• Flattery and Foolish Talk Article by John Sartelle

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    We are witnessing the deconstruction of a civilization. Across our land, the major institutions that are foundational to any nation are in a downward spiral, whether we speak of education, government, business, or the family. Isaiah and Jeremiah were observers of a similar destruction in their nation and wrote about it. One of the characteristics of that fall was the decline in the civility of everyday language. Isaiah said that the child was “insolent toward the elder, and the base toward the honorable” (Isa. 3:5). Their conversations did not demonstrate a godly respect for the position and authority of … View Resource

  • The Heart of Words Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    Words are powerful. They transform lives and make history. They birth nations and topple empires. They make peace and fuel wars. They make covenants in marriage and wound those we most cherish. They change hearts and give news of eternal life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Words are foundational to everything we think, do, and say in all of life. Nevertheless, words are not ends in themselves. Words exist because God spoke them into existence that He might communicate with us. He spoke the world into existence and has graciously spoken to us in His sacred Word. When … View Resource

  • The Ninth Commandment Article by Jared Wilson

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    The Ten Commandments draw a straight line from love of God to love of neighbor. The two parties are distinguished, to be sure, but in the life of obedience they are inseparable. As Luther pointed out, to disobey any of the commandments is to disobey the first—“You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3)—because all disobedience is essentially idolatry. The outworking of allegiance to God in seeking the good of our neighbors is embedded in the Ten Commandments, as the first four are inextricable from the latter six. You cannot, in fact, have God above … View Resource

  • The Preacher’s Character Article by Rick Gamble

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    The Apostle Paul demonstrated how we can love God and others in our speech. He used words that could sting and rebuke as well as heal and comfort. His ministry was one of words—speaking God’s very own Word. His companion Luke painted a moving portrait that connected the importance of a minister’s words with his ministry and gives great insight on the preacher’s character. Paul had ministered the word successfully in Ephesus and called for the finest fruit of that work, the elder preachers, to come and hear his final advice (Acts 20:17–38). Paul gave an … View Resource

  • Sticks and Stones Article by Scott Sauls

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Really? Let’s not kid ourselves. Words are potent. Words start with God, who spoke galaxies into being. “God said … and there was” (Gen. 1:3). God’s words have impact (Isa. 55:11); are living, active, and sharp (Heb. 4:12); illuminate dark places (Ps. 119:105); nourish souls (Matt. 4:4); and defeat death (Luke 11:43). The words of the gospel are “the power of God.” To a lesser but significant degree, our words have power also. Our words transfer ideas. They can heal … View Resource

  • What’s in a Name? Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    Hallowed be your name” is what Jesus taught His disciples to say in prayer (Matt. 6:9). It expresses a desire that the Father will be revered and praised and spoken about in a manner that befits His resplendent glory and dignity. After hearing God speak and seeing a bush on fire with no apparent sign of being burned up, Moses asked, “What is your name?” In reply, God first said, “I am who I am” (or “I will be what I will be”), then shortened it to “I am,” then to “the Lord” (I AM translates the Hebrew Yahweh … View Resource

  • Respecting Our Elders Article by Nathan Finn

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2013

    Around the time John was writing the book of Revelation in the mid-90s AD, a bishop in Rome was penning a letter to a troubled church. The epistle of 1 Clement is possibly the oldest non-canonical Christian writing that has been preserved. Clement of Rome sent his missive to the Corinthian church after a group of young men had instigated the removal of the church’s elders. Clement rebuked the Corinthians for failing to respect their leaders, removing them without just cause, and causing dissension in the body of Christ. I was once a member of a church that was … View Resource

  • Grace Alone Article by Guy Waters

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2012

    Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!” “Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt.” “Wonderful grace of Jesus, greater than all my sin; how shall my tongue describe it, where shall its praise begin?” Christians love to sing of the saving grace of God—and rightly so. John tells us that out of Jesus’ “fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Many of the New Testament letters begin and end with the writers expressing their desire that the grace of Jesus would be with His … View Resource

  • The Religious Affections Article by Owen Strachan

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2012

    Many years ago, in a wild and woolly period known as the First Great Awakening, colonial pastor Jonathan Edwards took on the tricky task of sorting out what place the “religious affections,” as he called them, have in the Christian life. Here’s what he said as a foundational tenet: There are false affections, and there are true. A man’s having much affection, don’t prove that he has any true religion: but if he has no affection, it proves that he has no true religion. (Works of Jonathan Edwards 2:121) Edwards wrote these words to help people … View Resource

  • The Egocentric Predicament Article by Kelly Kapic

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2012

    Who is the center of your life? Is your answer Jesus, or is it your children, your friends, or your spouse? What if I told you that the answer to that question is you? And what if I said that is OK ? Let us be clear: the question is not if you are the center of your universe — you are. This is what philosophers and psychologists sometimes call the egocentric predicament. Put simply, we cannot escape ourselves. Whatever we feel, think, speak, or believe, it is we who are doing the feeling, thinking, speaking,or believing. When we engage … View Resource

  • The Things of God Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2012

    It is one thing for a student to disagree with his teacher. But it is another thing entirely for a student to rebuke his teacher for his teaching. Yet, that is precisely what the Apostle Peter did. He had the gall to confront the incarnate Word of God, the One who embodies all truth, and rebuke Him for what He was teaching (Mark 8:32). To make matters worse, the Greek word translated as “rebuke” is used biblically in connection with the condemnation of demons. When Jesus silenced demons, He did it by rebuking them, judging them worthy of condemnation … View Resource

  • When to Stop, When to Go, When to Slow Down Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2010

    The college I attended was situated in a small western Pennsylvania town in an area heavily populated by one of the largest gatherings of Amish people found in the United States. The Amish are a delightful group totally committed to separation from this world. They go out of their way to avoid any social mixing with the non-Amish, or the “Gentiles,” who are present among them. They are easy to discern, as the clothing they wear is a clearly defined uniform, commonly consisting of blue denim. The men wear beards. Their clothes are never adorned with buttons but are gathered … View Resource

  • Doctrine Applied Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2005

    On a dark Friday afternoon two thousand years ago, an itinerant preacher and miracle worker hung on a Roman cross just outside the ancient city of Jerusalem. A small crowd gathered to observe the agonizing death of this man who, with His claim to be the very Lord of the universe, had aroused the ire of the temple authorities. Many in this crowd believed that they were doing a service to God and country by executing this popular teacher. Others remained bewildered that the one they called Messiah was suffering a death reserved only for the worst of criminals. Neither … View Resource