• 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 the … 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 exposes 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

  • Unqualified Christians Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2010

    Words mean things, and, if we’re not careful, words can easily die the death of one, two, or a thousand qualifications. As editors, we often deliberate the use of words in their contexts and the appropriate uses of qualifiers in modifying words, particularly those words with eternal significance. For example, what’s the difference between a Christian and a true Christian, faith and true, saving faith, a church and a true, biblical church? We find ourselves using qualifiers, such as the word true, in order to emphasize the marked difference between a true Christian and a false, or nominal, Christian, between … 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

  • Being and Becoming Article by W. Duncan Rankin

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2010

    Begun in an instant, the normal Christian life is a journey of sanctification in which God’s grace conforms us more and more to the image of His beloved Son. Making sense of this voyage and our sanctification in it, however, requires the spectacles of Holy Scripture. As we examine the Word of God, the first startling fact we see is that our journey of sanctification begins when God pins on us a most surprising nametag. In Colossians 3:12, the apostle Paul identifies the Colossian church as “God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved.” This same label — “saints,” literally, “holy ones” … View Resource

  • Set Apart to Die and to Live Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2010

    When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer was about thirty years old when he penned these words in his classic work The Cost of Discipleship. Eight years later he was executed for his crimes against the Third Reich. The prison doctor who witnessed Bonhoeffer’s execution wrote, “In the almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God.” The doctor’s words could not have been more appropriate to describe not only the manner in which Bonhoeffer submitted himself to … View Resource

  • Total Surrender Article by Kevin Smith

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2009

    Gary Thomas, in his book Seeking the Face of God, makes this statement: “Christian health is not defined by how happy we are, how prosperous or healthy we are, or even by how many people we have led to the Lord in the past year. Christian health is ultimately defined by how sincerely we wave our flag of surrender.” What he is saying is this: a major way to measure our spiritual health is to determine how surrendered we are to God. I believe that many of our greatest struggles in living a healthy, productive Christian life come to … View Resource

  • Basking in the Benefits Article by Kim Riddlebarger

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2009

    Q. What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?  A. The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are, assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.(Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q&A 36)  Many of us take for granted how wonderful it is to place our heads on the pillow at night and know deep down inside that it is well with our souls. There are other times when our minds … View Resource

  • The Resolution Solution Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2009

    A modern reader perusing Jonathan Edwards’ “Resolutions” is likely to think, what about dieting? And, didn’t eighteenth-century New England have any gyms that he could resolve to join? Today, losing weight and getting more exercise are about the extent of our resolutions. We summon up our will-power, self-scrutiny, and self-discipline in an attempt to look better. Edwards was engaged in an attempt to be better. Edwards’ effort at self-improvement, though — so strenuous as to engage “all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of” — is that of a man wholly informed by the Word of God … View Resource

  • Speed with God Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2009

    When Sereno E. Dwight included the seventy resolutions in his biography of his great-grandfather Jonathan Edwards, he added the arresting comment: “These were all written before he was twenty years of age.” Doubtless the resolutions display the marks of relative youth — references to God are frequent, while references to Christ and to grace are noticeably infrequent. Edwards’ sense of the need for radical consecration was then greater than his ability to show how such devotion would need to be resourced in Christ over the long haul. While this is not wholly lacking, there is no doubt that introspection dominates … View Resource

  • Resolved by the Grace of God Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2009

    It seems that every December, many people make well-intentioned resolutions for the new year. With premeditated bursts of enthusiasm, they are caught up in a whirlwind of peculiar, and sometimes public, activities that puzzle even neighborhood children. We witness surprising promises and new year’s manifestos whereupon we are summoned to behold what sweeping changes may come in the new year. The skeptical observer may ask: Is all this new year’s fervor genuine? Is it helpful? Is it really necessary? Moreover, the curious onlooker may ask: Is it even appropriate to make resolutions? After all, shouldn’t we at all times and … View Resource

  • Principle Vs. Pragmatism Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2009

    Some years ago, I drove along the Pennsylvania Turnpike about two o’clock in the morning with a friend after having spent all day at a steel corporation in eastern Pennsylvania dealing with labor management issues. My companion was a man who had lost his job as a highly paid executive in the industry for being too concerned about the welfare and dignity of the laborers in his plant. As we were making this drive in the wee hours of the morning, I noticed my friend was at the point of exhaustion, and so I asked him the question: “Why are you … View Resource

  • Resolved to Live and Die Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2009

    My wife’s father, my father by marriage, has served in law enforcement four decades. Having served as an FBI-trained sheriff’s detective in south Florida for many years, he came to be known as “smiling Jack” on account of the fact that he smiled every time he made an arrest of a suspected criminal. As a life-long police officer who enjoys arresting criminals, a father of seven (two sons and five daughters), and one who has been known to clean his pistol when potential male suitors come to the house, he is not the kind of fellow that one trifles with. … View Resource

  • It’s Me, O Lord Article by Jerry Bridges

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2008 | Matthew 22

    The day after Jesus cleansed the temple, He was confronted by the leaders who questioned His authority to drive out the money changers and merchants. In response to their questioning His authority, Jesus asked them about the baptism of John, whether it was from heaven or from men. In asking this counter-question, Jesus was not evading their question. Rather, He was driving them into a theological corner. If they answered from heaven, He would say, “Why then did you not believe him?” But if they answered, “from men,” they would face the hostility of the crowd who believed John was a prophet. … View Resource