• 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

  • The Sinkhole Syndrome Article by Donald Whitney

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2010

    You know the story. A man has been a believer in Christ for decades. To all outward appearances he’s a man of Christian faithfulness and integrity. He has maintained a reputation as a fine example of public and private faithfulness to the things of God for decades. Then, without warning, it all collapses into a sinkhole of sin. Everyone wonders how it could have happened so quickly. In most cases, it soon becomes known that—like most sinkholes—the problem didn’t develop overnight. View Resource

  • The Heart of the Problem Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2008

    The first and most important step in seeking a cure is an accurate diagnosis of the problem. Symptoms must be carefully interpreted so that underlying causes are not overlooked. Several years ago our nine-year-old daugter developed a severe pain in her elbow after a nasty fall. After probing that area of her arm and reviewing x-rays, the physician who examined her concluded that she had simply suffered a bad sprain. A week later, with the pain still lingering, a second doctor examined her. He reviewed her case for several minutes and then began probing Sarah’s wrist where he quickly discovered a previously … View Resource

  • New Life Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2008

    I distinctly remember the birth of both of my children.  Although they were born six years apart, I remember the preparation for each trip to the hospital. The drive there. Escorting my wife to the elevator. The rooms, the monitors, the nurses, doctors, and family members. The anticipation and waiting. Most of all I remember seeing my children for the first time and seeing the look on my wife’s face when the nurses handed her this tightly bundled little person. I look up now and see a photograph taken of me holding my newborn daughter twelve and a half years ago. … View Resource

  • War and Peace Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008

    We all certainly agree that all virtues are heavenly and that all sins are deadly. Nevertheless, certain virtues are more heavenly than others, and certain sins lead to death more quickly than other sins. While some sins are private and some sins public, the wages of every sin is death (Rom. 6:23). As Christians we understand that God hates sin and loves virtue. However, our problem is that we don’t hate sin enough and that we don’t love virtue enough. Consequently, we soft-peddle the deadliness of sin and we offer nice platitudes about the virtues of living a holy life. … View Resource

  • Kill Your Sin Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2008

    On May 1, 2003, Aron Ralston, a twenty-seven year old backpacker, did something unthinkable in order to save his life. After being pinned for five days by an eight-hundred pound boulder in a remote Utah canyon, he took his dull pocketknife and cut off his right arm to free himself.  He had tried chipping away at the rock at first, but it would not budge. Finally, he realized that he had only two choices. Either he must cut off his arm, or he would die. On the fifth day, hungry and dehydrated, he sawed through his flesh just below the elbow … View Resource

  • Old Expectations Article by Iain Duguid

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2007

    When Jesus started his earthly ministry, he began by “proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom” (Matt. 4:23). Yet nowhere in the Gospels do we see Jesus giving a clear definition of the kingdom. The reason is simple: Jesus didn’t have to define what the kingdom meant, because his hearers were well-schooled in the Old Testament. The puzzle for them was trying to work out how the coming of Jesus fitted into their Old Testament expectations. That is why Jesus later said, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, … View Resource

  • Do Not Sin Against the Child Article by Charles Spurgeon

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2007 | Genesis 42

    Note the words of the text. “Spake I not unto you, saying, do not sin against the child?” (Gen. 42:22). The essence of sin lies in its being committed against God. When men are fully convinced that they have disobeyed the Lord, and that this is “the head and font of their offending,” then they are brought to a true perception of the character of sin. Hence David’s penitential psalm has for its acutest cry, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight” (Ps. 51:4). Yet the sword of sin cuts both ways, … View Resource

  • 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

  • Justice Served Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2007

    From a young age my family always encouraged me to read. Without fail, I received at least one book in addition to other presents every birthday or Christmas morning. My favorite books to read as a child were in a series called The Great Brain. These novels, set in late nineteenth-century Utah, told the stories of a smart (and crooked) pre-teen boy named Tom as related by his brother J.D. In one of the books in this series, Tom is sent off to a boarding school, and J.D. is left for a year to live life without bearing … View Resource

  • Cosmic Treason Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2007

    The question, “What is sin?” is raised in the Westminster Shorter Catechism. The answer provided to this catechetical question is simply this: “Sin is any want of conformity to or transgression of the law of God.” Let us examine some of the elements of this catechetical response. In the first instance, sin is identified as some kind of want or lack. In the middle ages, Christian theologians tried to define evil or sin in terms of privation (privatio) or negation (negatio). In these terms, evil or sin was defined by its lack of conformity to goodness. … View Resource

  • A Matter of Life and Death Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2007

    The Christian marketplace is filled with T-shirts, tracts, and trinkets that speak of how to have the ideal Christian life. Every year, Christians spend millions of dollars on self-help books and “how-to” guides for living an abundant life. For the most part, Christians are told that if they want to be really great Christians they simply need to follow a few easy steps. In truth, every Christian, who has not been seduced by the superficial tactics and magical pixie dust of childish Christian gurus from evangelical Neverland, knows full well that there is more to living the Christian life than … View Resource

  • Set Free to Die Article by Joseph Pipa Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2007

    Central to the practice of mortification is the believer’s union with Christ Jesus. In Romans 6:1–13, Paul shows the relationship of union with Christ to mortification. In Romans 6, the apostle is answering the objection that justification promotes sin. He teaches that the work of Christ on the cross, which is the basis for justification, is also the basis of sanctification.  Paul bases his argument on the believer’s union with Christ in His death and resurrection. He says, “For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of … View Resource

  • Feeling Good about Ourselves Article by Gene Edward Veith

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2007

    We tend to underestimate the magnitude of sin, in particular, our own sin. And our failure to confront our sinfulness in an honest way — our tendency rather to revel in how good we are — can have devastating consequences in our relationships with others. Notice what is happening when two people — in a marriage, in an organization, in a church — have a conflict with each other. “I’m right.” “No, I’m right.” That pretty well sums up most of our arguments. Implicit is the claim, “I’m good.” “No, I’m good.”  The passions in these conflicts build and … View Resource