Parables of Matthew 13 (Part Two): The Parable of the Sower

Bible Study by Martin G. Collins

The first parable of Matthew 13 lays the groundwork (pun intended) for the remainder of the chapter. Martin Collins explains the various soils upon which the seed of the gospel falls, and the reasons why growth—or its lack—results.


Parable of the Sower

Bible Study by Martin G. Collins

God spreads His Word liberally among the world's people. Besides God's direct involvement in converting people, the difference between one growing in it and another "dying on the vine" is the soil in which the Word is planted, explained in Jesus' Parable of the Sower.


Parables of Matthew 13 (Part 1): The Mustard Seed

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

The Bible, in both parables and prophecies, interprets itself and remains consistent in its use of symbols. We cannot arbitrarily attach meaning to symbols.


Parables of Matthew 13 (Part Four): The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Bible Study by Martin G. Collins

The Mustard Seed parable is commonly interpreted as an illustration of church growth. However, rightly dividing the word of truth shows a sobering reality.


Seedtime and Harvest

Sermonette by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins focuses on the significance of the 30, 60, and one hundredfold increase mentioned by Christ in the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4). One hundredfold is not equivalent to 100 percent nor to 100 times. Rather, the term "hundredfold increase" refers to an indefinable number. In Genesis 8:22, God establishes …


Parables of Matthew 13 (Part Three): The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

Bible Study by Martin G. Collins

Bible students do not often consider Christ's parables to contain intrigue, but His Parable of the Wheat and the Tares has its share!


God's Kingdom in the Parables (Part One)

'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe

The 'kingdom of heaven' is commonly interpreted to describe the church, but in the first four parables of Matthew 13, it has a clearer application: Israel.


Like a Growing Seed (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Like its physical counterpart, spiritual growth happens slowly. A newly baptized Christian will not produce the fruit of the spirit as easily as a mature one.


Parables of Matthew 13 (Part One): Introduction

Bible Study by Martin G. Collins

Matthew 13 contains more parables than any other chapter in the Gospels. They are related in theme and organized to teach Christians specific lessons.


The Parables of Matthew 13 (Part Five): The Parable of the Leaven

Bible Study by Martin G. Collins

Most commentators see this parable as a positive message of the growth of the church. However, deeper study shows that they have it exactly backward!


Without a Parable

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Deuteronomy 30:19-20, reminds us that we are called to a lifetime of decisions and judgments. We have problems with judging fellow brethren in different groups of the greater Church of God, of which at least three claim to be the only true church. This intemperate judgment may come back to bite the …


Amending the Soil

Sermonette by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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 …


Weeds!

Article by Mike Ford

Drawing an analogy between kudzu and the thorns in the Parable of the Sower, Mike Ford shows how we have to "weed out" detrimental habits that choke our lives. If we want to produce quality fruit, we must weed the garden!


Aim for Productivity

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, focusing on God's creation of plants (Genesis 1:11-13), observes that God demonstrates His practicality and efficiency by establishing the genotype within the seed capable of infinite reproduction. God also gave humans the means to master time efficiently. God's called out-ones, metaphorized as soil, should …


Many Are Called, Few Are Chosen

'Ready Answer' by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

God's calling and predestination can be confusing, especially the verse that 'many are called, but few are chosen'. Why does God not just choose everyone?


Of Living Dogs and Dead Lions

Sermonette by Austin Del Castillo

Guilt from failure to overcome is a dangerous distraction. When we consider God's profound pity, we realize that He is able to cleanse us, too.


Little Things Count!

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Simplify Your Life!

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Time—it marches relentlessly on, and we have only so much of it. Yet we waste a lot of it on foolish pursuits, procrastination and distractions. John Ritenbaugh explains how getting control of our time puts us in the driver's seat in our pursuit of God's Kingdom!


Listening

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon the average American's pathetically short attention span (largely caused by media over-stimulation), admonishes us to improve our listening and concentration skills. Listening, which is far more important than simply hearing, is a vital spiritual skill—actually an act of love—that …


Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen (Part Seven)

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

The letters to the seven churches of Revelation warn of losing our first love, heeding false teachers, compromising God's Truth, and forgetting right doctrine.


Lessons From Roots (Part One)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

Fruit is not produced immediately; it is produced only when a plant is both mature and stable enough that mere survival is no longer its top priority.


Matthew (Part 18)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

The ability to do miracles does not identify a speaker as a representative of God, especially if the signs entice one to depart from the Word of God. Jesus warns that if we ask God for protection from demonic influence, we cannot sit back passively; Satan always counterattacks. Evil must be displaced with good. Jesus encourages …


Patience

Sermonette by James Beaubelle

James Beaubelle reminds us that, if it were not for the ability to change, we could never grow to become like Christ. We may begin our journey on shifting sand, but we must end on the solid mountain. Not all change on our part is productive, especially if we reject our calling and return to the world. Our human nature resists …


Dominion and Leaven (Part One)

Sermonette by David C. Grabbe

Dominion theology holds that the church's responsibility is to spread God's Kingdom around the world, but it misunderstands the Parable of Leaven.


Ecclesiastes and Christian Living (Part Six): Listening

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

When Solomon visits the Temple, he comes away with a sense that too many treat religion far too casually, forgetting that they are coming before God.


The Christian and the World (Part Eight)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Having anxiety, foreboding and fretting about food, clothing, and shelter, or being distressed about the future, demonstrates a gross lack of faith.