• Finding the Sheep That Refuses to Be Found Article by Tim Witmer

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2014 | Matthew 18

    Sheep are interesting creatures. They are weak, defenseless, and not very smart. They wander away quite easily if not attended to, and their shepherds need to be ready to respond. It’s no accident that God’s people are called sheep. And, as the hymn writer said, we are “prone to wander.” The Scriptures provide clear direction as to how wandering sheep are to be sought out. Matthew 18 is the classic text where we see the Good Shepherd’s heart for His stray sheep. In verses 12—14, Jesus tells us that the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine to seek the … View Resource

  • A Life of Faith and Forgiveness Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2013

    If you travel to Wittenberg, Germany, the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation, you may find yourself scratching your head wondering how Martin Luther managed to nail his 95 theses to the solid-bronze door of the 500-year-old castle church. It wouldn’t take you long, however, to realize that the bronze door is a relatively new addition. During the Seven Year’s War (1756–1763), the original, wooden door was lost in the great fire that consumed much of the church building in 1760. As a result, King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia had the door replaced with the present bronze door … View Resource

  • Jesus’ Mission to the Lost: Luke 15 Article by Thomas Schreiner

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2012

    When reading Luke 15, it is easy to forget the context , especial ly when reading the parable of the prodigal son. The chapter opens with the Pharisees and scribes criticizing Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners (vv. 1–2). Jesus’ table fellowship with sinners signifies the gospel of grace. All those who turn from their sin and put their faith in God will enjoy the messianic feast forever. Jesus tells His opponents three parables to defend His table fellowship with sinners: the parable of the lost sheep (vv. 3–7); the parable of the lost coin (vv. 8–10); and what … View Resource

  • The Loving Father Article by Allan Murray

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2012

    God is love” (1 John 4:8). He is also Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—three persons, yet one God. We must never lose sight of the oneness of God, yet we relate to each of the persons in a different way. We relate to the Son as the One who became the man Jesus Christ and purchased salvation for us, to the Holy Spirit as the One who is ever present with us and applies to us the benefits of the work of Christ, and to the Father as the One who loved the world of sinners to the extent … View Resource

  • The Prodigal Son Article by David Murray

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2012

    Sadly, I can write about the prodigal son from personal experience. Happily, I can write about the prodigal son from personal experience. Come with me inside the head and heart of this young man and hear his thoughts and words at various stages of his recklessness and repentance. I’m Fed Up (v. 12) Dad’s a good guy, a wise guy, and, thankfully, a forgiving guy. He’s gracious and generous to everyone in our family, especially to me, and even to his servants. I should have no complaints, and I don’t, apart from the fact that, well … View Resource

  • Freed by the Blood Article by Anthony Carter

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2011

    Frankly speaking, sin not only contaminates, it also subjugates. It enslaves. Like a great snake — a python or anaconda — sin wraps itself around us and slowly entangles and strangles us. Like the hunter’s net, the more we struggle against it in our strength, the more we find ourselves entangled in it. It beats us into submission and causes our servitude to be hard and inextricable. It is an enslaver of the worst kind. It is no respecter of persons. The young and old, the rich and poor alike are all under its sway. Sin has a power unparalleled … View Resource

  • The Secret of Sanctification Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    One of the most beneficial things I learned from my professors during my seminary days was that ministers must continually preach the message of the cross to the people of God for their growth in grace. One professor in particular constantly exhorted us to preach Christ “for pardon and power.” The longer I am a Christian, the more clearly I see the wisdom of this counsel. The message of the cross meets our deepest need for pardon and power as we seek to overcome indwelling sin. Few things trouble the soul of the child of God as much as … View Resource

  • Killing Anger Article by John Piper

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2011

    In marriage, anger rivals lust as a killer. My guess is that anger is a worse enemy than lust. It also destroys other kinds of camaraderie. Some people have more anger than they think, because it has disguises. When willpower hinders rage, anger smolders beneath the surface, and the teeth of the soul grind with frustration. It can come out in tears that look more like hurt. But the heart has learned that this may be the only way to hurt back. It may come out as silence because we have resolved not to fight. It may show up in … View Resource

  • What Made David Great? Article by Kevin DeYoung

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2011

    Everyone who knows the Bible knows that King David was a great man. And yet everyone familiar with the Bible also recognizes that David did a lot of not-so-great things. Of course, there was the sin with Bathsheba, the murder of her husband Uriah, and the subsequent cover-up. That was not exactly delighting in the law of the Lord (Ps. 1:2). But there was also the ill-advised census motivated by David’s pride, not to mention a series of lessons in how not to manage your household well. For being a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), David … View Resource

  • Our Pasts Don’t Have to Matter Article by R. Fowler White

    During our election cycles in the U.S., we see a lot of headlines and hear a lot of talk about the past of candidates for public office.  We wrestle with and quarrel about the question, Do their pasts matter? Usually, it matters when we think their pasts are a predictor of what they’ll do in the future. So, we say, sometimes their pasts matter; sometimes they don’t.  Often when I see these headlines, I can’t help but think of officeholders in the Bible. Whether in the nation of Israel or in the church, I ask, Did their … View Resource

  • Daily Confession, Enduring Reform Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2010

    I have a friend who is a Roman Catholic. Not too long ago he went to “confession,” after which he told me, with tears welling up in his eyes, he felt “clean like a new born baby.” Confession is an integral component of the Catholic sacrament of penance. After one confesses his sins to his priest, the priest absolves his sins and he is assigned particular righteous acts of penance and prayers in accordance with the nature of his sins. View Resource

  • Lessons from the Fall Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2008

    The Gospels depict the arrest and trial of Jesus in a way that shows us not only the insensibility of His accusers, but also His own steadfast faithfulness to the will of God through suffering and humiliation. Our Lord’s example shows us how to continue entrusting ourselves to Him who judges justly (1 Peter 2:23; 4:19). Jesus, however, was not the only one who was on trial on this momentous occasion. The gospel writers highlight the events surrounding His abuse and trumped up charges, but they also record another trial that took place that night. This second trial was … View Resource

  • The Reluctant Prophet Article by Steve Kreloff

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2008

    Anyone who has ever attended a Sunday school class knows that Jonah was the man who was eaten alive by a fish and then vomited out three days later. But that’s about the extent of most people’s understanding of this Old Testament prophet and the book that bears his name. And that’s too bad, because Jonah is a Bible character worth knowing, and the book he wrote is not only rich in theological content, but is extremely relevant. Jonah was a Hebrew prophet who lived about 750 b.c. However, unlike other Hebrew prophets, Jonah was called to minister to … View Resource

  • The Witness of Love and Forgiveness Article by Geoff Stevens

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    As Christians, how we treat other people speaks louder to the world regarding the authenticity and validity of our beliefs than the doctrines we teach, the creeds we confess, or even the moral and good lives we try to live. If we are self-serving, self-promoting, unforgiving, and arrogant in our relationships, that will drown out what we have to say. When we hold grudges against fellow Christians, cling to pride, and refuse to forgive each other, we may affirm the skeptic’s suspicion that Christianity is a facade of moralism with no real supernatural power to change people’s hearts.  … View Resource

  • Remembering God’s Grace Article by Chris Donato

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    For many of us, at the beginning of our Christian journeys, we thought of and spoke often about the radical forgiveness of a God who has been greatly sinned against. I remember myself going on and on about God’s longsuffering and patience, and how grateful I was for it. I also recall having conversations with friends who did not convert out of a debauched past, who had never known a time they didn’t consider themselves Christian.  Some were a bit dispirited about not being able to share in such supposedly illustrious conversion experiences. I’d always say to be grateful for … View Resource