Posts by Nick Batzig

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At the very outset of his magnum opus , the Institutes of the Christian Religion , John Calvin famously explained that no man can come to a true knowledge of himself if he does not first "contemplate the face of God." He wrote:...
As we come to the end of the year and press into yet another new year, it is always beneficial for us to evaluate our commitments and priorities from the past year--noting the ways in which we have, by God's grace, grown in certain areas and the ways in which we desperately need to grow in...
As we head toward another Christmas--and a renewed time of remembrance of the fulfillment of the prophecies that God gave for millennia concerning the Christ--it would do us good to step back and consider the fact that the Old Testament prophecies about Christ were often not time-specific, neatly...
When I moved to Savannah, GA in 2009 to plant New Covenant Presbyterian Church , I commited to planting a church that--along with a number of other important priorities--would observe weekly communion. It wasn't because I believed that the Scriptures command the weekly observation of the Supper...
Many years ago, I was teaching through a section of Romans that contains particularly difficult theological truths. No sooner had I finished teaching that an individual--who had been a member of evangelical churches for many years--came up to me and said, "Well, that's Paul; that's not...
I've always loved mountains. I've lived in the Blue Ridge mountains, hiked the Sangre de Christo mountains, travelled through the German Alps, skied the French Alps and marveled as I've gazed at the seemingly endless Alaskan mountain ranges. There is something mystical and majestic...
In all of the New Testament, no book gives us so many descriptions of the Person and work of Jesus as does the book of Hebrews.
When I moved to Philadelphia in 2007 to begin my interneship at Tenth Presbyterian Church , I was excited about entering in on a work that had a special focus on mercy ministry. I knew Philly well enough to know how many opportunities there were for mercy ministry in the streets. If you walked...
I've noticed a growing trend in ministry. I highly doubt that it is something new. It manifests itself in things written or said by pastors in large, seeker oriented churches that have been "successful"--from the world's point of view--and it surfaces in things written or said by...
One of the things that I realized the first time that I taught through the book of Genesis is that the patriarchal narratives look far more like something that you would see on Showtime than something that you would hear on Focus on the Family.
One of the many wonderful things about the Westminster Shorter Catechism is that it includes several extremely important theological pairs ( i.e. joint categories) in the opening questions that help us robustly systematize the biblical truth concerning our relationship to God, God's work in the...
At New Covenant , we enthusiastically encourage parents to keep their children in the worship service--the whole worship service. Being with the congregation in the worship service from childhood is one of the greatest privileges that God has given to children growing up in a Christian home.
When reading the Old Testament we come across such language as that of "an everlasting ordinance" (Exodus 12:14, 17), "everlasting covenant" (Gen. 9:16; 17:7, 13, 19; 2 Samuel 23:5), "everlasting possession" (Gen. 17:8; 48:4; ) and "everlasting priesthood" (...
As I have been preaching through the book of Genesis , I have been struck afresh by the Creation/New Creation structure of the entirety of Scripture--no less in its opening chapters. We have considered the various elements of new creation as we have gone from creation to the flood. Redemptive...
On a prima facia reading, the Scriptures seem to give us contradictory statements about the roll of fear in the life of the believer. On the one hand we are called to fear the Lord (e.g. Lev. 25:17; Deut. 6:2; 1 Samuel 12:14; 2 Kings 17:39; Psalm 2:11; etc.) and on the other hand we are told,...
As a young believer, I came across Jeremiah Burrough's searching little book The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment . I have yet to come across another book that so helpfully uncovers the great problem of sinful discontentment and our need to learn to be content in Christ wherever He may...
I recently received an email from a missionary couple in our congregation who serve in a large country in Africa. The wife of this couple who wrote us was telling us how her husband had been arrested and falsely accused so that the government of the country in which they serve could get bribe money...
At the end of an unusually exhausting or challenging week I sometimes find myself saying, "This has been the hardest week of my life." This is often simply a sophisticated way of complaining. We want others to know how hard we have worked or want them to feel sorry for how much we have...
In recent years it has become common for theologians to give focused treatment to the sphere ( i.e. the sacred space) in which redemption occurs. The Temple motif--from the Garden of Eden to the Heavenly City ( i.e . the New Jerusalem)--is traced out in such noteworthy works as O.
Many years ago I was involved with an evangelistic ministry in New Jersey. A group of us would go out on the Boardwalk ask people if we could talk with them about the Gospel. In the course of our conversations, I would sometimes ask if they knew why they wore clothing.
In his important book, Outgrowing the Ingrown Church , Jack Miller recounted an experience he had at a church in which he had been invited to speak.
More than ever before, we desperately need to answer the question, “What does Modern Judaizing look like?” The Judaizers were, of course, false brethren who--in the days of the Apostles--secretly came into a newly found church to spy out the freedom that Christians had in Christ. We don...
In the early years of my seminary experience, I quickly began to realize that within the Calvinistic and Reformed Church at large there was something of a divide over whose role it was to carry out ministry in the local church.
While it is difficult to determine the precise percentage, almost all studies have shown that the average pastor leaves a church within the first five years of ministry there. Though reasons for this vary from situation to situation, this much we can be sure of: Far too many pastors quit when they...
As a pastor, I find that there are several subjects that have abiding significance in the lives of the people of God that do not seem to get adequate attention from pulpit or pen. One of the most important of these subjects is the matter of the assurance of salvation. Whenever I have turned the...
One of the most important of all the statements about the birth of Jesus is that He was "born under the Law" (Gal. 4:4). The one who gave the Law on Sinai was, "in the fulness of time," born under the Law. Of course, in making this declaration the question is raised, "Why...
When Jesus explained the nature of His atoning death on the cross to the Israelites of His day, He appealed to what is arguably the most fascinating of the redemptive symbols from the history of Israel's wilderness wandering--namely, the bronze serpent on the pole (Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14)...
The Scriptures tell us that the Son of God began His sufferings in a Garden and brought them to a close in a Garden. That is an absolutely amazing display of God's wisdom. After all, Jesus is the second Adam undoing what Adam did and doing what Adam failed to do (Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:47-49...
There are two theological truths that structure the entirety of the biblical storyline. The first is that Jesus is the second and last Adam. The second is that Jesus is the true and greater Israel.* The totality of the biblical narrative can be understood in light of these two theological...
When Paul says of Christ, in Galatians 3:13, that He "became a curse for us," this carries with it a world of biblical and theological meaning. Surely, the Apostle had the curse of the Mosaic Covenant in mind--as the context indicates; but what lay behind the covenant curses of the Mosaic...
In seminary, a friend of mine would often challenge me on my insistence that whatever portion of Scripture we preach, we ought to get our hearers to the cross. Whether we are preaching glorious cross-centered texts like Galatians 2:20-3:1 or Romans 5:6-11 or whether we are preaching any given part...
Recently, I have had an extraordinarily high number of people ask me what the Scriptures teach about burial versus cremation. Not being the sharpest tool in the shed, I did not put together that this is most likely on account of the economy.
Sometimes in the name of zeal for biblical fidelity we can inadvertently correct others where no correction is needed. I’ve had the infelicitous experience of being corrected, on numerous occasions, for something for which I ought not to have been corrected. I have also been the culprit of...
The enormous privilege of being a pastoral intern with Phil Ryken at historic Tenth Presbyterian Church afforded me many other undeserved and exciting experiences. One of the most special of these experiences was the opportunity to help Linda Boice--Dr. Boice's widow--break down her husband...
When I was a new convert--having been brought from spiritual death to spiritual life--one of the things that I distinctly remember seeing with new eyes were trees. This was, in large part, because the Lord was enabling me to understand in all the Scriptures the redemptive-historical nature of trees...
In my last TCC post , I sought to introduce a subject that I realized would be entirely new to some. Knowing this, I thought that it might be beneficial to give a few more examples of how Jesus would have read the Old Testament as the Covenant revelation of God written to Him.
There has been something of a biblical-theological revolution over the past several decades. It is not a revolution in which new doctrines are being uncovered so much as it is one by which our understanding of a Christ-centered and redemptive-historical interpretation of Scripture is being refined.
In the previous post we briefly considered the biblical teaching on what is commonly called definitive sanctification . In this post we want to briefly consider yet another aspect of the biblical teaching on sanctification which has been equally overlooked or downplayed--namely, positional...
What is the most important overlooked biblical doctrine? Without hesitation, I would suggest that it is the doctrine of definitive sanctification .1 It was the late Professor John Murray who first articulated and popularized this doctrine. As he studied the exegetical statements of the New...
Why does so much of the Old Testament seem so foreign and irrelevant to those living in the New Covenant era today? Why do we so often struggle to understand how the events in the Old Testament apply to us today? How can we make sense of what seems to be disconnected biographies of saints in the...
Based on the title above, you might be wondering whether this is an article that will include practical counsel on time management and how to best maximize your schedule; or, you might wonder whether it will be a defense of the BC/AD dating system of human history (as over against the BCE/CE modern...
I have often taken comfort in the fact that the Apostle Peter said that Apostle Paul wrote “some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:15 -16). I don’t take comfort in...
One of the more spiritually edifying questions that I remember debating with several brothers in seminary (and there were certainly plenty of spiritually unedifying ones!) was, "Does God the Father love us because of Jesus?" It might not seem like an obviously difficult question on the...
John 4 is one of the most wonderful chapters in the Bible. In it we find the account of Jesus’ soul-satisfying offer to the woman at the well--the lengthiest single discourse our Lord has with any one individual in the Gospels. The account provides us with the understanding of the nature of...
I am the prodigal son. I ran as far and as fast away from my heavenly Father as I could until He, by His utterly undeserved and lavish grace, drew me back to Himself. Not long after I was converted, many would tell me how my life was a beautiful picture of what Jesus had spoken about in the parable...
If you were hoping to read a post about the temperance movement, wineries, micro-brews or an illegitimate use of the Bible to fuel the health food revolution (or perhaps I should have said, “health food religion”) then you could very well be disappointed. If, however, you are looking...
What would you say to someone, who you knew to be a multi-millionaire, if you saw them living on the street (I am in no way drawing on an Eddie Murphy movie here)? Surley you would ask them why they were forsaking all of their unique privileges? After all, what multi-millionaire would rather...
The Puritan theologian, Thomas Manton, once said: “The great skill of Christians is to find the New Testament prefigured in the Old, and the Old Testament fulfilled in the New Testament." What helps us most in this endeavor is that it doesn’t take long when reading through the NT...
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