going to happen because of an instantaneous miracle. God takes His time to produce both physical and spiritual changes. Because of the massive destruction at the close of the age, the survivors under God's …
Even though we must cooperate in cultivating spiritual fruit, God alone creates character and takes responsibility for creating spiritual offspring.
The Kingdom parables allude to the process of spiritual maturity, depicting a planted and cultivated seed becoming a sprout, eventually bearing fruit.