• Faithfulness and Fruitfulness Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2017

    Richard Greenham, one of the renowned Puritan theologians of the sixteenth century, was well loved in his day for the spiritual help he was to many believers in England, as well to his fellow Puritan ministers. Quite a number of Puritan pastors would send their congregants to Greenham for what they considered to be the more difficult “cases of conscience.” Nevertheless, Greenham expressed regret over not seeing much fruit in his own congregation in Dry Drayton—the exceedingly small rural town in which he pastored—during his almost twenty-one-year ministry there. Reflecting on the spiritual state of his congregation, Greenham spoke of … View Resource

  • Legalism Defined Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2016

    If you want to demean someone in the church, you simply have to use the “L-word” when speaking to or about that person. The number of times one believer has called another believer a legalist is inestimable. Name-calling often ensues when someone in the church believes that another has said or done something that cuts across Christian liberty. Like its sister term, fundie, the label legalist has become something of a conventional religious slur in grace-oriented and gospel-centered churches. We must be extremely slow to use this word when speaking to or about others in a church fellowship. It may … View Resource

  • Welcome One Another Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2016

    I recently received a letter from a couple in our congregation who have been laboring for the sake of the gospel in the Congo for the better part of their lives. As I read, one line in particular stood out to me. “We pray,” they wrote, “that we all learn to love, forgive, and accept each other more in the time God gives us.” This is one of the most important requests that any of us could ask of God. The Lord calls believers to love, forgive, and accept one another—precisely because He has loved, forgiven, and accepted us in … View Resource

  • It’s the Little Things Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2015

    You probably wouldn’t see him doing so, but he’s faithfully hanging the church sign every Friday night and taking it down every Sunday. You probably wouldn’t see her doing so, but she’s faithfully coordinating with others to ensure that there will be enough food at church gatherings. You probably wouldn’t see them doing so, but they’re faithfully arriving early on Sunday morning to set up the hospitality table, the book table, and the sound equipment and to make coffee—making sure that everything is in place for the worship services. You probably wouldn’t see … View Resource

  • Fear of Men Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013

    It seemed like almost every morning I woke up and found myself staring at a copy of John Bunyan’s Fear of God. I had carried it with me through all my years of rebellion and unbelief. My father gave it to me as a boy. I suppose I kept it for sentimental value. After I was converted, I put it on a small bookshelf in my room. This book, so long forgotten that even George Whitefield failed to include it in a compilation of Bunyan’s works, made it into my hands in the kind providence of God. I … View Resource

  • A Pastor’s Love for Christ Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2013

    Dr. John H. Skilton was professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia for almost fifty-eight years (1939–1998). He was one of the most scholarly men in the church. Rumors have circulated over the years that he had memorized the entire Greek New Testament, together with every textual variant. His doctoral dissertation, “The Translation of the New Testament into English, 1881–1950,” which he lost on a public bus in Philadelphia and then reconstructed from memory, shows something of his unique breadth of knowledge in theology and linguistics. In addition, John served as the editor of The Westminster Theological … View Resource

  • Take Heed Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2011

    Bernard of Clairvaux once mentioned an old man who, upon hearing about any professing Christian who fell into sin, would say to himself: “He fell today; I may fall tomorrow.” The apostle Paul commended the same mindset when he wrote, “let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). There is great wisdom in not trusting our own ability to stand. When I was a boy, my father would often say, “The person I trust least of all is myself.” It should shock us to hear a professing Christian say, “I … View Resource

  • The Peril of Wandering Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2011

    The summer after graduating high school, I headed out with a friend to cruise the Okefenokee Swamp of Southeast Georgia. We had a map outlining all the places we should expect to find alligators and a very small amount of water to keep us hydrated in the agonizing heat and humidity. When we rented our boat (which sat frightfully low on the murky brown, alligator- infested waters), we were given strict warnings to stay the course: “Stay with the other boats; don’t wander down the trails.” We soon became discontent tagging along with the other boats that drifted slowly … View Resource

  • The Inner Ring Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2011

    Standing before the student body of King’s College, University of London, in 1944, C.S. Lewis delivered one of his most profound speeches. Intent on calling his listeners to give serious consideration to the dangers of what he labeled “The Inner Ring,” Lewis explained that at every social level there are certain “inner rings” of fellowship. Upon discovering them, the individual’s desire to enter the ring may become the driving force of his or her life. In seeking admission, many forfeit the greater blessing of developing lifelong friendships outside the ring. Plus, the irony of the “inner ring” is … View Resource

  • 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 … View Resource

  • Holy War: Jesus Style Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2011

    While it may not appear evident at first glance, both the Holy War in which Israel was engaged in the Old Covenant (Ex. 34:11–16) and the Holy War in which Christians are engaged in the New Covenant (Eph. 6:10–19) are directly related to the saving work of Christ. A biblical theology of the Land and temple enables us to make sense of holy war in the Old and New Testaments by giving insights into the holy war that God waged on Christ at the cross. This keeps us from dissecting the Bible into two unrelated books. The cross … View Resource

  • The Ark of the Covenant Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    It seems that every year a new children’s story Bible comes out. The captivating artwork often makes the biblical stories come alive. There is one picture in a particular story Bi ble our family has that my two-and-a-half-year-old, Elijah, loves more than others. It is a picture of a flame coming down on the altar the prophet Elijah built for God. There was a time when my son refused to go to bed until he saw this picture. Every night he would say: “Fire! Fire! Show me the fire.” While the Israelites did not have children’s story Bibles filled … View Resource

  • The Deep Things of Christ Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2011 | Hebrews 6

    Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity” (Heb. 6:1). I recently spoke with a good friend and fellow minister (who is laboring in a spiritually barren part of the country) about how things were going in ministry. In the course of our conversa-tion, he mentioned that he had been meeting with the pastor of another church in town in order to talk about theology, pastoral ministry, and preaching. My friend had mentioned his commitment to continually preach Christ so that God’s people would be established and grow in their union with Him … View Resource

  • The Allurement of Christ Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2011 | Genesis 34

    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). Thomas Chalmers’ sermon “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection” has proven to be extremely helpful to Christians who are eager to overcome sinful desires. In it, Chalmers suggests that all men live in a state of constant desire. It is impossible not to desire something for even a single second. In our fallen condition, the object of our hearts’ desires will always be the sinful allurements of the world. We … View Resource

  • A Sinless Life Article by Nicholas Batzig

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2011

    And being found in human form, He humbled Hi mself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). I have long wished that, in heaven, I might get to see the entire history of Christ’s earthly life, from Hi s birth to Hi s ascension—viewing each and every act of obedience. The reason is simple. Jesus lived a representative life. Jesus lived a sinless life, and it was, therefore, a life of representative sinlessness. Our Lord’s obedience stands in the place of His people’s sin. His law-keeping is counted … View Resource