Misidentifying parts of the Body of Christ as enemies, or even being highly suspicious of them, causes pain and inefficiency throughout the whole Body.
God's call to learn from the ant does not teach us to yield to a hierarchical system, but to participate in a community with the goal of edification.
The marriage relationship and the family structure provide a workshop to learn the intricacies of the God-plane relationship between Christ and the church.
Martin Collins, focusing upon the covenantal relationship of marriage, reaffirms the respective roles of husband and wife, typifying the relationship between Christ and His Church. In this twelfth and concluding message in this series, the emphasis is upon unity and cohesiveness. As husband and wife are commanded to become one …
Our lives parallel what Christ experienced: crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and glorification. The death of self must precede resurrection and glory.
When we consider the value of our calling, we must look at Paul's warning about discerning the Body more soberly, maintaining our loyalty to the Body.
God made the gospel available to the Gentiles to provoke Israel to jealousy. The key to breaking down the enmity and animosity is to put on Christ.
Our concept of marriage must be positive and more mature, modeled after Christ's attentiveness toward the Church, as opposed to the world's distorted concept.
Wives are admonished to submit to their husbands, children to their parents, servants to their overseers, and we all are admonished to submit to one another.
John Ritenbaugh, describing an ongoing "bloodless coup" in which a major political party and a complicit propagandistic media are feverishly trying to high-jack the controls of governmental power, taking choices away from the individual and giving them to the government, maintains that we are reaping the consequences …
Participation in Christ's life is the source of all good. Regardless of what church group we are in, we must establish a relationship with Christ.
Because of the culture of deception fostered by Satan and his children, we must develop discernment to tell the difference between truth and falsehood.
One of our primary duties as Christians is to build strong, loving relationships with our brethren. What are you supplying to the growth of the body?
A Christian worldview includes the importance of our calling and the reality of God and His laws. Our worldview determines how we spend our time.
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 …
The One who sent forth His Spirit to create and breathe life into the physical world, also breathed on His disciples and endowed them with spiritual life.
I Corinthians gives ready instruction in the order and decorum that is fitting for church organization, as well as the Passover and weekly service.
Neglecting to feed the flock has been detrimental to preaching the gospel to the world. Because of neglect, members succumb to feeling insignificant.
For Passover, Israel was commanded not to go out of their houses. This is also a warning to Christians when we understand the implications of the word 'house'.
The book of Hebrews clarifies that the persecution on the early church did not come directly from God, but He did stir the pot that caused the persecution.
As our culture deteriorates, there is a deep-seated distrust, not just of government but of all kinds of institutions that people once had confidence in.
John Ritenbaugh, cuing on Deuteronomy 30:15-20, maintains that our worldview must include the value of our calling, determining the kinds of choices we make to overcome and pursue our spiritual journey. We alone can determine the value of that calling. The primary responsibility of the church is to continue what Jesus started in …
We must learn to see ourselves and our function as God sees us—as a distinct, unique entity, a holy people, a special treasure.
Ups and downs, blessings and trials, have characterized every era of the church. God's people are always battling something negative between the brief highs.
Richard Ritenbaugh, expounding upon the principle that it is more blessed to give than to receive, suggests that the things we ardently desire for ourselves we should be willing to give to others, including forbearance and forgiveness. Following the Apostle Paul's example to the Corinthians, we ought to forgive and comfort one …
John Ritenbaugh reminds us that, though we are born equally, we rapidly become vastly different due to the forces and elements which shape us. Those who have been called by God have been given an enviable treasure, something which must be guarded and esteemed above everything else. What we treasure will determine what we think, …
The true church is a unique educational institution, teaching the way of God and amplifying His Commandments, in contrast to the churches of this world.
As members of Christ's body, we must function for the good of the whole body, not competing with other parts. We must continually function as a son of God.
No act is insignificant because of two natural principles: the tendency for increase, and what is sown is reaped. These principles play major roles in our lives.
Mark Schindler, asking us to ponder the incredible privilege we have been given to be placed within the Body of Christ, called when we were dead in trespasses, reminds us that this same privilege applies to our fellow saints as well. He warns us not to selfishly protect our turf, building walls of separation from our brethren. …
David Grabbe, pointing out that not all of God's servants are given the same marching orders (planting, watering, etc) maintains that planting seed (preaching the Gospel to the world) is only the beginning of the phase. Our function is not and has never been adding members to the Body of Christ; God alone determines who the …
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the "blessings of the Lord" descriptor in Deuteronomy 16:16, reminds us that though many of us are not well off materially, nor are we counted among the great of the world, we have nevertheless been given a priceless calling and a spiritual conduit (through His Holy Spirit) which more …
The function of the church is like a teacher's college, preparing the firstfruits and providing them with the needed education and character development.
Unity seems to be 'godly,' while division is 'ungodly.' However, unity and division are not as black and white as we typically think of them.
The easiest part of God's work is preaching the gospel to the world. Much more demanding is the feeding of the flock, producing life-changing faith.
God has placed us all in the body where it has pleased Him. We dare not imitate Satan by letting self-centered goals eclipse God's purpose.
Richard Ritenbaugh, commenting on the culture of the Baby Boomers, suggests that this generation has taken on characteristics of narcissism, self-absorption, and excessive self-centeredness, leading to rampant materialism. A narcissist looks neither outward nor up but inwardly, mindful only of self. In Acts 8:9-24, Simon …
The apostle Paul inventories spiritual gifts that God has given for the edification of the church, including ministry of the word and practical service.
The group that one fellowships with is less important than the understanding that there is one true church, bound by a spiritual, not a physical unity.
Unity has to come from the inside out, with God raising a leader which His people, having their minds opened by His Spirit, will voluntarily submit to.
The ministry's authority consists of teaching, edifying, and equipping the members for sainthood, but not to wield dictatorial power over their lives.
God is at work producing leadership in an organization that will follow Him, calling people into His family, carefully crafting it into a perfect organism.
As the lives of the major biblical figures were predestined, so are our lives. God chooses, moves, and manages the lives of His servants.
If we really considered or believed in our hearts that our calling was truly a treasure, we would take extraordinary steps to prevent any loss of it.
Like the symphony orchestra, only as an instrumentalist submits to the leader, working with the other members of the ensemble, can unity be accomplished.
The true church of God is an invisible, spiritual organism, of those people that have and are led by the Spirit of God, who hold fast to apostolic teaching.
John Ritenbaugh, continuing his exposition on Ecclesiastes, focuses on three interrelated terms: paradox (something contrary to expectation), conundrum (a riddle), and wisdom (skill in arts, such as Bezalel and Oholiab who were gifted in a specific skill—or spiritual insight). We are called into the body of Christ gifted …
God established permanent patterns, electing Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as all of those He has called. This election should be our obsession.
Works are not the cause of salvation, but instead are the effect of God's creative efforts at bringing us into His image—a new creation.