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.
God's creation did not end with the physical creation or our election, but God continues to work, giving us the motivation and the power to do His will.
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.
Even if a present snapshot of our lives looks dismal, it cannot reveal what happens next. What happens next is in God's hands—and He finishes what He starts.
Everything that we go through has been engineered by God. We are His workmanship, created for good works, a response to the faith He has given us.
All people will be judged according to the quality of their works after they make the covenant with God. Works are required and rewarded.
Many believe that salvation is assured and works only relate to reward. However, God did not reward the unprofitable servant with eternal life but exclusion.
Among the greatest challenges we face is not to let a bad snapshot—or even a whole progression of them—convince us that the journey is not worth continuing.
In the example of a child summoned by a parent to clean up his room, the child's dawdling and complaining are not predestined nor are they part of God's will.
Only God's calling, followed by repentance and a rigorous conversion process, will safeguard us from the fiery holocaust that is coming upon this the world.
One aspect of sovereignty that causes some confusion is predestination. God's sovereignty does not remove a person's free moral agency — we must still choose.
John Ritenbaugh points out that Jesus Christ, through His voluntary humility (giving up all the perks of being God), has given us a model of the mindset that we need to have in order to attain membership in the family of God. Paul, desiring the Philippian congregation to attain spiritual maturity, urges that they (and we) take …
John Ritenbaugh asserts that what God's called-out ones have been given is rare in the annals of the history of all mankind, a kind of sacred secret into which one must be initiated in order to grasp, appreciate and make the right use of. Through a miraculous combination of knowledge plus the spirit of God, we realize that our …
Richard Ritenbaugh, commenting on the dry and hard clay in South Carolina, a real challenge to cultivate, identifies some grounds of comparison Christ cites between ourselves and clay (soil). In the Parable of the Sower, Christ describes 1.0) hard, impenetrable soil of the wayside, vulnerable to birds, symbolizing the devil and …
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on man's ultimate destiny to have dominion over the entire universe, admonishes that preparation for this awesome responsibility requires faithful stewardship over the things God has entrusted to us (our bodies, families, possessions, etc.)—dressing, keeping, and maintaining those things, …
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.
Some of the harshest criticism we receive is for our position opposing the doctrine of eternal security and stating that works are required for salvation.
Like businessmen reviewing plans, making forecasts, and anticipating accountability, God expects us to define and follow through on spiritual objectives.
While we must express some of our own faith as we come to salvation, most of saving faith is a gift of God. Abel and Enoch illustrate the pattern of faith.
Martin Collins, citing a remark attributed to Woodrow Wilson about "when a man comes to himself," suggests all of us eventually realize God has singled each of us out for a specific purpose. Peter realized this fact when the angel supernaturally released him from prison. We all have been guided supernaturally in our …
John Ritenbaugh, reminding us that while we are not yet "all in all" with God"s purpose for us, we will, if we yield to our calling and sanctification, become at one with God, having His laws permanently etched into our mind and character. The New Covenant is superior to the old in that the Old Covenant was …
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.
John Ritenbaugh, asserting that God is a Creator who enjoys work and places a high value on it, urges us, those created in God's image, to embrace the work ethic and to diligently inculcate it into our children. God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. God the Father and Jesus Christ have been working …
Our human nature reflects the nature of malevolent spirits' attitudes. The only way to overcome it is through God's creating a new heart in us by His Spirit.