The Spiritual Hard Hat Zone

'Ready Answer' by David F. Maas

We may not realize it, but our Christian lives are constantly under construction. It is this point of view that will make it easier for us to deal with both spiritual 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.


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.


What Is Real Conversion? (Part Six)

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

We have learned that conversion is primarily a process, a transformation of a Christian's nature from human and carnal to godly and spiritual. ...


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.


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.


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.


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.


The Patient Pineapple

Sermonette by Ted E. Bowling

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 …


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, …


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.


Basic Doctrines: Going On to Perfection

Bible Study by Staff

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.


Perfection...Piece by Piece

'Ready Answer' by Mike Ford

What is perfection? Does God require perfection of us? Mike Ford defines Biblical perfection and shows to what standard God holds us accountable.


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.


Magic Doesn't Work (Part Three)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, reiterating that in physical and spiritual creation, God does not wave a wand, but does a great deal of work. Likewise, in our repentance, there is a great deal of reciprocal effort between God and us. In the stories of Star Wars, the X-Men, or Harry Potter, the protagonist does not grow in character, but …


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.


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. What is this new man? Charles Whitaker explains that the new man is a creative effort of renewing our minds in cooperation with God.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


God's Tools

Sermonette by Clyde Finklea

Clyde Finklea, reminding us that spiritual maturity does not come about without difficulty, asserts that suffering is one of the tools God uses to perfect us. Suffering is part of a process to refine endurance and character. At the onset of a trial, we must quickly ask God for what we need to learn from this episode. Though we …


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 …


Knowing Christ (Part 4)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 …


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.


Hebrews 2, A Mind Bending Purpose

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Joy and Trial

'Ready Answer' by Mike Ford

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 …


Deuteronomy (Part 7)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Sanctification is an incremental process in which we systematically destroy the sin within us as our forebears were asked to destroy the inhabitants of Canaan.


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.


Producing Fruit

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

To be made clean only prepares us for producing fruit. If we stand still, simply resting on our justification, the dark forces will pull us backwards.


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.


Without Me, You Can Do Nothing (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

John 15:4-5 in the Phillips translation gives us a great deal to consider: "You can produce nothing unless you go on growing in me. ...


Whom the Lord Loves He Chastens (Part One)

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

If we are not receiving God's correction or chastisement, we should be concerned! God's chastening is what He uses to sanctify His spiritual children.


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.


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 …


Going On to Perfection

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, discussing our journey to perfection or sanctification, asserts that even though everything we need in this quest has been given to us, our spiritual growth is largely dependent to the extent that we believe (and act upon this belief) in these promises of receiving His Divine Nature. We need to use or exercise …


Abraham (Part 9)

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.