• Our Great Reward Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2006

    In June 2006 in this section we commented on the way in which the story of redemption focuses on Abraham’s “seed” as the line by which the Messiah will come to save God’s people from their sins (Gen. 12:7; 13:15–16). This is but an outworking of the promise made in Eden that the “seed” of the woman will triumph over the “seed” of the serpent (Gen. 3:15). This now emerges once more in Genesis 15 — the chapter that inaugurates God’s covenant with Abraham. Abraham (whose name at this point is still “Abram”) has been victorious in … View Resource

  • Our Only Mediator Article by Kim Riddlebarger

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2009

    Q. But who now is that Mediator, who in one person is true God and also a true and righteous man? A. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is freely given unto us for complete redemption and righteousness. (Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 18) Christians believe that the human race is fallen in Adam. It is not as though the human race is sick and faces imminent demise because of the effects that sin will have upon us if we do nothing about it; rather, Scripture teaches that we are already dead in sins and trespasses (Rom. 5:12–19; Eph. 2:1 … View Resource

  • The People, Place, and Presence of God Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2006

    There is a sense in which the whole of the Old Testament is simply the outworking of the promise in Genesis 3:15 — that the seed of the serpent will be at enmity with the seed of the woman and that the latter will be triumphant. Now, in Genesis 12, we reach another focal point of messianic expectation — the victorious “seed” will be from the loins of a man called Abraham. Like a ringing bell, the next few chapters will announce this messianic lineage with deafening tintinnabulation (ringing of bells). Over and over, a “seed” (the ESV renders … View Resource

  • Redemption Accomplished Article by Dennis Johnson

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2004

    Tradition!” sings Tevye. “Without our traditions, our lives would be as unstable as a fiddler on the roof.” As the drama unfolds, this analogy turns from affirmation to lament: Tevye’s daughters marry suitors disapproved by tradition, and in the end his family and their fellow-Jews trudge away from their village, exiled by the growing anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia. Although Sholom Aleichem’s original story was set in 1905, the marvelous musical derived from it is a child of the sixties. Tradition-bound Tevye is challenged over and over to accept the new “reality” that the individual heart’s longings for romance … View Resource

  • The Redemption of Man Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2004

    Throughout history we have wrestled with questions about salvation. In our quest to know the truth about salvation, we have searched everywhere possible. In our search, we have constructed entire philosophies in order to find the answers we want. Religions have been created, codes and rules have been formulated, entire governments have been established, self-serving gods have been manufactured, and men have worshiped themselves. Indeed, this is the greatest atrocity of all. This atrocity, however, does not reveal itself in such obvious ways. It is not as if people erect golden statues of themselves in their front yards and bow … View Resource

  • Redemption Planned Article by Don Kistler

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2004

    In Reformed circles, we hear much about the covenants. We are a people who place our trust in God’s covenant faithfulness. We hear about the covenant of grace and the covenant of works, but we hear very little about the covenant of redemption. We also hear much about the saving work of Christ, but give little thought to the fact that the triune God conceived the work that the second person of the Trinity would do that would save sinners. Simply stated, the covenant of redemption is a covenant God the Father made with God the Son before the foundation … View Resource

  • Redemptive History Article by Richard Phillips

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2006

    Even those casually familiar with the Bible know its basic contents: the Old Testament in front and the New Testament in back. Those more familiar know its contents more deeply. First is the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses), followed by the histories, the poetic books, and the prophets. In the New Testament, we find the Gospels, Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation. This describes how the church has organized the canon of the Bible’s books. But does Scripture present its own structure for understanding its message of salvation? As Reformed theologians have long observed, the Bible does provide such a … View Resource

  • Salvation, Past, Present, and Future Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2004

    Time past and time present are both together in time future,” wrote T.S. Elliot. His rhythmic words simply and eloquently describe the ordinary flow of history. But the letter to the Hebrews presents a very different perspective on God’s purposes and patterns in the flow of history. There, it would be true to say, the future determines the past and the present, rather than the other way round. To understand Hebrews — and thus to understand how the Bible as a whole works — we need to understand this riddle: The invisible is more substantial than the visible … View Resource

  • Those Whom God Hath Joined Together Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2006

    One of the great joys of serving as a pastor is performing weddings. Over the past few years, I have had the privilege of performing several wedding ceremonies, and on each occasion I have used the traditional wedding vows found in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. Although many creative young couples these days are creating their own wedding vows, such creativity ceases when the young couple steps into my office. Through the months of premarital counseling and extensive discussions on the wedding itself as a covenant-making ceremony, I discuss with the couple the significance of their marriage vows and … View Resource

  • Time to (Re)Discover Hebrews Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2011

    Of all the New Testament letters, Hebrews seems to be one many Christians find strange and alien. Here we enter the world of Melchizedek and Aaron, angels and Moses, sacrifices and priests. It all seems so Old Testament, so intricate, and even confusing. If so, it is time to (re)discover Hebrews. But how? View Resource

  • The True Tabernacle Article by Douglas Kelly

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2004

    Both the Old Testament tabernacle and the Mosaic covenant were mere shadows of the eternal reality that in due season fulfilled and surpassed them. They were “true shadows” in that they correctly bore a relationship to that which they imaged. But, proper and necessary as they were in God’s redemptive plan, they were not the final reality. They derived all their value by foreshadowing the person and work of the incarnate Christ, who in “the fullness of the time” (Gal. 4: 4 KJV) carried out with infinite blessing and surpassing splendor exactly what they stood for. The “worldly sanctuary” (Heb … View Resource

  • Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the LORD? (Part 1) Article by L. Michael Morales

    Once a soul has come to understand something of the unutterable majesty of the holiness of God, the question asked in Psalm 15 and 24 suddenly weighs upon the heart: “Who shall ascend the mountain of the LORD?” That is, who can draw near to this living God in worship? Who can climb their way to the summit of his dwelling place and gaze upon his beauty? Who, what’s more, could ever abide with God in his house? Ezekiel 28:13-14 describes the Garden of Eden as being upon “the holy mountain of God,” a landscape we may … View Resource

  • Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the LORD? (Part 2) Article by L. Michael Morales

    The paradise atop Eden’s mount is described in Genesis 2-3 as a well-watered Garden with an abundance of fruit trees, a place where humanity and animals lived in harmony. These physical blessings, however, were but tokens (and small ones at that) of the greater delight of their Source: the very life-giving Presence of God. After Adam and Eve’s sin, and consequent descent from the mountain of the LORD, the biblical narrative continues to deal with the dilemma: How shall we abide in the divine Presence — who shall ascend? Sadly, as the narrative continues we find a progressive movement away … View Resource

  • Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the LORD? (Part 3) Article by L. Michael Morales

    Worship — approaching the living God — is the central concern of Scripture, and a vital aspect of its narrative drama. Who may climb the summit of the LORD’s dwelling place to gaze upon his beauty? Against the backdrop of this prevailing question, the Tower of Babel episode in Genesis 11 is especially stark in its depiction of fallen humanity’s titanic pride. “Come,” they say, having journeyed from the east, “let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top reaches into the heavens” (v 4). The word translated “tower” is migdol in Hebrew, understood here as referring … View Resource