Acts (Part 15)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

After explaining the context in which Paul advocated going from house to house, John Ritenbaugh reiterates that Paul, who understands clearly that God alone calls (John 6:44), makes his initial contact with non-believers in public places (synagogue and forum), going later to private dwellings by invitation only. Chapter 15 …


Acts (Part 14)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the intent or purpose of the scripture in Deuteronomy 23:2 prohibiting offspring from illegitimate unions (often carrying psychological baggage and irreversible physical damage) from holding offices of responsibility in physical Israel for ten generations. Acts 14 begins with the people of the …


Acts (Part 16)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

Through Acts 1-15, God (primarily through the work of Peter, Paul and James) has removed His work out of the Judaistic mold, creating the Israel of God (the church) designed to spread to the Gentiles. Though certain ceremonial and civil aspects of the law were (for a time) suspended, the Law of God was never suspended, …


Acts (Part 22)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the Sabbath Command (as well as all of the Ten Commandments) was made for both Jews and Gentiles (all of mankind). Throughout the book of Acts, Gentiles are faithfully keeping the Sabbath along with the Jews. Paul's insistence that a relationship with God could not be established by keeping the …


Hebrews: Its Background (Part Eight)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Hebrews emphasizes that spiritual growth and glorification depends on an individual's relationship with Christ, the centerpiece of the Book of Hebrews.


The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Eighteen)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Paul never taught any Jew to forsake the Law of Moses, but he did warn against Pharisaical additions for the expressed purpose of attaining justification.


Forms vs. Spirituality (Part 4)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The yoke grievous to bear (Acts 15:10) was not God's law, but an entire package of Pharisaic regulations that had been elevated to the level of God's law.


Hebrews: Its Background (Part Six)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The book of Hebrews' audience consisted of converts from Judaism, suffering estrangement from family and community, excommunicated from the temple.


Elements of Judgment (Part One)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The last days of the Worldwide Church of God demonstrated a dearth of righteous judgment. God expects us to judge wisely within the parameters of His Law.


Hebrews (Part One): The Stage Is Set

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Early converts from Judaism claimed to accept the Law but had difficulty accepting the Lawgiver. Today, many claim to accept Christ, but will not accept His Law.


Forms vs. Spirituality (Part 1)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh stresses that God esteems certain spiritual qualities above other spiritual qualities. To elevate a minor regulation above a major regulation is to spiritually lose ones sense of proportion. The attribute of love (I Corinthians 13:13) supercedes (but not negates) all other spiritual gifts or qualities. There are …


'Done Away' Is Incorrect

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Protestantism alleges that God's law is 'done away.' What Scripture shows, though, is that some aspects are not required presently, but God's law is eternal.


Hebrews: Its Background (Part Ten)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Parts of God's law are not presently required, yet not 'done away." Paul took a vow that required animal sacrifice. Ezekiel 34-48 shows the sacrificial law observed.


Elements of Judgment (Part Four)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

We need to learn to judge in a godly manner, putting merciful restraints on our tendency to condemn or jump to conclusions. One size does not fit all.


Circumcision Is Nothing?

Sermonette by Charles Whitaker

While the Jerusalem Council did rule that Gentiles were not obligated to be physically circumcised, the ruling did not extend to Israelites.


Hebrews: Its Background (Part Seven)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, examining the socio-cultural milieu before the writing of the Epistle to the Hebrews, explains the difficulties experienced by the new Jewish converts to the Gospel. The powerful testimony of the recently risen Christ, combined with the apostles, who had spent 3 ½ years under His tutelage, were the main factors …


Elements of Judgment (Part Five)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, fearing that we may be following suit in the world's religions by focusing on "getting salvation" rather than preparing for service in God's Kingdom, cautions us that we must re-orient our mindset, seeking to grow in the stature of Christ. Many mainstream religions believe that much of the …


Forms vs. Spirituality (Part 5)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The major issue in the Acts 15 decision was not doing away with God's law, but seeking a theological solution to the problem of circumcision and the Pharisaical misconception that it was a recipe for salvation. Within the context of this decision, both Paul and the Gentile converts faithfully continued to keep God's laws. In our …


The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Twenty-Eight)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The yoke of bondage Paul refers to in Galatians was a combination of the code of regulations added by the Pharisees and Gnostic ritualism, not God's Law.


Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Four)

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

We often spend so much time engaged in our present-day trials that we fail to understand and learn from the experiences of Christians of the past.


On This Side of Jordan

Sermon by Charles Whitaker

Charles Whitaker, examining Christ's statement that the law will not pass away until all has been fulfilled, indicates that the Law of God will change only when the preconditions Christ established in Matthew 5:18 have been met. Paul asks and answers the question, "Why do we need the law in the first place?" in …


The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Twenty-Five)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

In Galatians, Paul took issue with the Halakhah, not God's word. Halakhah was a massive collection of human opinion that placed a yoke on its followers.


The Covenant of Circumcision

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

Circumcision was the sign God gave Abraham indicating that his descendants would ascend to greatness, acquiring physical and spiritual blessings.


The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Twenty-Four)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The days, months, and times of Galatians 4:10 do not refer to God's Holy Days (which are not weak or beggarly), but to pagan rites the Galatians came out of.