Genesis 1 and Free-Moral Agency

CGG Weekly by John W. Ritenbaugh

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?


Freedom's Dark Underbelly

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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 …


Our Declaration of Independence (Part One)

CGG Weekly by John Reiss

Here in the United States, we are rapidly approaching our nation's Independence Day. It was two hundred and forty-one years ago, on July 2, 1776—not July 4 as many people believe ...


Succeeding in the New World

CGG Weekly

In April 1607, three small English ships lay anchored in Chesapeake Bay as 104 men left their vessels to plant their feet on solid ground. ...


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 …


The Sovereignty of God: Part Seven

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Sovereignty, Election, and Grace (Part Three)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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, …


The Sovereignty of God (Part Seven)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

In the example of a child summoned by a parent to clean up his room, the child's dawdling and complaining are not predestined nor are they part of God's will.


The Sovereignty of God and Human Responsibility: Part Eleven

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

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?


The Sovereignty of God (Part Twelve)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Little Choices

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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.


The Providence of God (Part Three)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Why Are You Here?

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Sovereignty, Election, and Grace (Part Four)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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. …


The Providence of God (Part Two)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Even when we exercise free moral agency, God engineers circumstances and outcomes so that we are virtually forced to make the right decision.


Fasting: Building Spiritual Muscle

Article by David F. Maas

Though fasting deprives the physical body of nutrition and strength, a proper, biblical fast adds conviction and depth to the inner, spiritual man.


The Sovereignty of God: Introduction

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

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?


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 …


Sovereignty, Election, and Grace (Part Five)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


No Failsafe Needed

Sermon by Mark Schindler

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 …


Are These Your Feasts? (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by Mark Schindler

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, ...


The Ship Is Yours

Sermon by Mark Schindler

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 …


The Sovereignty of God (Part One)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Are These Your Feasts? (Part One)

CGG Weekly by Mark Schindler

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.


God's Creation and Our Works

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


The Sovereignty of God: Part Four

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Do We See the Line?

'Ready Answer' by Mike Ford

Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove , a bestselling book and television miniseries in the 1980s, 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. Mike Ford considers I Corinthians 6:12 and the subject of "gray areas," showing that learning …


God's Sovereignty and the Church's Condition (Part Two)

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

God's hand was definitely involved in the scattering of the church. We should respond by growing and preparing ourselves for His Kingdom.


Image and Likeness of God (Part Five)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Sovereignty and 'Once Saved Always Saved'

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh contends that those who believe in the "once saved always saved" doctrine foolishly fail to see that God has a more extensive and creative plan for mankind than merely saving them. One can fail to bring forth fruits of repentance and thus qualify for the Lake of Fire. By denigrating the role of works in …


Ecclesiastes and Christian Living (Part Seven): Contentment

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


The Sovereignty of God: Part Nine

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

God's sovereignty seems to imply that prayer is pointless. Yet the function of prayer is not to change God's mind, but ours!


The Sovereignty of God: Part Five

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Communication and Leaving Babylon (Part Two)

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Humanity finds itself inhabiting a world that is the place of restraint for untold numbers of malevolent spirits, all of whom hate God and desire to destroy mankind. John Ritenbaugh reiterates that our human nature reflects these spirits' attitudes, and the only way to overcome it is through God's creating a new heart in us by …


Sin Is Spiritual!

'Ready Answer' by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Many people divide sin into physical and spiritual sins, but the Bible clearly says that all sin is lawlessness.


Self-Government and Responsibility (Part One)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Human Nature: Good or Evil?

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Progressives tend to believe that human nature is perfectible and evolving. Conservatives tend to believe that human nature is evil and must be controlled.


The Faithfulness of God (Part Three)

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 …


The Summertime Soldier and Sunshine Patriotism

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.