Matthew (Part 4)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh distinguishes a temple from a synagogue, indicating that there was but one temple in Jerusalem, a monument to God, having very little preaching, but many synagogues in each town. Jesus taught in their synagogues in services which contained formalized prayers and readings from the scripture. Following the …


On The Value of Joy

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, acknowledging that joy is enumerated second in the order of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22, speculates upon the possibility that God intended a pre-determined order for these spiritual gifts, perhaps from the most important to lesser degrees of importance. If this is the case, Joy occupies a …


Journey for Joy

Sermonette by Bill Onisick

Only when we are united with God can we find true joy. If we consistently use His Spirit as a resource, we will have joy as we navigate through trials.


Fortress of Joy

Sermonette by Bill Onisick

Human happiness is perishable, dependent as it is on positive life-experiences. Spiritual joy is infinitely more enduring than happiness based in the world.


Repentance: The Genuine Article (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

True repentance involves pain, particularly emotional pain. To repent is wrenching to the psyche. It really hurts because it is difficult to do.


The End

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, referring to the caption, "The End," suggests that "The End" may also fill our minds with prophetic symbolism at the end of the age. Noah's flood was an end, the temple's destruction was an end, Christ's second coming will be an end, and the Last Great Day will be an end as well as a …


The Beatitudes, Part Three: Mourning

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Blessedness and mourning seem contradictory, but obviously Jesus saw spiritual benefits to sorrow. True, godly mourning gets high marks from God.


Lamentations (Part Three)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh warns that these laments contain little that is jovial or uplifting, but instead are saturated in despair, sorrow, mourning, and even recrimination against God on the part of a personified Jerusalem, whom God depicts as a grieving widow, blaming others for her troubles while overlooking her own sins as the …


Lamentations (Part Five)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, continuing his excursion through the Book of Lamentations, observes that the expressions of sorrow in the Psalms far outnumber expressions of praise, indicating that the Hebrew culture has almost made the lamentation an art form. An organizational pattern useful in the examination of these lamentations is …


Are Your Feelings Fighting Your Faith?

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, suggesting that, while society has rejected religious principles and faith, it has glommed onto superficial feelingséwhatever feels good to us. Today's Christianity is more theatrics than theological; feelings have become the replacement for faith. When we stifle the truth of God's word to accommodate feelings, …


Ecclesiastes and Christian Living (Part Eight): Death

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Ecclesiastes 7:1-4 highlight the Bible's attitude toward death, particularly its insistence that we allow the reality of death to change our approach to life.


Wisdom for the Young (Part One)

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

For the past sixty years, America has been dominated by one particular generation of its citizens, the many millions born just after World War II, also known as the "Baby Boomers. ...


Lamentations (Part Six)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, asking why Christians should ruminate about sorrow and grief instead of focusing on happy thoughts, reminds us that death and suffering are staple features of the human condition and that we need to learn how to handle grief and loss, thereby becoming a witness for those who do not yet know the truth. Isaiah …


The Book of Joel (Part One)

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, reflecting on the devastating locust plagues described in Joel, marvels that the prophet, instead of promising a silver lining on a very black cloud, affirmed that things were going to get intensely worse before they got better. Nevertheless, Joel, whose name means Yahve is God, in the middle of his prophecy, …


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.


The Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Joy is more than just happiness. There is a joy that God gives, through the action of His Spirit in us, that far exceeds mere human cheerfulness.


A Time to Tear

Sermon by Charles Whitaker

Charles Whitaker, focusing upon the phrase in Ecclesiastes 3:7 that there is a time to tear [or rend] and a time to sew [or mend], delves into the Middle Eastern cultural practice of tearing garments as an expression of grief or despair. When God became upset with Solomon, the kingdom was torn in two as a torn garment. In the …


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 Miracles of Jesus Christ: The Resurrection of Lazarus (Part One)

Bible Study by Martin G. Collins

Among Christ's greatest miracles is the resurrection of Lazarus. John 11 details Jesus' approach to and way of expressing the concept of death, giving hope.


Joy in Our Time

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, continuing on the theme set last week that "we are living in the best of times and the worst of times," and that "life is difficult," affirms that the attainment of joy is problematic at best. It is getting to the point that national repentance is no longer possible. Attainment of calm joy …


Joy

Bible Study by Martin G. Collins

A biblical study on the basic aspects of one of the fruit of God's Spirit, joy.


Godly Regret

Sermonette by Ryan McClure

Ryan McClure, addressing the topic of human regret and Godly remorse, maintains that feelings of remorse and regret have the possibility of either leading to destruction or to repentance. Examples of regret and remorse permeate the scripture, including the regret of ancient Israel for having left the "comforts" of …


Is Ignorance Truly Bliss?

Sermonette by David C. Grabbe

David Grabbe, examining the saying, "ignorance is bliss," implying that a measure of peace may come to us if we do not know something that might be disturbing, cautions us that this ignorance is dangerous when it comes to the spiritual preparation of self-examination before the Passover. Self-evaluation is foundational …


Repentance and Righteousness (Part 1)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Nothing happens in our lives (including repentance) until God initiates it. A change of heart, by God's Holy Spirit, results in a total change of direction.