The Spiritual Hard Hat Zone

'Ready Answer' by David F. Maas

Christian's lives are constantly under construction. It is this point of view that makes it easier for us to deal with both setbacks and progress.


Spiritual Maturity

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

The Kingdom parables allude to the process of spiritual maturity, depicting a planted and cultivated seed becoming a sprout, eventually bearing fruit.


Patience With Growth

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Fruit maturation takes time. Waiting for the fruit is just part of the story; while we wait, we must also work, including thinning and pruning.


Growth

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

The Western emphasis on growth has taken root within Christianity. 'Success' for a church is measured in income and membership, which are deceptive metrics.


Growing to Perfection

Article by Charles Whitaker

Charles Whitaker shows that spiritual growth mimics our physical growth to maturity. If we continue in the process, we will "grow into" our potential as God's children.


What Is Real Conversion? (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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.


Like a Growing Seed (Part One)

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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.


A Time to Grow

Sermonette by Ryan McClure

Horticulture is not so easy as merely planting a seed and watching it grow. Tending and keeping implies continually watering, fertilizing, and cultivating.


What Is Real Conversion? (Part Six)

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Conversion must out in changed behavior, the fruit of God's Spirit accomplishing its miraculous work in us. The Corinthians provide a negative example.


Like a Growing Seed (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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.


The Patient Pineapple

Sermonette by Ted E. Bowling

The majority of the growth or maturation of a pineapple plant takes place from within. The same holds true for our calling and conversion.


Journey of the Monarch Butterfly

Sermonette by Ryan McClure

Ryan McClure, drawing a spiritual analogy from the fascinating metamorphosis of a monarch butterfly, from a lowly larva to an aviation marvel, able to journey thousands of miles, displaying magnificent regal colors, makes a comparison to our own metamorphosis from a carnal, fleshly (relatively worm-like) existence to a glorious, …


Perfection...Piece by Piece

'Ready Answer' by Mike Ford (1955-2021)

What is perfection? Does God require perfection of us? The Bible defines perfection in a surprising way, and tells to what standard God holds us accountable.


Basic Doctrines: Going On to Perfection

Bible Study by Staff

Most of our Christian lives will be spent going on to perfection. But how do we do it? This Bible Study helps explain this broad, yet vital subject.


Magic Doesn't Work (Part Three)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Magic is always used as some kind of weapon, but not to build or develop moral strength or character. God chooses a life-long process of sanctification.


Holy Days: Unleavened Bread

Bible Study by Staff

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.


Marriage—A God-Plane Relationship (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

When God introduces marriage, the first thing He does is to put it on a spiritual plane. Our relationships should include this God-plane quality.


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.


Daily Overcoming

Sermonette by Bill Onisick

Daily reflection helps to identify areas in our lives that need to be overcome. Without self-reflection, overcoming specific faults cannot gain traction.


Making the Cut (Part One)

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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.


Righteousness from Inside-Out

'Ready Answer' by David F. Maas

Many people fail to understand the kind of righteousness God is looking for. God wants it written on our hearts—not just a set of dos and don'ts.


God's Tools

Sermonette by Clyde Finklea

Spiritual maturity does not come about without difficulty, and suffering is one of God's tools to perfect us. Suffering refines endurance and character.


Five Teachings of Grace

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


What Happens Next

Sermonette by Ryan McClure

Ryan McClure, acknowledging that self-reflection over our own spiritual progress (perhaps without seeing any progress) has potentially a negative effect, avers that we should understand self-reflection as a God-given tool to produce abundant spiritual fruit. The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25 teaches that God requires a …


Adolescent Geriatrics

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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 …


The Endurance of the Firstfruits (Part One)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

The seven Sabbaths in the count to Pentecost represent the process of the firstfruits becoming spiritually complete, that is, perfect and blameless.


Overcoming (Part 2): Self-Justification

Bible Study by Staff

A great impediment to overcoming our sins is self-justification. We tend to excuse ourselves for what we do, and this only makes it harder to become like God.


Hebrews (Part Fourteen): Chapter 2, A Mind Bending Purpose (Part Three)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Without a meaningful relationship with Christ, God's people cannot possibly bear fruit. Our responsibility is to yield to God's creative work in our lives.


The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Nine)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Satan has attempted to obliterate the sanctification step from the conversion process. Sanctification is produced by doing works pleasing to God.


Of Living Dogs and Dead Lions

Sermonette by Austin Del Castillo

Guilt from failure to overcome is a dangerous distraction. When we consider God's profound pity, we realize that He is able to cleanse us, too.


Our Part in the Sanctification Process (Part One)

Sermon by David F. Maas

Misguided theologians have tried to create a false dichotomy between grace and works. We do works of obedience to build character, not to earn salvation.


Invisible Algorithms

CGG Weekly by Steven Skidmore

Using data such as website history, social media friend lists, and click behavior on news headlines, algorithms make guesses about what content to show us.


We Are Part of Something Special

Sermonette by Ted E. Bowling

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 …


A Seed of Highest Quality

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

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.


Ask and It Will Be Given

'Ready Answer' by Staff

Many people hit a plateau in their spiritual growth and go little further. Have we have overlooked the simple principle of 'ask and it will be given'?


Choosing the New Man (Part One)

Article by Charles Whitaker

The Bible describes many men, but one of the most important is the new man, a creative effort of renewing our minds in cooperation with God.


The Beatitudes, Part Four: Hungering and Thirsting After Righteousness

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

It is quite rare to see a person who truly hungers and thirsts after God's way, but this is the kind of desire God wants us to have.


Joy and Trial

'Ready Answer' by Mike Ford (1955-2021)

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?


The Purpose of the Ministry

Sermon by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

The purpose of the ministry is to train members for service to God, edifying them, equipping them for their job, and bringing them to spiritual maturity.


Godly Training and Admonition

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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 Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Nineteen)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The spirit of the law does not do away with the letter of the law; without the letter, there is no spirit because there is no foundation. Examples show God's will.


The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Eight)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Justification is not the end of the salvation process, but merely the opening to sanctification, where we bear fruit and give evidence of God's Spirit in us.


Conviction, Moses and Us

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Desire Earnestly to Prophesy

'Ready Answer' by Bill Cherry

Paul's admonition to the Corinthians to desire to prophesy has confused some due to a fundamental misunderstanding of what prophesying really is. Bill Cherry examines this command in its context, showing that it has everything to do with Christian fellowship, particularly on the Sabbath.


Like a Tree

'Ready Answer' by Mike Ford (1955-2021)

The psalmist writes in Psalm 1 that the blessed person "shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water" (verse 3). What characteristics of trees does God want His people to emulate? Mike Ford, who has spent many years in landscaping, shows how trees provide living illustrations of godly behavior that will prepare Christians to …


The Endurance of the Firstfruits (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

The Parable of the Sower and the Seed exemplifies a number things that can happen to prevent us from having a place in God's spiritual harvest.


Creator, Sustainer, Head (Part Three)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

The One who sent forth His Spirit to create and breathe life into the physical world, also breathed on His disciples and endowed them with spiritual life.


Without Me, You Can Do Nothing (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

Producing fruit is not simply a matter of having Jesus Christ or being forgiven. He says we will not produce anything unless we go on growing in Him.


From Rubble to Utopia

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

In this preview of the Millennium, Richard Ritenbaugh cautions that the Wonderful World Tomorrow is not something that is going to happen because of an instantaneous miracle. God takes His time to produce both physical and spiritual changes. Because of the massive destruction at the close of the age, the survivors under God's …


Abraham (Part Nine)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

God helps us to overcome our problems in an unraveling process, sometimes taking us back through the consequences of the bad habits we have accumulated.