Selfishness in any form turns Christianity on its head, making a mockery of the many sacrifices that form its foundation and the grace of God that makes it possible.
A key to overcoming our sins is learning when to deny ourselves. Christ plainly declares that those who desire to follow Him must deny themselves.
Many words that begin with "self" describe conditions that we must overcome. Self-surrender, however, is something we need to engage in to overcome our faults.
Has anyone, other than Jesus Christ, really exhibited self-control? In the end, however, this is the ultimate aim of growing in the character of God.
The sacrificial system of Leviticus typifies spiritual sacrifices which we perform under the New Covenant. The animal sacrifices focused on total commitment.
The peace offering teaches many things, but one of its main symbols is fellowship. Our communion with the Father and the Son obligates us to pursue peace.
The meal offering represents the intense self-sacrifice required in service to man. Our service to man must be done for God's sake rather than man's appreciation.
The sacrifices were neither insignificant nor barbaric, but a teaching tool for us. In the burnt offering, we see Christ in His work for the already redeemed.
The meal offering represents the second Great Commandment, love toward fellow man. Our service to others requires much grinding self-sacrifice and surrender.
What would today's average, obese, couch-potato American do if the nation required him to serve his country? Would he volunteer to serve in the armed forces?
Queen Esther, faced with the destruction of her people in Persia, put her life on the line. Her example can be an inspiration to all of us.
John Ritenbaugh, focusing upon Deuteronomy 16:16 and Exodus 23:17, the traditional verses calling for an offering, admonishing not to come to Holy Day services empty-handed, reminds us that we are not really giving God anything because He owns everything. The experience of giving an offering is for our benefit. We receive …
John Ritenbaugh, reminding us that God does not do things uselessly, and certainly does not need our physical goods, examines the role of the offering and sacrifice rehearsed at each Holy Day. The nouns offering and sacrifice derive from two separate Greek words meaning "to bring forth" and "to kill" …
Over the centuries, God has been disappointed by mankind over and over again. One man who did not disappoint was the deacon Stephen. Find out why he was so special.
Christ says that we can show no greater love than in sacrificing our lives. We must come to the point where we are doing this daily, yet how do we do this?
John Ritenbaugh stresses that sacrifice (as an act and as a way of life) is absolutely necessary for the working out of God's plan. In taking undue attention off the self, sacrifice creates peace, prosperity, cooperation, and most of all, character. As called out royal priests (I Peter 2:5) we need to carry the principle of …
Martin Collins, focusing upon the subject of martyrdom, spiritual conviction, and sacrifice, reflects upon the conviction, deaths or sacrifices of Abel, Jephthah's daughter, Stephen and, most notably, the example of Christ. Christian martyrs, convicted by God's truth, having an ardent love for Christ, empowered with God's Holy …
God has chosen the weak and base things of the world, yet we can still sacrifice our personal concerns for the greater good just as our Savior did.
Pentecost and Memorial Day may seem to be quite different, but we should not be too hasty in concluding that they do not share any common features.
We live in a youth-oriented culture. Once a person grays and wrinkles, he is essentially pushed to the margins of society, but this should not happen in the church of God! The elderly have a great deal to offer—if we will only pay attention.
How do we, as modern Christians, bear our cross as Jesus commands? Christ meant far more than simply carrying a stake over our shoulders!
There must be something to prove we are one with Christ and in union with the Father and the Son. That something is the manner in which we conduct our life.
Richard Ritenbaugh takes issue with a popular meme which suggests that the sacrifices made by soldiers in defense of liberty are commensurate with Christ's sacrifice to redeem us from our sins. They are not equal in scope or importance. While the sacrifice in life or limb is commendable and worthy of honor, to compare it with …
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. ...
The primary function of a priest is to assist people in accessing God so that there can be unity with God. A priest is a bridge-builder between man and God.
We assess costs and values all the time in our daily lives. We should employ the same process to God's love for us in giving His Son as the sacrifice for sin.
Satan has provided what appear to be plausible alternatives to Christ's sacrifice for salvation, like service, positive changes, and right thinking.
Christ's sacrifice was not merely substitutionary, but representative, with Christ giving us a pattern for life - mortifying our flesh and putting out sin.
The offerings of Leviticus, though not necessary under the New Covenant, are invaluable for teaching about Christ in His roles as sacrifice, offerer, and priest.
Mark Schindler, reflecting upon the establishment of the Citadel in South Carolina, suggests that it has tried to train ethical and moral leaders. President Ronald Reagan praised one of its graduates, a passenger who had rescued many passengers from the icy waters of the Potomac River, only to lose his own life. We are, in one …
Much of Protestantism misconstrues the significance of the New Covenant as a 'free pass into Heaven' without paying attention to the Law within the Covenant.
God can take satisfaction that He is doing the right thing, and thus His rejoicing can even come from painful judgments. Sarcificing and rejoicing are linked.
It is commonly thought that we pay no price for forgiveness, yet Scripture shows that God gives us significant responsibilities to be a part of His family.
The peace (or thank) offering was the most commonly given in ancient Israel. It pictures God, the priest, and the offerer in satisfying fellowship.
Reconciliation is the product of a sacrifice to pacify the wrath of an offended person. We must imitate Christ in His approach toward hostility from others.
Jesus Christ did not teach the pyramid model of leadership, where successive levels of leaders provide direction to those in the lesser ranks. He served.
Paul's thrice-appearing formula, "... according to my gospel," does not support some theologian's contention that the apostle developed an idiosyncratic gospel distinct from the gospel which Christ preached (Mark 1:14). Paul's belief that there is only one gospel (Galatians 1:6-9), coupled with his frequent use of the …
Mark Schindler, maintaining that our response to the evil of the world sets us apart as the light of the world, cautions us not to abandon our children to the custody of interactive smartphones or iPads. In 1989, Charles Krauthammer warned that we are moving into extremely dangerous times and that we ought not abandon our …
Richard Ritenbaugh, while acknowledging that America's relationship with slavery has indeed been checkered, with chattel slaves and indentured servants contributing to the prosperity of earlier times, counters the 'Progressivist' claim that America invented slavery and historically practiced the most tyrannical abuses in the …
In Luke 14:25-33, two parables and an exhortation urge us to forsake all that we have as a mandatory condition for becoming Christ's true disciples.
Eternal life, emphasizing a special intimate relationship with God the Father and Christ, is vastly different from immortality, connoting only endless existence.
The humble attitude exemplified by Jesus in footwashing shows the mind of God. God expects us to follow Christ's example of loving others, flaws and all.
The eyes of the world are on those who seek to be God's servants. Consider these stories of people whose inspiring examples serve as witnesses to God's character.
Martin Collins, maintaining that giving a gift strengthens the bond between individuals, bringing about a warm feeling in the giver toward the one receiving the gift, suggests that there is a sentimental dimension factored into offerings. Jacob, in his voluntary gift to the leader of Egypt (whom he discovered later to be Joseph) …
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the episode in Matthew 20, in which Jesus was deep in thought, reflecting on the prophecies leading up to His crucifixion. At this point, His disciples were not converted, but displayed considerable carnality. The mother of two of the disciples asked for places of honor for her sons; none of the …
For His Own reasons, God has chosen not to reveal His plan to those the world considers wise, but, instead, to work with the weaker sort of mankind.
John Ritenbaugh, referring to the words of salvation (election, calling, regeneration, conversion, sanctification, and glorification), suggests that we are entering the most difficult time of the sanctification process, a time Jeremiah described as a man in the throes of labor, a time when God's called out ones would be required …
The meal offering represents the fulfillment of the second great commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Here is how to understand this offering.
Focusing upon the absolute necessity for exercising forgiveness and reconciliation, John Ritenbaugh admonishes us that receiving or using spiritual gifts should never produce an inflated ego or sense of superiority. Prideful, idolatrous, self-worship reaps a crop of bitter fruit from a root of bitterness. As God has forgiven and …
Just as a seed must die to itself in order to bear fruit, we also must sacrifice our lives, submitting unconditionally to God's to bear abundant fruit.