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 brings a Christian excellent benefits, and one of the greatest of these is working with God to grow in righteous character.
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.
Jesus' message is certainly encouraging, but the adjective 'good has its roots in the word 'god,' suggesting that Jesus' message also possesses a moral quality.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
Grace's influence extends beyond justification, into the sanctification stage where the believer yields himself to righteousness, keeping God's commandments.
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.
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.
God, as Creator, takes the initiative (as the potter over the clay) for the elect's salvation, enabling us to build the repertoire of habits called character.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
As the lives of the major biblical figures were predestined, so are our lives. God chooses, moves, and manages the lives of His servants.
Spiritual maturity does not come about without difficulty, and suffering is one of God's tools to perfect us. Suffering refines endurance and character.
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 …
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.
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 …
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'!
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?
All people will be judged according to the quality of their works after they make the covenant with God. Works are required and rewarded.
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 purpose of the ministry is to train members for service to God, edifying them, equipping them for their job, and bringing them to spiritual maturity.
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.
God's command to eat unleavened bread teaches that He rescued His people from the bondage of sin, something they had no power to accomplish of themselves.
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 …
Martin Collins, reiterating that Joseph is a type of Jesus Christ, moves to the climactic point of the narrative in Genesis 45, in which Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. Joseph knew and recognized his brothers before they knew him. God knows our guiltiest secret sins which we think we have effectively hid. All things are …
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!