• Forgive Us Our Trespasses Article by Philip Ryken

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2007

    We need daily pardon and daily protection as well as daily provision. So after Jesus taught us to pray, “give us today our daily bread,” He also taught us to pray, “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:12–13).  These petitions are for fallen sinners — for people who are often tempted to sin, and sometimes give in. Even before we face these temptations, we should ask God to keep us safe from what John Calvin called in his Institutes “the violent assaults … View Resource

  • The Prodigal Brother Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2007

    It had been twenty years since Jacob had deceived his father and received the blessing Isaac had intended to give Esau. It had been twenty years since Jacob fled for his life from a furious brother intent on killing him (Gen. 27:41). Now, as he is about to return to the land of his fathers, Jacob is fearful of the reprisals his brother might have in store for him. Esau has had twenty years to let bitterness fester and hatred grow in his heart. Jacob knows this. He has not forgotten, so he sends messengers ahead to gain information about … View Resource

  • Changing the Past Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2006

    Some cultures have no central government. Their only social organization is the family, including the extended family that constitutes a clan, and the organization of clans into a tribe. So in the absence of laws, a police force, and a judicial system, tribal societies have one way of enforcing justice: Revenge. If someone kills a member of your family in a hunting accident, it falls upon you — or the oldest male in your family, or perhaps the oldest brother of fighting age — to take revenge. This can be done by killing the guilty party, or, failing that, by … View Resource

  • Forgiveness: A Mark of a Healthy Church Article by Joseph Novenson

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2006

    Our Lord and Savior expects forgiveness to be constant, not occasional. In Matthew 18:21–22, Peter came to Jesus with a faulty view of employing forgiveness. He suggested merely “seven” acts of forgiveness as the maximum of mercy to be extended. Before criticizing his “smallness of heart,” consider that the practice in today’s church may be more narrow. Jesus corrects Peter’s shallow grasp of forgiveness and commands a constant, not occasional, mercy, with a statistically strong metaphor, “I do not say to you seven times….” Perhaps Peter momentarily presumed Jesus considered him a generous and gracious follower of the Master, having … View Resource

  • The Necessity of Reconciliation Article by Rod Mays

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2006

    Why do relationships have to be so complicated? Why do good friends get “wrapped around the axle” with each other? Why do family members become so alienated they may not speak to one another for years? It is because we are sinners who are, by nature, enemies of God and of each other. However, the message of the Gospel is the message of reconciliation (that is, putting together divided parties; Jesus’ bringing God and man together). “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation” (2 … View Resource

  • Forgiveness at the Feet of Jesus Article by Richard Ganz

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2006

    I remember opening the door of my office at the medical center and being greeted by a young, beautiful, desperate woman, who had been referred to me for psychotherapy. She was single. She had been living a carefree, and sexually immoral life. She was now pregnant. She was looking to me for help. I didn’t have a clue. I was a clinical psychologist, not a priest. What was I supposed to do? I offered nothing to help her turn away from what was soon to be an even greater disaster in her life than her out-of-wedlock pregnancy. I’ve looked back … View Resource

  • Forgiven and Free Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2006

    Someone recently said to me: “The older we get the harder it is to ask someone’s forgiveness.” I am not sure if that’s necessarily true, but the older and, perhaps, more stubborn we become it certainly seems more difficult to admit one’s fault and ask another’s forgiveness. However, as Christians it should be just the opposite. As we mature in Christ, we should become less and less stubborn in our selfish, impenitent obstinacy and more and more stubborn in our refusal not to let the sun go down on our own, or our brother’s, anger. As we age in life … View Resource

  • Relying on Christ Article by Mark Dever

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2005

    How can we confess our sins as John tells us to in I John 1:9? Let me make four suggestions: First, know God’s Word; second, know our lives; third, know our sins; fourth, confess our sins. When I am self-righteous in an argument with my wife, I need first to know God’s Word. Then, I must move on to number 2: I must know my life. I must have some way that I can stop and reflect and take account of what I am doing. I personally take time when I get up in the morning and when I go … View Resource

  • Restoring Love Article by W. Duncan Rankin

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2005

    God takes sexual sin seriously. So must we. The depth of His resolve on this issue can only be plumbed on Calvary. In the agony of His Son, the full measure of His devotion to opposing our perversions becomes clear. He is serious, deadly serious, about how we live and love together. But why? Why should it matter so much to Him and, therefore, to the Christian and the church? The nature of God’s resolve on this very personal issue is grounded not so much in our behavior, not in our doing right or wrong. Rather, His determination is fundamentally … View Resource

  • Cultural Revolution Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2005

    In the early years of the 1950s the phenomenon of broadcast television was beginning to sweep America. In these early days, however, it was still a small minority of American households that proudly owned a television set. At this time, a ban was executed by the networks prohibiting the use of the word “virgin” in television broadcasts. The censorship of this word was explained in light of the term’s close connection to matters of sexuality. So sensitive were the original producers of television towards offending the ethics and mores of the American public that words as seemingly harmless as the … View Resource

  • The Pain and Beauty of Confession Article by Gleason Archer Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2005

    Children are big sinners, they are just small in size. Recently I was watching my wife’s grandchildren play together (I have a personal aversion to being old enough to have grandchildren). Her grandson was playing with his younger sister; actually, he was not so much playing with her as he was aggravating her. Finally, she attempted to “get her pound of flesh” and bit him. Her transgression was promptly reported by her brother to the proper authorities — replete with convincing evidence: teeth marks. As I listened to his rendition of the crime to his mother, I noticed he said … View Resource