Posts by Nick Batzig


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"...While theologians have made frequent appeal to this statement (both for its profound truthfulness, as well as for its place at the opening of one of the greatest writings in all of church history), it is a truth that held a place of primacy to Calvin in his preaching. 


There is one area of supreme importance where growth is always needed yet sadly neglected. It is the need for us to resolve to give our lives to Christ in the worship and service of the local church. In a very real sense, it is right for us to insist that the church should come first in the order of priorities of our lives.


As we again enter in on a time of special meditation on the wonder of God manifest in the flesh--come a baby in the manger, let us also meditate on the promised return of God glorified in the flesh--coming as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Let us learn to search the Old Testament to see the mountain tops of prophecy about Christ, but let us do so recognizing the mountain range of which it is a part. Let us celebrate all that the baby in Bethlehem means concerning the promised salvation and judgment of the world. It is all united in the One eternal and everlasting Christ--the just God and Savior. 


Tying the Gospel in from the text to the Table is often one of the most challenging--and yet, rewarding--tasks that a minister faces. While there are many ways that the Gospel can be brought to bear on the sacramental meditations at the institution of the Table, the surest way to do so is in prayerful reliance on the Lord to grant such fitting meditations, to know the mechanics of the Gospel, to incorporate lyrics from the great hymns of church history and to learn to think in terms of redemptive-history and the organic unity of the Scripture as it centers on the Person and saving work of Christ.


To be sure, there will always be men who will level new attacks against the Scriptures. There will always be those who attempt to twist and pervert God's word. Yet, our faith is strengthened by the Scriptures in the knowledge that every word that God has breathed out (2 Tim. 3:16) comes to us with all of His divine authority for our lives and with His absolute and undiluted truthfulness.