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.
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 assumes the burden for our salvation, but we are obligated to yield to His workmanship—made manifest by good works, the effect of salvation.
Salvation is not a one time event, but a continuous process—not just immunity from death, but a total transformation of our nature into a new creation.
God-designed personalities, having His character, will make up God's family, not self-made personalities created by human will. We must yield as He creates.
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.
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.
Consider two end-time, dominant forces: the Beast power of Revelation 13 and God. To whom will we yield to in the coming years?
Christ says His words are Spirit and Life; they have a quality above human words because their source is divine. If ingested, these words lead to eternal life.
A raw display of emotion and exuberance does not necessarily glorify God. What we do to glorify God will reflect just how highly we esteem Him.
Despite the privileged position of our calling, God does not cut us any slack in terms of trials and tests to perfect us. We must accept God's sovereignty.
Deists believe that creation proves the existence of God, yet they assert that God has left this marvelous and interdependent creation to manage itself.
Paul emphasized the power of God living in us through the Holy Spirit to enable us to develop into His family. Through God's power, we will triumph over death.
Moses sacrificed great worldly honor to become a servant of God, demonstrating real servant leadership. God praises Moses for his faithfulness and meekness.
As we count the 50 days toward Pentecost, we should consider the events of our lives, coming to understand that they reveal God's on-going maintenance.
Levi Graham, focusing on Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, which reviews the highs and lows of life—all of which God will eventually turn beautiful, pairs this concept of God's sovereign oversight with Job's consternation with Him for afflicting him in his innocence by examining the testimony of Elihu. Elihu, using Job's own words, …
Jesus is transforming His Bride into something beautiful, mirroring His godly character. He is preparing us to carry out our responsibilities.
Where can we find the true religion, the true church, in all this confusion? Only the church Christ founded and heads today has the answers to eternal life.
John Ritenbaugh, using the term "malignant narcissism" (from M. Scott Peck's book "People Of The Lie") to describe the blind Laodicean pride which denies our inherent sinfulness and imperfection by means of clever self-decptive quibbling and equivocation. Accepting one of the most pernicious gifts of …
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.
As the book of Hebrews ends, the author—likely Paul—pens this benediction: "Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, ..."
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, …
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes how intimately God is involved with the intimate details of our life, including our conception and birth, supplying spiritual gifts or abilities to carry out His work. David reflects that God knows us searchingly, even our secret thoughts and desires before we are even aware of them (Psalm 139:2). …
Where did Job's righteousness come from? Was his character a product of evolution, or was it intelligently formed out of nothingness like the rest of creation?
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.
The Sabbath provides an opportunity for God's children to develop a relationship with Him, reflecting on the spiritual as well as the physical creation.
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.
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.
We may not realize it, but our Christian lives are constantly under construction. It is this point of view that will make it easier for us to deal with both spiritual setbacks and progress.
Egypt is not directly a symbol of sin, but instead the world. The Days of Unleavened Bread symbolize what God did for us, not what we did by our own power.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
God is pleased to save those who humble themselves, allowing Him to perform a mighty work through them, and putting everyone in debt to Him.
Charles Whitaker, focusing on the image of James and John mending their nets, asserts that, just as God maintains what He has framed, keeping it in good repair after He had repaired the damage Satan and his demons brought on the physical creation, not only restoring but adding value to make it better, so we, as God's …
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, …
The Parable of the Growing Seed is unique to the book of Mark, the most basic of the gospels, perhaps due to it being so simple and its point self-evident.
Hebrews emphasizes that Jesus qualified as High Priest, teaching us about living by faith in the New Covenant, which mandates that we keep His commandments.
Mark Schindler, reflecting on a funeral sermon he delivered suggested that the deceased person had displayed spiritual gifts (i.e., designated as Cook County Foster Mother of the Year) long before she had been called into God's church. God evidently has had each of us in His radar scope long before the foundation of the world, …
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 …
God personally handpicks individuals with whom He desires to form a reciprocal relationship. This relationship must be dressed, kept, tended, and maintained.
Richard Ritenbaugh, observing that the civil Festival of Purim in the Jewish community, commemorating the deliverance of the Jews from virulent anti-Semitism in ancient Persia, explains that this festival is celebrated with a notable spirit of merriment because it depicts a miraculous rescue from a hopelessly impossible …
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 …
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 …
God, following a pattern, routinely calls the lowly and weak to guard against pride. God will transform the weak of this world through His Holy Spirit.
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, 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 receiving of God's Spirit is for God's creative effort in our lives. God's Spirit transforms us from a state of destruction into a state of purity.