The Kingdom parables allude to the process of spiritual maturity, depicting a planted and cultivated seed becoming a sprout, eventually bearing fruit.
God displays emotions, but they are always under control, unlike mankind. Using God's Spirit, we can grow into emotional (not emotionless) spiritual maturity.
One of the most widely occurring metaphors in the Bible involves eating. We must develop the ability to feed ourselves properly, discerning the good and bad.
Like its physical counterpart, spiritual growth happens slowly. A newly baptized Christian will not produce the fruit of the spirit as easily as a mature one.
Most of our Christian lives will be spent going on to perfection. But what is it? How do we do it? This Bible Study will help explain this broad, yet vital subject.
What is perfection? Does God require perfection of us? Mike Ford defines Biblical perfection and shows to what standard God holds us accountable.
Horticulture is not so easy as merely planting a seed and watching it grow. Tending and keeping implies continually watering, fertilizing, and cultivating.
Some in Antioch believed the preaching of the persecuted Christians, and they not only agreed with the teaching but also changed or transformed their lives.
Ted Bowling, drawing a spiritual analogy from the growth of a pineapple, observes that it takes a long time from planting to harvest—approximately three years for the plant to mature. At first, all that matures is the foliage. The majority of the growth or maturation takes place from within. The same holds true for our …
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the increasing delay of adult responsibilities and behavior in our society, suggests that while puberty seems to have become triggered earlier, in far too many cases, self-centered dependency has been protracted into the early 30's. The youth of the church (adults too!) need to develop …
The Parable of the Growing Seed is unique to the book of Mark, the most basic of the gospels, perhaps due to it being so simple and its point self-evident.
John Ritenbaugh, using athletic running metaphors, emphasizes that we, like the Apostle Paul, must discipline ourselves, apply concentrated effort, and run with endurance to attain our reward or office (not to attain salvation, as some anti-nomian teachers have falsely charged). Sanctification is the longest, most difficult, and …
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on an article in The Telegraph (UK), describes a cultural phenomenon known as "adolescent geriatrics"—when a senior citizen, ignoring the ravages of time, continues youthful styles, desires, and goals. Many 60s hippies have never matured, totally untouched by the wisdom of age. The …
In these days of psychology and feeling, doctrine is not very popular. But it is absolutely necessary for the salvation! Here are the basic doctrines.
We are bombarded by technology, competing for our attention, causing us to drift from our spiritual quest. God expects us to continue to mature spiritually.
Why should we think that God disdains requirements for entrance into His Kingdom? Spiritual growth is an intrinsic part of equipping the saints for service.
Richard Ritenbaugh, continuing his series on child rearing principles, commences by focusing on the history of child rearing in America, beginning with the patriarchal dominance of the Victorian era through the watershed period of World War I, ushering in the beginning of progressive, permissive influence, replete with Freudian …
The priorities in Matthew 6:33 indicates that the primary emphasis should be on repentance and overcoming rather than mastering a technicality.
Unless we are employed in a maritime occupation or have a particular interest in sailboats, we probably do not know a great deal about sailing. Using Paul's analogy in Ephesians 4:14, Gary Montgomery teaches a handy nautical maneuver, discussing how the steady, contrary winds of this world's way of life can be overcome by …
Protestantism unthinkingly presents grace as "free." However, Scripture shows that God expects a great deal of effort from us once we receive it—it is costly.
Like Moses, we have to develop conviction, a product of a relationship of God, established by being faithful day by day in the little things of life.
James Beaubelle, reminding God's people of Christ's warning in the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, "many are called, but few are chosen," indicates that, over the course of hundreds of years, only a few have been willing to hold to the covenant with God or make the sacrifice for building the faith He requires. …
God calls Israel a seed of highest quality, but she turned into a degenerate vine, bearing bitter fruit, rejecting God and relying on her own resources.
What does the Bible mean when it says we should count it all joy when you fall into various trials? What is this joy we must experience, and how do we come by it?
Ted Bowling, reflecting on his recent participation in the 40th reunion of Frankfort, Indiana High School, recounts his initial feelings of apprehension at the prospect of being re-immersed in the culture of 40 years ago, in which jocks, nerds, cheerleaders, and hot-rod enthusiasts carved out their territories and intimidated …
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 …
There must be something to prove we are one with Christ and in union with the Father and the Son. That something is the manner in which we conduct our life.
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.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread immediately follows the Passover. In it we see how hard it is to overcome and rid our lives of sin.
God is putting His children through a demanding educational program designed to teach godly values and impart spiritual maturity. Learning is hard work.
Graduations bring advice-laden commencement speeches designed to inspire and motivate young people, sending them out to their destinations and destinies.