• Good News for All Nations Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2008

    Writing for Tabletalk is a great honor. It is hard to put into words the privilege of having one’s writing published alongside contributions from today’s finest theologians and pastors. Those who worked on the magazine before us have set a high standard indeed and by God’s grace we hope that we can be faithful to their example. This standard also makes writing for Tabletalk a great responsibility. We are called to be true to the legacy Dr. R.C. Sproul has set, a legacy of faithfulness to the biblical doctrines recovered during the Reformation. Our job is not to present teachings for … View Resource

  • The Witness of Matthew Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2009

    In the history of biblical studies, we have seen in the last two centuries the rise of so-called “higher criticism.” So much of higher criticism is fueled by skepticism with respect to the reliability of the biblical texts. Since orthodox Christians stand opposed to many of the arguments of higher critics, they sometimes overlook valuable insights that can be gained through critical analysis of the text. Some of these analysescan be very helpful to our endeavor of seeking an accurate understanding of the Bible.  One element of critical scholarship that can do this is that dimension known as source criticism. As … View Resource

  • Jesus’ Family Tree Article by Joel Beeke

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2008 | Matthew 1

    Genealogies are hardly spellbinding. Perhaps, like me, you are tempted to skip them in your Bible reading. Yet genealogies are a significant part of God’s infallible Scriptures. They, too, are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16 kjv and hereafter). Matthew’s genealogy is a family tree of Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God incarnated as the Son of Man. Matthew wrote his gospel primarily to the Jews. Strictly speaking, the purpose of this genealogy is to prove to Jewish readers that Jesus of Nazareth as the seed of Abraham and … View Resource

  • Why Does It Matter? Article by Jonathan Gibson

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2014 | Matthew 1

    The doctrine of definite atonement states that in the death of Jesus Christ, the triune God intended to achieve the redemption of every person given to the Son by the Father in eternity past, and to apply the accomplishments of His sacrifice to each of them by the Spirit. In a nutshell: the death of Christ was intended to win the salvation of God’s people alone, and not only was it intended to do so, but it actually achieved it as well. Jesus will be true to His name: “He will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). The … View Resource

  • Jesus’ Childhood Article by Jerry Bridges

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2008 | Matthew 2

    Matthew 2, along with a few verses in Luke 2, provides all the historical data we have concerning the early childhood of Jesus. And since the writers of the Gospels were masters of brevity and understatement, Matthew 2 fairly bristles with questions we long to have answered. Among them we’d like to know more about the wise men, the star they saw, and how they connected it to the one who was born king of the Jews. Obviously, if the Holy Spirit had wanted us to have more information, He would have guided Matthew to include it. So rather than being … View Resource

  • Living in the Story Article by Dan Cruver

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2014 | Matthew 3

    Telling a great story with your life is not easy. It’s often exhausting, terribly so—and yet a growing number of evangelical writers passionately encourage us to “tell a great story with your life” or “stop trying to increase your influence and start living a great story!” Don’t get me wrong, I love great stories, and I’m all for living within one. But Scripture never commands us, “Tell a great story with your life.” It never exhorts us, “Start living a great story!” Rather, Scripture tells us we are already living within the epic Story, and we play no small … View Resource

  • Praying for Our Children’s Salvation Article by Joel Beeke

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2014 | Matthew 3

    The salvation of our children is priceless; their spiritual needs far outweigh their physical needs. They need our prayers—our earnest prayers with hearts aflame, both for their initial repentance and coming to Christ by faith, and for their life of ongoing growth in faith. Matthew Henry rightly declared that it is of far more value for parents who die to leave behind a treasury of prayers for their children than it is to leave behind a treasury of silver and gold. My mother died recently. She had little to pass on to her children financially, but we do treasure the … 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 what Christ is … View Resource

  • Ideally Speaking Article by David Hall

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2014 | Matthew 5

    Most Westerners have forgotten their Latin, if they ever knew it. If they’re not careful, therefore, they may confuse the Latin motto ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda with the U.S. Marines’ motto, Semper fi. There could be worse things. For the Marine, Semper fi (abbreviated from Semper fidelis, “always faithful”) is shorthand for a lifestyle and a set of commitments. For the Christian, semper reformanda may help return communions to the ancient faith by separating mendicant (beggarly) traditions from the vitality of Scripture, or it may aid in diluting the faith. THE MEANING OF THE PHRASE Though the motto … View Resource

  • In Secret Article by Derek Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2014 | Matthew 6

    According to Jesus, it is what we do in secret that matters most. Jesus is not suggesting that the outward is unimportant—far from it. “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14). The answer is emphatically no. Still, it is also possible to have outward works but no inner reality. In this instance, religion is a pretense. Six times in the Sermon on the Mount, alluding to three distinct exercises, Jesus employs the term secret: Give “in secret…and your Father who sees … View Resource

  • Our Daily Bread Article by Eric Watkins

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2015 | Matthew 6

    This simple request in the middle of the Lord’s Prayer may be one of the most time-and tear-tested portions of prayer itself. About seven years ago, as our economy began to tumble and financial insecurities threatened many families, praying for the simple provisions of our lives became a reinvigorated practice. As a pastor, I have to admit that though the church felt the economic effects of that struggle in various ways, it was not all bad. For many people, it became a moment in which they had to stop and assess what their priorities in life really were. It became … View Resource

  • Asking, Seeking, Knocking Article by Eric Alexander

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2014 | Matthew 7

    There must be few pastors who have not repeated the words of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:7, with a wistfulness equal to his: “You were running well. Who hindered you?” The Apostolic finger had touched upon the timeless tragedy of a life that showed early spiritual promise yet was blighted by a lack of perseverance. It is, of course, the same sad story as Jesus told in the parable of the sower, when He describes the one who “hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while” … View Resource

  • Which Christ? Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2014 | Matthew 7

    Christianity is a creedal religion. You cannot separate Christianity from its ancient creeds. In fact, every true Christian adheres to the ancient creeds of the church, whether he knows it or not. We all have creeds. Whether formal or informal—whether written or unwritten—in one way or another, we all have creeds in which our beliefs are expressed. Many Christians have formal, written creeds to which they adhere. Other professing Christians have informal, unwritten, and unorthodox creeds that can easily change and often do change according to the whims of the individual or his pastor. Creeds are concise doctrinal summaries of … View Resource

  • The Faithful Minister Article by Joel Beeke

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008 | Matthew 11

    Matthew 11 begins with a brief reference to Jesus’ commissioning the twelve apostles (see 10:2–5), then returning to His work as a minister of the Word. This is the context for understanding the events and sayings of Chapter 11. The general topic is the ministry of the Word — whether in the hands of John or Jesus — and how that ministry ought to be received. During Christ’s ministry in Galilee, John the Baptist sends messengers to ask Jesus: “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (Matt. 11:3 kjv). The implication is that the public ministry of … View Resource

  • Jesus Challenges the Pharisees Article by Jerry Bridges

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2008 | Matthew 12

    The Pharisees were the ultimate religious people among the Jews during Christ’s life on earth. Determined not to break any of God’s laws, they had, over time, devised an intricate system of oral tradition to keep them from breaking the Mosaic law. One would think with such a desire to obey God that they would have recognized the perfect obedience of Jesus and affirmed and followed Him. And yet, as demonstrated by the events recorded in Matthew 12:1–37, they were His most bitter and implacable opponents. Why was this so? The essential problem lay in their different understanding of the nature … View Resource