• The Place of the Law Article by Guy Waters

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2014 | Galatians 3

    New and improved!” Advertisers emblazon this slogan upon countless products on the shelves of your local grocery store. If you are convinced the product is better, they reason, you will probably want to buy it. After all, who wants the “old and inferior”? On the night in which He was betrayed, our Lord instituted the Lord’s Supper. Holding the cup before His disciples, Jesus said, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:20). By His death and resurrection, Jesus inaugurated the new covenant. This new covenant, both Paul and … View Resource

  • Delighting in Our Duty Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2013

    When we think of the law of God, the first thing that should come to mind is love—God’s love for us as fallen sinners, directing us to love Him, enjoy Him, and glorify Him. God’s law is a gracious gift to us, and it has three primary uses. First, the law functions as a teacher by showing us God’s perfect righteousness and our unrighteousness and sin, and it shows our danger of God’s judgment, leading us, by God’s grace, in repentance and faith to Jesus Christ who fulfilled all the righteous demands of God’s … View Resource

  • Kingdom Article by James M. Hamilton, Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    What is the kingdom of God? The answer cannot be reduced to a word study of the term kingdom. That would be a helpful exercise, but the Bible describes the kingdom even when the word is not used. Any kingdom will consist of a king, his realm, its citizens, and the law that regulates their lives. This is true of God’s kingdom as well. What follows is a short overview of the Bible’s presentation of God’s rule over God’s people in God’s place according to God’s law. God’s Rule Adam is not called a king, but God gives him dominion … View Resource

  • That the Scriptures Might Be Fulfilled Article by John Piper

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    The glory of Jesus Christ shines more clearly when we see Him in His proper relation to the Old Testament. He has a magnificent relation to all that was written. It is not surprising that this is the case, because He is called the Word of God incarnate (John 1:14). Would not the Word of God incarnate be the sum and consummation of the Word of God written? Consider these summary statements and the texts that support them. 1. All the Scriptures bear witness to Christ. Moses wrote about Christ (John 5:39, 46). 2. All the Scriptures are … View Resource

  • The Goodness of the Law Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2011

    Oh how I love your law!” (Ps. 119:97). What a strange statement of affection. Why would anyone direct his love toward the law of God? The law limits our choices, restricts our freedom, torments our consciences, and pushes us down with a mighty weight that cannot be overcome, and yet the psalmist declares his affection for the law in passionate terms. He calls the law sweeter than honey to his mouth (Ps. 119:3). What is it about the law of God that can provoke such affection? In the first place, the law is not an abstract set … View Resource

  • Lighting the Way: The Didactic Use of the Law Article by Robert Letham

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2011

    In Reformed theology, the law has been seen as the guide for believers in the conduct of their lives. John Calvin described this as its principal use. In this sense, we are talking about the Decalogue — the Ten Commandments — and its entailments, not the ceremonial or the civil law, nor the law in its old covenantal terms. This does not mean that the law has any inherent power to change us. Paul establishes this point in Romans 7:1–8:8. The law is weak, not because of any defect in itself but due to our sinful natures. It … View Resource

  • Ministering by the Life-Giving Spirit Article by David Hall

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2011

    Following a 1970s Jesus Movement conversion, I served in youth ministry, where I subjected poor students to nearly every fad imaginable — all, I told myself, to have young people come to Christ. I then served as a pastor, an office I have held for thirty years. Along the way, I have made many blunders — far too many to chronicle here. One mistake that I hope to avoid, however, is ministering with external methods that cannot give life. Over the last thirty years, I have noticed a great reduction among my repertoire of ministerial gimmicks, while reliance on a … View Resource

  • Our Liberating God Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2011

    Why would anyone love the law of God? Why would we love that which constantly tells us what miserable wretches we are, daily points out all our shortcomings, relentlessly reminds us of all our death-deserving sins, and keeps knocking us down to our knees, leaving us crying out for help? The truth of the matter is that not just anyone loves the law of God but only those who have been set free by our law-giving, law-keeping, and law-liberating Savior. We love the law of God not because we possess some sort of inherent self-inflicting, self-deprecating sadistic disposition towards our … View Resource

  • Reflecting Sin: The Pedagogical Use of the Law Article by David Murray

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2011

    Ouch!” That first look in the mirror every morning doesn’t get any easier, does it? In fact, I’d rather do without looking in mirrors at all. And I might get away with it — for a few days. Because, although I wouldn’t know my hair was looking like a mohawk, that yesterday’s ketchup was still on my chin, or that last night’s basil was lodged between my front teeth, my wife and children would, and so would my employer and colleagues. And that might well have more painful consequences — socially and even financially — than just looking in the … View Resource

  • Restraining Sin: The Civil Use of the Law Article by David VanDrunen

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2011

    Of the three uses of the law, the so-called “civil” use may strike us as the least interesting theologically. It involves no inward transformation of the heart or Spirit-wrought righteousness that is pleasing in God’s sight. By this use, the law restrains the sinful excesses of sinners through the fear of shame and punishment, promoting an external obedience to moral standards and a measure of peace in society. It may be hard to get excited about this civil use of the law in comparison to the pedagogical use, which exposes people’s unrighteousness and drives them to repent of their sins … 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 Law of God in the Hearts of Men Article by Ken Jones

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2010

    Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is typical of his correspondence to other churches in that the first half of the letter is devoted to outlining the various doctrines that are constituent parts of the gospel message. Throughout his letters, the apostle has a great deal to say about Christian conduct, but it is always done in light of the mercies received and the grace given. For example, the first three chapters of Ephesians focus almost entirely on the riches of God’s grace as it is found in the person and work of Christ. In the second half of the letter … View Resource

  • The Law of Love Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2008 | Matthew 22

    Life is all about relationships. A significant part of what it means for us to be created in the image of God is to be relational. God Himself is a relational being. Not only does He relate personally to us as His image-bearers, He also has enjoyed perfect relational harmony as Father, Son, and Spirit from all eternity.  Our greatest joys and sorrows come because of relationships. In order for us to live as we ought, we must have our relationships properly ordered. This means that we must relate to the right things in the right way. God has … View Resource

  • Be Ye Perfect Article by Joel Beeke

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2008 | Matthew 5

    In Matthew 5:33–48, Jesus tells us how we are to fulfill the law — not legalistically, but in a spirit of Christ-like love. The goal is that we might strive to obey His final admonition in verse 48: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (kjv). This Christ-like perfection is nothing less than God’s purpose for us, that we “be conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29). When have you last heard someone casually say, “I swear,” or “I promise with all my heart”? Such words are illustrations of … View Resource

  • Family Traits Article by Wynn Kenyon

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2007

    The family is central to the biblical ethic. It is the primary image of the relationship of the saints to God. The work of Christ was required to bring about regeneration and adoption, making believers heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. And the book of Revelation culminates in the wedding feast of the Lamb. Given the significance of this concept, what does it mean to live a life “worthy of this calling?” What should family members look like? To answer these questions we turn to the biblical narrative. Why was the family instituted? God’s observation in Genesis … View Resource