Ecclesiastes and Wisdom

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the writings of the wisest mortal man who ever lived, admonishes us that we must use our faith to follow what God says, acquiring wisdom and understanding with all the energy and resources we have. There is a vital linkage between wisdom and understanding, but the latter comes only through hard …


Understanding and Wisdom (Part 1)

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

Knowledge, understanding and wisdom leads to righteousness and ultimately knowing God and attaining eternal life. By applying diligence, wisdom will accrue.


Knowledge and Wisdom

Sermonette by Mike Ford

Mike Ford, distinguishing the terms "knowledge" (raw, accumulated facts) and "wisdom" (knowing and doing what is right), acknowledges that wisdom does not always come with old age. Many university professors have massive quantities of facts at their fingertips but prove themselves morons when it comes knowing …


Knowledge and Wisdom (Part One)

CGG Weekly by Mike Ford

Anyone, of any age, with the gift of God's Holy Spirit, through study, prayer, and meditation can gain wisdom, that skill in living that we all need and want.


Ecclesiastes and Christian Living (Part Nine): Wisdom as a Defense

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

The type of wisdom Ecclesiastes teaches is not of the purely philosophical variety, but is a spiritual sagacity combined with practical skill in living.


Knowledge and Wisdom (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by Mike Ford

Some people seek fame and fortune with every waking hour. They are foolish because their priorities are wrong. What they are looking for has no value beyond the grave.


Discerning Truth and Applying Wisdom

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Spiritual discernment is a gift from God, enabling us to judge between good and evil, comparing things with God's Word to see if they align with His standards.


Sovereignty and Choice

Sermonette by David C. Grabbe

David Grabbe, unraveling several apparently contradictory scriptures, exposes a fundamental flaw in western thinking—namely the binary (that is, either-or) thinking that leads us to construct false dilemmas. Perhaps the best example of this is the one delineated by Protestant theologians who conceptualize law and grace at …


Ecclesiastes Resumed (Part Six)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the multiple nuances of the Hebrew words translated into the English word "wisdom," suggests that an acquired skill for living represents the common denominator in all of these definitions. Godly wisdom is only attained with a high degree of training. Carnal wisdom, through the labyrinth …


Ecclesiastes Resumed (Part Twenty)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Proverbs 4:7, maintains that our supreme objective in godly living is attainment and cultivation of wisdom, which consists of attributes giving us skill in living. We learn that the Book of Ecclesiastes has no meaning for someone not called of God, relegating it as an epistle of despair from one of …


Ecclesiastes and Christian Living (Part Thirteen): Confessions

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

As he closes Ecclesiastes 7, Solomon makes a confession about the search for wisdom, saying that, even to him, true wisdom remained beyond his grasp.


Ecclesiastes and Christian Living (Part Ten): Paradox

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Ecclesiastes 7 contains a paradox: wickedness appears to be rewarded and righteousness seems to bring trouble. We must be careful in how we respond to this.


Good Old Age

Sermonette by James Beaubelle

James Beaubelle, distinguishing "old age" from "good old age," asserts that the latter can only be attained by (1) Godly Wisdom, (2) Obedience to Law, and (3) the Fear of the Lord. We must seek all three to live to a good old age of peace and contentment, avoiding the miserable existence from the "School …


What Is Christ's Hidden Treasure?

Sermonette by David C. Grabbe

David Grabbe, asserting that the parable of the leaven hidden in the meal and the parable of the treasure hidden in the field serve as the juxtaposition of a negative and positive symbol (respectively, leaven and treasure), identifies a stark contrast between evil corruption and godly treasure, hidden for totally different …


Developing Discernment

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Human discernment can be developed and exercised, triggering early warning systems with the reactions of revulsion and confusion when confronted by evil.


Get Understanding

Sermonette by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh claims that the Queen of Sheba, a descendent of Shem and the Yemenite people, was extremely impressed with the discernment and wisdom of Solomon, suggesting that she had not even heard half about his ability to discern and apply knowledge. Solomon had not asked for wisdom, but instead for understanding and the …


Ecclesiastes Resumed (Part Sixteen)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reminding us that Ecclesiastes chapters 1-6 contains a sub-theme of materialism—specifically an indictment of the supposed satisfaction one receives from it suggests that materialism contains no lasting fulfillment. According to some studies, the higher a person is on the economic scale, the less …


The Elements of Motivation (Part Two): Vision

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

The Kingdom of God is our goal, and our vision of what it means gives us compelling motivation to overcome, grow, and bear fruit in preparation for eternal life.


Ecclesiastes Resumed (Part Seventeen)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh reiterates that satisfaction in life does not derive from material things or wealth, by instead from an eternal relationship with God who has given us abundant spiritual gifts which we must reciprocate by developing skill in living from using godly wisdom. Wisdom enables us to make the very best practical use of …


An Exhortation for Young Adults

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the recent untimely death of Amanda Allen , focuses on some lyrics of a popular song recorded in 1975 by Matt Monro, titled "Yesterday When I Was Young." Sadly, wisdom is not a trait valued or acquired by youth, but takes second place to strength, beauty, or fun. We get too soon old and …


Sin (Part Two)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Thoughts, words, or behaviors not in alignment with the mind of God are also violations against God's law. Foolishness should never be part of our conduct.


The Danger of Trusting in Oneself

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, acknowledging that the expression "woe" (suggesting agony, despair, and grave calamity) gets our immediate attention, reminds us that there is nothing new under the sun. Everything, including fashion, thought, and evil endlessly recycle. America, as well as the rest of the world, has gone through a …


Hating Evil, Fearing God

'Ready Answer' by David C. Grabbe

Good and evil do not mix; we cannot associate with what is wrong. The proper fear of God plays a significant role in ridding evil from our lives.


Ecclesiastes and Christian Living (Part Twelve): Paradox, Conclusion

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

There is a danger that arises when the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper: trying to put God under obligation to bless us through becoming 'super-righteous'.


Deuteronomy (Part 5)

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh stresses that the day-to-day choices we make have far-reaching spiritual consequences. When we incrementally learn to fear God, we make a choice to preserve our eternal life. God initiated our calling as an expression of His love and grace. Contrary to popular misconception, the law was given after salvation (as …


Ecclesiastes Resumed (Part Twenty-One)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 …


Ecclesiastes Resumed (Part Eighteen)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

We accept most of our opinions, prejudices, and beliefs unconsciously. We must scrutinize our own beliefs through the principles of God's Holy Scriptures.


Sovereignty and Its Fruit: Part Ten

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Once we accept God's sovereignty, it begins to produce certain virtues in us. John Ritenbaugh explains four of these byproducts of total submission to God.


Even From My Youth

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, observing how the mood and attitude of a generation shapes society, focuses upon the ramifications of the Baby Boomers "Youth Culture," pampering, overprotecting, and worshipping its young people. It teaches a narcissistic, "look out for Number One" attitude, delaying responsibility and …


The Sovereignty of God (Part Ten)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Like Job, we must surrender to God's will and purpose for our lives, realizing that both pleasant and horrendous times work for our spiritual development.


Ecclesiastes and the Feast of Tabernacles (Part 2)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

God emphasizes Ecclesiastes during the Feast of Tabernacles to show the result of doing whatever our human heart leads us to do. The physical cannot satisfy.


Ecclesiastes Resumed (Part Thirty)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reiterating that wisdom is not the answer to all of life's problems, indicates that it is still a valuable virtue, transforming us for good and a sense of well-being. In the matter of deference to civil authority, we must remember that, as ambassadors and sojourners in a foreign land, we must give governing …


Ecclesiastes Resumed (Part Fifteen)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, continuing his exposition on Ecclesiastes 6, appraises the book of Ecclesiastes as the most bluntly profound book in the entire Bible, pointing to our urgent need to develop a relationship with God. We did not create ourselves or give ourselves life. The Psalmist David realized we were made by somebody other …


The Longsuffering of Our Lord Is Salvation

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, citing a startling 700,000 assaults ("intimate partner violence" episodes) in 2001, accounting for 20% of felonious crime, suggests that patience and longsuffering are diminishing commodities in modern Israel, while selfishness and violence sadly are on the increase. We are admonished, as practicing …


Ecclesiastes Resumed (Part Twenty-Five)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the unpleasant prospect of overhearing hurtful gossip about us from someone we have trusted, observes that, in all likelihood, our tongue has been just as detrimental against someone who may have trusted us. What goes around comes around; we reap what we sow. Even though the best defense is not to …


Elements of Motivation (Part One)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Having knowledge of God's law is not a guarantee of spiritual success or growth. Only those motivated to use the law will experience growth and produce fruit. The fear of God is the first element of motivation, ranging from reverential awe to stark terror. Fearing God leads to a determination not to bring shame on God's name or …


The Fear of God

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Many have inadvertently adopted a soft concept of God, disrespecting and showing contempt for God's authority and power. Godly fear is a gift of wisdom.


Ecclesiastes Resumed (Part Twenty-Eight)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reiterating the warning of the apostle Paul that evil company corrupts good habits, warns us that the desire to sin is highly contagious and is a deadly, communicable disease. Because the world we inhabit swims in sin, we have the obligation to become a thinking people, voluntarily choosing God's purpose for …


Ecclesiastes Resumed (Part Twenty-Six)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

To keep us secure from the temptations of the world, we must embrace our metaphorical sister, Wisdom, keeping us focused on our relationship with God.


Ecclesiastes and Christian Living (Part One)

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Ecclesiastes is full of frustration, bluntness, and even a little hopeless. However, its themes are realistic and necessary for us to grasp.


Do You See God? (Part Two)

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Conversion is a lifelong process in which we endeavor to see things as God does. We must understand and act on the fact that God is deeply involved with us.