New book: Truth We Can Touch

My latest book, Truth We Can Touch: How Baptism and Communion Shape our Lives, is published today by Crossway. I’ve been working on this book for about ten years and it’s very precious to me. Sinclair Ferguson has generously written the foreword. Here’s the blurb …

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are more than just water, bread, and wine. They are God’s promises to us in physical form.

What is happening when someone passes through the waters of baptism? What’s the significance of eating bread and drinking wine together as a church on Sunday mornings? What’s the point of these physical substances?

Tim Chester guides us through the Bible, explaining how the sacraments, embodying the promises of God in physical form, were given to us to strengthen our faith and shape our lives. The physical bread, wine, and water are a confirmation of our union with Christ. Chester aims to help us treasure baptism and Communion and approach them rightly, so we can receive the full benefit God intends them to physically bring us.

And here are some endorsements:

“In Truth We Can Touch, Tim Chester makes a compelling case for evangelicals to recover an understanding of baptism and the Lord’s Supper as God’s promise that comes to us in physical form. Deeply biblical and yet eminently practical, this book provides an alternative to a theology of the word limited to our heads. God’s word in Christ comes to us not only in preaching but also in baptism and at the table. As embodied creatures, we embrace God’s promises in touch and taste, with delight and praise. This accessible and winsome book is a joy!”
J. Todd Billings, Gordon H. Girod Research Professor of Reformed Theology, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan

“This is hands down the best book on the sacraments I’ve read—warm, compelling, eye-opening, and saturated in gospel encouragement. I hadn’t realized how much I needed it.”
Sam Allberry, Speaker, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries; author, Why Does God Care Who I Sleep With? and 7 Myths about Singleness

“In this delightful book, Chester reminds us that baptism and Communion are God’s gifts to us that convey the gospel and grace in powerful ways. As a Baptist I would put some things differently, but I celebrate and rejoice in the main thesis set forth by Chester. Baptism and Communion are central in the New Testament, and something is wrong if they are neglected or ignored by us. Take up and read and be instructed, challenged, and—most of all—encouraged by the gospel, which is displayed so beautifully in baptism and the Eucharist.”
Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“After reading Tim Chester’s Truth We Can Touch, I sent our pastoral staff a message: ‘Add this book to our reading list for our interns, and add it to our book nook.’ Chester is one of our favorite writers, and his books have blessed our local church. Once again, he combines theological clarity with gospel warmth, conveying the beauty of Christ to the reader. By reading this accessible book, you will value baptism and Communion more, and you will be moved to worship the Savior as you consider Chester’s explanation of baptism as the embodiment of our union with Christ and the Lord’s Supper as the embodiment of our communion with Christ.”
Tony Merida, Lead Pastor, Imago Dei Church, Raleigh, North Carolina; author, Ordinary

“At last, here is a great evangelical book on the sacraments. I have longed for such a book for years, one that is deep yet accessible, theologically robust and biblically grounded, and—perhaps most of all—one that touches the heart with wise pastoral application. This is a valuable resource for all ministers and a treasure for all God’s people. I cannot commend it highly enough—a delight from beginning to end.”
Melvin Tinker, Senior Minister, St. John Newland, Hull, United Kingdom; author, Language, Symbols, and Sacraments

“The sacraments are integral to the history of redemption, yet the evangelical church has tragically neglected them as secondary and nonessential. Tim Chester sets baptism and the Lord’s Supper vividly in their biblical and historical contexts. Superbly written, easily accessible to a wide readership, rooted in Scripture and the theology of the Reformation, this book can be a catalyst for widespread recovery of the supreme blessing God gives through his appointed signs.”
Robert Letham, Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Union School of Theology

New song: Eternal Father (Lord in Your Mercy)

Here’s a new song about prayer which I’ve co-written with Phil Moore and Ben Slee. It was originally written to use in prayer meetings, but in fact it also worked well at the Keswick Convention this year. A live recording is available on the album ‘Longing’. Here’s the lead sheet. The lyrics are below.

Eternal Father, gracious King
we come to you in prayer,
accept the pleas your children bring,
enfold us in your care.

     Lord in your mercy: hear our prayer.
Lord in your mercy: hear our prayer.
To your throne of grace we come
by your Spirit through your Son:
in your mercy, hear our prayer.

2. We come to you in Jesus’ name,
we plead his precious blood.
We leave behind our guilt and shame
secure within your love.

3. We come because the Spirit speaks
to calm our doubt and fear,
puts “Abba, Father” on our lips,
and calls us to draw near.

CCLI No. 7133132

Tim Chester, Phil Moore, Ben Slee © 2019 Admin. by Song Solutions (


Remembrance Hymn – full score

Last year I wrote a song for Remembrance Sunday with Colin Webster and Phil Moore of Cornerstone Worship. Their friend Matt Vosper has now kindly written a full piano score version of the sheet music.

Lead sheet | Full Score

O Lord, we look upon the past,
rememb’ring those who went before
who heard the call and bore for us
the brutal, bloody face of war.
We think of them and think of you,
who came to earth as one of us,
to share our pain and bear our wounds,
and make the final sacrifice.

2. O Lord, we look around today
and see a world in conflict still.
We pray for those who strive for peace,
who stand for truth or lives rebuild.
We weep with those whose hearts are scarred,
whose way is hard, whose hope is weak.
To refugees whose homes are lost,
God of all comfort, comfort speak.

3. O Lord, we look ahead in hope
to see the dawning of the day
when swords are beaten into ploughs
and every tear is wiped away;
when wounds are healed and fear dispelled
and all who trust in you arise;
when Christ, the Prince of Peace, has come,
and glory, glory fills the skies.

CCLI Song # 7120048 © 2018
Colin Webster Songs (Admin. by Song Solutions
Phil Moore Songs (Admin. by Song Solutions
Tim Chester Publishing (Admin. by Song Solutions

Exodus for You in Portuguese

My book Exodus for You is now available in Portuguese.

As I posted last month, I’m delighted to see this because there’s a lack of good Christ-centred expository helps on Old Testament literature. This is one reason why I was so keen to write Exodus for You, 1 Samuel for You and 2 Samuel for You – even though books on the Old Testament are far from being money-spinners!

The Portuguese version of Exodus for You is available from here in Brazil and from here in the UK.

Relentless Love video

This song (which I co-wrote) is from Mission to Dendros, the latest children’s CD from Michael J Tinker. The album is available here and there’s still time (just) to get a free set of postcards by pre-ordering the album before its release date on October 1, 2019.

1 Samuel for You in Portuguese

My book 1 Samuel for You is now available in Portuguese.

I’m delighted to see this because there’s a lack of good Christ-centred expository helps on Old Testament literature. This is one reason why I was so keen to write 1 Samuel for You and 2 Samuel for You – even though books on the Old Testament are far from being money-spinners!

It’s available from here in Brazil and from here in the UK.