We tend to avoid acknowledging our weaknesses, but at some point, each of us will admit our powerlessness and inability to carry out God's will on our own.
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 book of Hebrews teaches that our relationship to Christ as our Savior, High Priest, and King is the key to salvation. He shows us the way to the Father.
Here are five easily neglected doctrines, which, if carelessly observed or distorted, could jeopardize the salvation of God's people.
The focus of our self-examination should not be self-centered or comparing ourselves with others, but on the awesome significance of His sacrifice.
We keep Unleavened Bread because of what God did to bring us out of sin (typified by Egypt). While God compels us to make choices, He is with us all the way.
Anxiety and fretting (symptoms of coveting and idolatry), in addition to cutting life short, erode faith, destroying serenity by borrowing tomorrow's troubles.
Anxious care and foreboding are debilitating and faith-destroying. Meditating on what God has already done strengthens our faith and trust in God.
John Ritenbaugh, cuing in Romans 11:26, which states that the calling of God is irrevocable and eventually the vast majority of Israel will be saved, suggests that the conversion of the Gentiles is part of God's plan to bring maximum conversion. As God's called-out ones, having been gifted with special spiritual gifts, we must …
Having anxiety, foreboding and fretting about food, clothing, and shelter, or being distressed about the future, demonstrates a gross lack of faith.
Jesus performed two miracles in which His disciples pulled in large catches of fish. The second took place after His resurrection, showing spiritual progress.
David Grabbe, focusing on the vine-branch analogy in John 15, reminds us that we can bear no spiritual fruit if we are not connected to Jesus Christ. Because our culture has been conditioned to the glories of 'rugged individualism' we have a resistance to any kind of submission to any power greater than ourselves. Our Elder …
The epistle of Hebrews is so vital to Christians in the first century and now because it explains the unique place and power of Christianity's High Priest.
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.
Hebrews emphasizes that spiritual growth and glorification depends on an individual's relationship with Christ, the centerpiece of the Book of Hebrews.
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.
Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled His spiritual responsibilities and can now aid us in fulfilling ours, which includes keeping God's commandments.
God personally communicated with Adam, Eve, Abraham, Moses, the prophets, and to us through His Son. With the Scriptures, God teaches His faithful today.
The Book of Hebrews is a must-read for all members of God's church who seek the key for spiritual growth through a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Jewish converts to the Way, although having had the benefit of Messianic prophecies, did not recognize the powerful significance of Psalm 8.
The book of Hebrews' audience consisted of converts from Judaism, suffering estrangement from family and community, excommunicated from the temple.
John Ritenbaugh, warning us not to complain about our lack of talents or spiritual gifts, assures us that, if we were called because of our talents, we would be able to brag. However, we were called solely for the purpose of fulfilling what God has in mind for us. To that end, God has given diverse gifts to all He has called, …
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 …
To counteract complacency, Hebrews warns against neglecting God's invitation of salvation, which He does not guarantee until sanctification has run its course.
John Ritenbaugh, observing that Psalm 78 reveals Israel's intermittent fractured-and-restored-relationship with God, emphasizes that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are destined to repeat them. Israel has forgotten her unique position as the only people to whom God has revealed Himself. Sadly, Israel is …
The Law of Entropy teaches that matter is moving toward disorder. But when we remember God's sovereignty, we can conclude that there is a purpose in this futility.
John Ritenbaugh, suggesting that most of us resemble the Samaritan woman in our understanding of the value of our calling, maintains that our relationship with God is our sole protection from carnal human nature and the deadly pulls of the world. Whatever consumes our time has the power to either edify or distract us. Faith and …
Ted Bowling, reminding us that prayer is our lifeline to God, a medium in which our faith is strengthened, focuses on several positions or postures used in prayer, including kneeling , bowing the head, or lying prostrate (all conveying degrees of submission and humility), but gives special attention to the posture of raising …
Government may be the most important subject in the Bible because it touches on how Christians are to govern themselves under the sovereignty of God.
Paul knew that only through strengthening his relationship with God was he able to both abound and be abased. When we are in trouble, we need to contact God first.
In Hebrews, we learn that Jesus is the only- begotten Son, creator and heir of all things, the express image of God's person, and has purged our sins.
Most of the attrition from the truth stems from losing interest. Drifting away is rarely intentional, but the result of choosing to live carnally.
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 identifies Christ as co-eternal with the Father, equal in character, but subordinate in authority. Christ's sonship was unique; He was the 'only Begotten Son.'
John Ritenbaugh, maintaining that our responsibility is to yield to God's sovereignty, nevertheless suggests that God has, by giving us free will, enabled us to freely sin, but holds us responsible for governing ourselves. The word govern, derived from the Latin noun gubern?tor, indicates a regulating, as in steering a ship with …
John Ritenbaugh contends that history is not confined to the past. We are actively participating in it just as surely as the prominent figures of the Bible. As citizens of Jerusalem above, we need to have our minds singly focused on the heavenly homeland where Jesus Christ dwells, mortifying our flesh, realizing that we need to …
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.
Although God never intended the Old Covenant to endure eternally, the spiritual law (shared by both the old and new covenants) lasts forever.
God's sovereignty and free moral agency set up a seeming paradox. Just how much choice and freedom do we have under God's sovereign rule?
Those who emphasize one trait of God, or one doctrine, at the expense of the others run the risk of distorting the truth, creating a grotesque caricature.
John Ritenbaugh maintains that Ecclesiastes 3:10-15 constitutes a useful roadmap for the confusing labyrinth of life. God's ways are inscrutable to most people; grasping these revelations requires a special gift. Unless God calls us and gifts us with this insight, we will have absolutely no clue as to our eventual purpose, …
The end of the sanctification process is when Christ will have defeated all enemies and put all things under His feet. Then, God the Father will be all in all.
Works demonstrate our faith, our response to God's calling and His freely given grace. Reciprocity is always a part of our relationship with God.
Human beings, even those who have been called, have an innate fear that God will not always provide. This fear originates in doubt about God's power.
Martin Collins, contrasting the world's mega-churches with the church that Christ is building, focuses on the body analogy (I Corinthians 12), illustrating the interconnectedness of all members to Christ and to each other. In considering the differing functions of the body's parts, we realize that not one is unimportant or …
Martin Collins, reflecting on the many struggles we all undergo as Christians, suggests that people who have no conflict in their lives cannot really be Christians. As we attempt to overcome the world, we soon realize that we battle against invisible principalities, requiring us to form a close relationship with Christ, …
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.
What is it to be poor in spirit? This attribute is foundational to Christian living. Those who are truly poor in spirit are on the road to true spiritual riches.
Jesus encouraged His disciples by promising to send the Holy Spirit to empower them for the challenges of the Christian life, making us sensitive to God.