Is 'The Leavening' of the Pharisees in Us?

Sermonette by Bill Onisick

Bill Onisick, characterizing the Pharisees as separatists, meticulously following man-made rituals and traditions, but oblivious of the weightier matters of the law, examines the deadly leavening of a Pharisee. The Pharisees performed their roles like actors behind mask, wanting the approval of men by his role-playing of piety. …


More Righteous Than the Pharisees?

Sermon by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

The Pharisees were in the office or seat of Moses. Jesus taught His followers to follow their words (pertaining to the Law of God), but not their personal examples.


The Pharisees (Part 2)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh continues his exposition on the Pharisees, a group seemingly starting off on the right track under Ezra, but getting hopelessly sidetracked over the years, ultimately placing impossible burdens on the people they supposedly served. These zealous dedicated legalists elevated the traditions of man (and their …


The Pharisees (Part 3)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh analyzes Jesus unambiguous, scathing indictment of the Pharisees in Matthew 23. Using abundant sarcasm, Jesus accuses them of presumptuously arrogating to themselves authority and prerogatives they had no title to. Although the Pharisees imposed harsh regulations on "the blind" or …


The Leavening of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herod

Sermonette by Ted E. Bowling

Jesus warned of three varieties of leaven that we must guard against, staying aware of the pitfalls that will pull us down and corrupt us.


The Pharisees (Part 1)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Having their origin in the days of Ezra, the Scribes and Pharisees were extremely zealous for the law, separating themselves for this exclusive purpose.


The Weightier Matters (Part 1): Introduction

Article by Staff

Jesus blasts the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23, and He tells them they had ignored the "weightier matters." This article begins a series that explains why we should focus on certain virtues as we keep God's law.


Was Job Really Self-Righteous?

Sermonette by Clyde Finklea

Self-righteousness is defined as being smugly proud of one's own opinion and intolerant of others. What Job repented of was his misunderstanding of God.


Beware the Leaven

Sermonette by Mike Ford

The Jews establishes a fixed date for Shavuot in contradiction to the instruction for counting to Pentecost. This is part of the leavening of the Pharisees.


Overcoming Hypocrisy

Sermonette by Bill Onisick

Bill Onisick, warning us that we are continually in danger of being deceived by our hearts and carnal nature, a nature which distracts us from following God, though we go through the motions, cautions us to not practice hypocrisy before Almighty God. Most have deluded themselves into thinking their ways are pure and acceptable …


Our Daily Bread of Affliction

Sermonette by Bill Onisick

Bill Onisick, focusing on the concept of the bread of affliction in Deuteronomy 16:3, admonishes us that the unleavened bread we consume consists of purity without hypocrisy, similar to a perfect gem held up to the sunlight. We have been de-leavened, but we know we still have sin in us that has to be purified through a lengthy …


Delusions of Perfection

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh introduces his topic of covering sins by reflecting on the illegal trial of Jesus, in which false witnesses and false accusations were trumped up by the presumptuous Jewish religious leaders against the very Son of God. The Pharisees and Sadducees demonstrated hypocrisy, professing righteousness and teaching …


Forgiveness and Reconciliation

CGG Weekly by John W. Ritenbaugh

God's forgiveness of us is directly tied to our forgiveness of those who have sinned against us! We must reciprocate God's forgiveness by forgiving others.


Are We Ever Good Enough?

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, reminding us that as God's people we should stand out in contrast from the world, mentions that we can sometimes find ourselves assailed by doubts, fears, and lack of joy. When we find ourselves in a state of misery, we need to understand the causes for this lack of joy. Second- and third-generation Christians …


Matthew (Part Twenty)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh


You Shall Love Your Neighbor (Part One)

CGG Weekly by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

The problem with the Pharisees is that they never grasped the simplicity of the law, much less the spirit of it, but dissected it to be thought righteous.


The Weightier Matters (Part 4) : Faith and Fidelity

Article by Staff

Faith and fidelity to God and His way of life should be a major part of our character. Here is what faith and fidelity are, how to recognize a lack of them.


God, Obama, and Religous Tolerance

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, focusing on President Obama's ill-conceived endorsement of the mosque on Ground Zero, pleading tolerance, affirms that God Almighty is a jealous God, ordering that all competing religions to the true one be utterly exterminated. Jesus Christ, as he taught in His own hometown synagogue, was threatened with death …


Elements of Judgment (Part Two)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

None of God's law has been 'done away', though there is not always a literal application. Not every law of God has the same weight of importance.


Parable of the Cloth and Wineskins

Bible Study by Martin G. Collins

People knew not to put new wine in old wineskins or a new cloth patch on an old shirt. Likewise, Jesus' new way of life is incompatible with old habits and beliefs!


The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Twenty-Five)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

In Galatians, Paul took issue with the Halakhah, not God's word. Halakhah was a massive collection of human opinion that placed a yoke on its followers.


Seeking the King

Sermonette by David C. Grabbe

Christ's command to seek first the Kingdom of God is in the midst of an admonition not to worry or take anxious thought, but instead to calmly set priorities. Seeking after righteousness is not necessarily synonymous with searching, but is instead an active moving toward all possible contexts of this fulfillment, now and in the …


Liberalism, in the News Again

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, acknowledging that Mitt Romney will be the standard-bearer of the Republican Party, suggests that Romney, of all the candidates, is perhaps closer to the current President's views than any of the others. Nevertheless, the leftist Democrat propaganda machine, headed by militant feminist Hillary Rosen, has …


The Weightier Matters (Part 2): Judgment

Article by Staff

Jesus lists judgment as the first of the weightier matters in Matthew 23, verse. This article explains this term and shows why judgment is a major part of Christianity.


The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Man With Dropsy

Bible Study by Martin G. Collins

In this miraculous event recorded in Luke 14:1-6, Jesus deliberately heals a man with dropsy on the Sabbath at the house of a chief Pharisee. Martin Collins shows that Jesus was teaching them an unmistakable lesson about the purpose of the Sabbath day: It is a day to perform acts of loving service to others, especially to those …


Liberalism and Education (Part Three)

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, continuing his exposé on liberalism and education, reminds us that conservatism carried to an extreme is every bit as dangerous as liberalism. Both the Sadducees and the Pharisees were enemies of Jesus Christ. Power, whoever possesses it, has the tendency to corrupt absolutely. Using the principle of …


Eating Out on the Sabbath

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh examines four areas in which hairsplitting or non-salvation issues (such as eating white sugar, observing the right calendar, or occasionally eating out on the Sabbath) have threatened the unity of fellowship. What has brought about the disunity? Who determines the intent of the law? Who makes the policy from the …


Life in the Church

Sermon by David C. Grabbe

David Grabbe, examining the Sardis church, which had a name (or reputation) as alive, while most of its members were in fact stone-cold dead, points out that symbolically death connotes 1.) unawareness (especially a lack of awareness of God), 2.) separation from God and 3.) a grossly inferior quality of life springing from …


The Law's Purpose and Intent

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

The effectiveness of a law is found in its purpose and intent rather than the letter. Love and mercy constitute the spiritual fulfillment of the Law.


The Weightier Matters (Part 3): Mercy

Article by Staff

Many have a love-hate relationship with mercy: They love to receive it, but hate to give it! Here is why we should lean toward mercy in all our judgments.


Clothing, Wineskins, and Wine

'Ready Answer' by David C. Grabbe

The Parable of the Cloth and the Wineskins concludes a much longer narrative. The context and reveals deeper meanings and applications of the parable.


Is There a True Church?

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Many 'church of God' organizations claim to be part of—or even the only—church of God. The Bible reveals specific characteristics of God's church.


Lamentations (Part Seven)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh begins by recapping the first three chapters of the Book of Lamentation: "Woe is me" (Chapter 1), "God did it" (Chapter 2), and "If God is behind it, it must have been good" (Chapter 3). He then focuses on the themes of the chapters 4 and 5. Chapter 4 is a summation of how low God …


Unity and Division: The Blessing and the Curse (Part Five)

'Ready Answer' by Charles Whitaker

Jesus desires our total commitment to the truth and to Him. Hypocrites will find themselves among those to whom Christ will say, 'I never knew you.'


Elements of Judgment (Part Five)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, fearing that we may be following suit in the world's religions by focusing on "getting salvation" rather than preparing for service in God's Kingdom, cautions us that we must re-orient our mindset, seeking to grow in the stature of Christ. Many mainstream religions believe that much of the …


Humanism's Flooding Influence (Part Two)

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, continuing his appraisal of humanism as an alternative to religion, suggests that humanism pervades the entire spectrum of the arts and the sciences, as well as theology. Because this world's educational system is so immersed in humanism, people are unaware of the depths of their entrapment, and that they are …


Forms vs. Spirituality (Part 5)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The major issue in the Acts 15 decision was not doing away with God's law, but seeking a theological solution to the problem of circumcision and the Pharisaical misconception that it was a recipe for salvation. Within the context of this decision, both Paul and the Gentile converts faithfully continued to keep God's laws. In our …


Acts (Part Twenty-Three)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

Paul established his identity and credentials as a Jew in order to build a foundation from which to provide a logical defense of his 'apostasy'.