• In Awe of God’s Glory: An Interview with Joel Beeke Article by Joel Beeke

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2013

    Tabletalk: At what age did you first hear God’s call to ministry, and how did you receive confirmation of this call? Joel Beeke: God began to strive with my soul when I was age fourteen. I was brought to spiritual liberty in Christ when I was fifteen. And I was irresistibly and powerfully called to the ministry when I was sixteen. Being quite shy when I was young, and belonging to a denomination where the next youngest minister was nearly fifty years old, I never would have considered the possibility of ministry had I not been powerfully called. My … View Resource

  • The Devil Is Not in the Details Article by Kevin DeYoung

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2011

    It may have sounded prophetic at one point, but now it’s rather prosaic. Everyone knows (or is supposed to know) that individualism is bad. An emphasis on the individual — such a common theme in the West — has been blamed for myriad problems, including everything from friendlessness to consumerism, from contemporary praise music to gated communities. And no doubt, individualism has its downside. For the church, it’s meant an aversion to authority, a reluctance to accept certain elements of covenant theology, and a community life that isn’t everything it could be. Problem duly noted. But let us not forget … View Resource

  • What Is Your Only Comfort? Article by Kim Riddlebarger

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2008

    Of all the Reformation-era catechisms, perhaps none is as well-loved as the Heidelberg Catechism. In the opening question and answer, the personal and distinctive tone of the catechism becomes evident. “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” This is not a theoretical question—“What would be necessary if God were to comfort sinners?” Rather, this is a very practical question—“How do I have comfort as long as I live and then when I die?” The key word in the opening question is comfort (German, trost). The word refers to our assurance and confidence in the finished work … View Resource

  • The Most Frightening Words Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2008

    As Jesus draws His Sermon on the Mount to a close, He makes one of the most frightening statements to be found in Scripture. Martyn Lloyd-Jones calls His declaration the most solemn and solemnizing words ever uttered in this world. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And … View Resource

  • Almost Home Article by Joel Beeke

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2004

    Genuine perseverance and assurance are sorely lacking among Christians today. The fruits of perseverance and assurance — diligent use of the means of grace, perseverance in heartfelt obedience to God’s will, desire for fellowship with God, yearning for God’s glory and heaven, love for the church and intercession for revival — all appear to be waning. We desperately need rich, doctrinal thinking about perseverance and assurance coupled with vibrant, sanctified living. What is “perseverance of the saints” and what is “assurance of faith”? How do perseverance and assurance assist each other in the Christian life? Perseverance of the Saints We … View Resource

  • More Than Conquerors Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2004

    If you have it, you never lose it; if you lose it, you never had it.” This pithy adage gives expression to the doctrine in the church that some call the doctrine of eternal security, while others refer to it as the “perseverance of the saints.” Among the latter group, the perseverance of the saints makes up the fifth point of the so-called “Five Points of Calvinism” that are encapsulated in the acronym TULIP — the “P,” the final point, standing for “perseverance of the saints.” Another way of expressing the doctrine in pithy categories is by the phrase, “once … View Resource

  • Confidence in Christ Article by Chris Donato

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2004

    Faith cannot be without a settled peace of mind, from which proceeds the bold confidence of rejoicing,” John Calvin writes in his commentary on Hebrews during the mid-sixteenth century. This point is most striking, and mostly underplayed by many exegetes. How could Calvin write something so … insensitive? And again: “We hence conclude that those who assent to the Gospel doubtfully and like those who vacillate, do not truly and really believe.” Just as faith is the assurance of things hoped for, so, too, is faith the constant and confident hope of the believer (Heb. 11:1; cf. 3:6). … View Resource

  • Perseverance of the Saints Article by John de Witt

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2004

    What are we to make of the stunning words of Hebrews 6:4–6 with their fearful warning against apostasy, a falling away from the faith and from the Lord? They have often been a source of puzzlement and dread to Christian believers across the centuries. A connection has frequently been drawn between this passage and other pronouncements in the New Testament that speak of unpardonable sin: the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:28–30; Matt. 12:31–32) and the “sin unto death” (1 John 5:16–17). Differences are to be noted, but also striking similarities. I have known people who were convinced that … View Resource

  • The Privilege of Assurance Article by Roger Nicole

    The privilege of assurance, which is secured by the work of Christ for His own and which is properly undergirded in the Reformed faith, is damaged or even destroyed in certain other theological structures.I. When justification by faith alone is not duly proclaimed and the good works of the believer are presented as participating in the ground on the basis of which salvation is secured, the assurance of faith receives a fatal blow. The prime example of this distortion is found in the official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church as prevalent in the time of the Reformation and … View Resource