What does Scripture say about free-moral agency? Are we human puppets on a string, manipulated from above? How does free will relate to God's sovereignty?
Richard Ritenbaugh, reminding us that Americans, whose country was founded on the principle of freedom, are fiercely protective of their rights, narcissistically claiming freedom means to do, go, say, or think whatever they want, often selfishly insisting on material acquisitions (fulfilling freedom from want) which are not …
It is good for us to remember the freedom that God has given to us, those in the church of God, a freedom that the rest of the world just does not have.
Each individual settler in the New World had not only to protect and provide for himself, but also to sacrifice for the community's sake.
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 …
One aspect of sovereignty that causes some confusion is predestination. God's sovereignty does not remove a person's free moral agency — we must still choose.
John Ritenbaugh explores several nuances of the term grace, describing a generous, thoughtful action of God, accompanied by love, which accomplishes His will, equipping us with everything we will need to be transformed into the Bride. Even though we, like Jeremiah, may feel timid and underpowered, God is always out in front, …
God's will, predestination, and choice (or free moral agency) are distinct elements that must be understood if we are to walk with God. In the example of a child summoned by a parent to clean up his room, the child's dawdling, complaining, and other acts of disobedience are not predestined nor are they part of God's will. Acts …
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.
True Christianity is a religion of constant vigilance in a conscious endeavor—striving, struggling, and making choices—to do what is right to please God.
We have to exercise faith, realizing the timing will be right for us, enabling us to accept His provisions and decisions for us without fear or anxiety.
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.
In this message on the subject of planning and God's sovereignty, John Ritenbaugh stresses that we are obliged to respond to God because He has interfered in our lives, causing us to repent, giving us His Holy Spirit, and limiting our options. We should plan our lives to be in sync with God's planning and purposes for our lives. …
Even when we exercise free moral agency, God engineers circumstances and outcomes so that we are virtually forced to make the right decision.
Though fasting deprives the physical body of nutrition and strength, a proper, biblical fast adds conviction and depth to the inner, spiritual man.
God's sovereignty is one of the most important issues a Christian must consider. Have we acknowledged that He has total authority over us in particular?
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 …
In terms of salvation, works cannot save, but good works are the fruit of God's involvement. Grace frees one; works prove that one has been freed.
Mark Schindler, establishing some foundational principles that God does not create chaos and confusion, but has re-established order after Satan's rebellion, points out the danger and folly of presumptuously choosing standards of right and wrong rather than trusting God's judgment. The essential dualities of the Tree of Life and …
As we closed Part One, we saw that Jesus Himself requested of the Father that His disciples, which we are, be sanctified: "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, ...
Mark Schindler, reflecting on Michael Abraschoff's book, It's Your Ship, suggests that just as a captain of a ship wants decision-makers, not just order takers, God expects members of His family to be decision-makers. We cannot follow the example of Satan, who used his free moral agency to succumb to pride and vanity, totally …
We are assured that even though inexplicable things happen in our lives, God is still sovereign. We must develop childlike faith to trust in Him for solutions.
This earth is a prison, and Satan is its jailer. The inmates—mankind—do not realize that there is no free will! A prison takes away freedom.
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.
God not only rules in heaven, but He is also sovereign on earth! He is not an absentee landlord, but One who is actively involved in administering His creation.
Lonesome Dove contains the story of a cowboy who fails to perceive the line between right and wrong, and for his lack of moral sense, he pays with his life.
God's hand was definitely involved in the scattering of the church. We should respond by growing and preparing ourselves for His Kingdom.
The true nature of God differs greatly from the trinitarian concept. Having created us in His form and shape, God desires to develop us into His character image.
Those who believe in the "once saved always saved" doctrine fail to see that God has a more extensive and creative plan for mankind than merely saving him.
God desires far more for us than mere satisfaction: He wants to give us real contentment, a state that comes only through a relationship with Him.
God's sovereignty seems to imply that prayer is pointless. Yet the function of prayer is not to change God's mind, but ours!
Is God sovereign over angels? What about mankind's choices? God's sovereignty is absolute as He directs events toward the culmination of His plan.
Our human nature reflects the nature of malevolent spirits' attitudes. The only way to overcome it is through God's creating a new heart in us by His Spirit.
Many people divide sin into physical and spiritual sins, but the Bible clearly says that all sin is lawlessness.
We need free moral agency to be transformed into God's image. Unless one has God's Spirit, he cannot exercise the internal control to be subject to the way of God.
Progressives tend to believe that human nature is perfectible and evolving. Conservatives tend to believe that human nature is evil and must be controlled.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on "Heavenly places in Christ", asserts that Christianity is an other-worldly religion, where we walk by faith, not by sight. We are to be "cut out" from the world in order to be a "cut above" through our sanctification, emulating the holiness of God. We find within …
We must put our lives, treasure, and honor on the line, picking up our cross daily, declaring our independence from carnality, evil and bondage to sin.