• Finding the Sheep That Refuses to Be Found Article by Tim Witmer

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2014 | Matthew 18

    Sheep are interesting creatures. They are weak, defenseless, and not very smart. They wander away quite easily if not attended to, and their shepherds need to be ready to respond. It’s no accident that God’s people are called sheep. And, as the hymn writer said, we are “prone to wander.” The Scriptures provide clear direction as to how wandering sheep are to be sought out. Matthew 18 is the classic text where we see the Good Shepherd’s heart for His stray sheep. In verses 12—14, Jesus tells us that the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine to seek the one lost sheep, … View Resource

  • Sanctified by the Blood Article by Anthony Carter

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2011

    The story is told of Augustine, the fourthcentury theologian and Bishop of Hippo in north Africa, who, after he confessed faith in Jesus Christ, ran into a former mistress on the street. Immediately upon recognizing her, Augustine quickly reversed and began swiftly moving in the opposite direction. The woman, surprised by seeing Augustine and equally surprised at his reversal of his route, cried out, “Augustine, it is I.” Augustine, continuing to move away from her, replied, “Yes, but it is not I.” This anecdote reminds us that if we are in Christ, we are new creations. The former has passed … View Resource

  • Peace by His Blood Article by Anthony Carter

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2011

    In April of 1992, after four Los Angeles Police Officers were acquitted of any criminal act in the apprehension, beating, and arrest of Rodney Ki ng, the city of Los Angeles burst into some of the worst riots in its history. After three days of fatalities, injuries, looting, and vandalism, King appeared before the microphones and cameras and asked the now-famous question: “Can’t we all get along?” It seems an innocuous question, the kind I have asked my children a time or two. And yet, in the midst of race and class riots in the streets, it was a profound … View Resource

  • What Made David Great? Article by Kevin DeYoung

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2011

    Everyone who knows the Bible knows that King David was a great man. And yet everyone familiar with the Bible also recognizes that David did a lot of not-so-great things. Of course, there was the sin with Bathsheba, the murder of her husband Uriah, and the subsequent cover-up. That was not exactly delighting in the law of the Lord (Ps. 1:2). But there was also the ill-advised census motivated by David’s pride, not to mention a series of lessons in how not to manage your household well. For being a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), David managed to … View Resource

  • Unregrettable, Hard Words Article by Burk Parsons

    2 Corinthians 7:8–9 “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting.” In reflecting on his previous letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul is rightly mindful to draw attention to the grief that his letter caused among his recipients, not to mention the grief he himself experienced. View Resource

  • Our Pasts Don’t Have to Matter Article by R. Fowler White

    During our election cycles in the U.S., we see a lot of headlines and hear a lot of talk about the past of candidates for public office.  We wrestle with and quarrel about the question, Do their pasts matter? Usually, it matters when we think their pasts are a predictor of what they’ll do in the future. So, we say, sometimes their pasts matter; sometimes they don’t.  Often when I see these headlines, I can’t help but think of officeholders in the Bible. Whether in the nation of Israel or in the church, I ask, Did their pasts matter? There … View Resource

  • Restoration and Reformation Article by John Sartelle

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2010

    From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matt. 4:17). What was the first word spoken by John the Baptist and by Jesus as they came preaching? Each of them returned from his sojourn in the wilderness proclaiming the same thing (Matt. 3:1–2; 4:17). The word repent conjures up a picture in our minds of a wildeyed man with unkempt hair carrying a sign: “Repent, the end is near.” That is exactly the image Satan wants us to have. Many evangelicals avoid the subject of repentance because of that connotation. We … View Resource

  • Mercy for the Impetuous Article by Chris Larson

    FROM TABLETALK | November 2008 | Matthew 26

    Peter didn’t just blow it, he blew it badly. “Though they all fall away…I will never fall away” (Matt. 26:33). Peter’s resolution we admire for its confidence and bravery. But it is a statement relying on one’s own strength and it is doomed for shipwreck. A few hours go by and we find him alone and weeping (v. 75).  We can relate, can’t we? We’ve made promise after promise to the Lord, resolution after resolution, only to come to the end of ourselves. The sinking feeling churns in our stomach, our earlier words of bold resolve pour like fuel on … View Resource

  • What About Repentance? Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | January 2008

    After four hundred years of prophetic silence, John the Baptist appeared on the scene of redemptive history as the forerunner of Jesus Christ. He came in fulfillment of prophecy and with the spirit of Elijah to be a voice “crying in the wilderness” calling people to “prepare the way of the Lord” (Matt. 3:3; 11:14; 17:11–12).  John preached a very simple and clear message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (3:2). That message was no more popular in his day than it is in ours, yet our need of it is as urgent now as it was then.  … View Resource

  • The Witness of Love and Forgiveness Article by Geoff Stevens

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    As Christians, how we treat other people speaks louder to the world regarding the authenticity and validity of our beliefs than the doctrines we teach, the creeds we confess, or even the moral and good lives we try to live. If we are self-serving, self-promoting, unforgiving, and arrogant in our relationships, that will drown out what we have to say. When we hold grudges against fellow Christians, cling to pride, and refuse to forgive each other, we may affirm the skeptic’s suspicion that Christianity is a facade of moralism with no real supernatural power to change people’s hearts.  On the … View Resource

  • Remembering God’s Grace Article by Chris Donato

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2007

    For many of us, at the beginning of our Christian journeys, we thought of and spoke often about the radical forgiveness of a God who has been greatly sinned against. I remember myself going on and on about God’s longsuffering and patience, and how grateful I was for it. I also recall having conversations with friends who did not convert out of a debauched past, who had never known a time they didn’t consider themselves Christian.  Some were a bit dispirited about not being able to share in such supposedly illustrious conversion experiences. I’d always say to be grateful for that. … View Resource

  • The Prodigal Brother Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2007

    It had been twenty years since Jacob had deceived his father and received the blessing Isaac had intended to give Esau. It had been twenty years since Jacob fled for his life from a furious brother intent on killing him (Gen. 27:41). Now, as he is about to return to the land of his fathers, Jacob is fearful of the reprisals his brother might have in store for him. Esau has had twenty years to let bitterness fester and hatred grow in his heart. Jacob knows this. He has not forgotten, so he sends messengers ahead to gain information about … View Resource

  • Relying on Christ Article by Mark Dever

    FROM TABLETALK | September 2005

    How can we confess our sins as John tells us to in I John 1:9? Let me make four suggestions: First, know God’s Word; second, know our lives; third, know our sins; fourth, confess our sins. When I am self-righteous in an argument with my wife, I need first to know God’s Word. Then, I must move on to number 2: I must know my life. I must have some way that I can stop and reflect and take account of what I am doing. I personally take time when I get up in the morning and when I go … View Resource

  • The Pain and Beauty of Confession Article by Gleason Archer Jr.

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2005

    Children are big sinners, they are just small in size. Recently I was watching my wife’s grandchildren play together (I have a personal aversion to being old enough to have grandchildren). Her grandson was playing with his younger sister; actually, he was not so much playing with her as he was aggravating her. Finally, she attempted to “get her pound of flesh” and bit him. Her transgression was promptly reported by her brother to the proper authorities — replete with convincing evidence: teeth marks. As I listened to his rendition of the crime to his mother, I noticed he said … View Resource

  • Repentance from First to Last Article by Chris Donato

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2004

    On October 31, 1517, Dr. Martin Luther posted his ninety-five theses on the academy bulletin board (which happened to be the church door in those days). Essentially, the theses rebuked church leaders for abusing indulgences. Indulgences, he argued, cannot forgive sins. Rather, they are in danger of bringing a false peace to the sinner’s conscience — a place reserved only for God’s once-for-all justification of His children. Can anyone recall the first thesis, the one upon which all the others follow? True, it is not as bold as, for example, thesis 86, which chides the wealthy pope for not funding … View Resource