A Remnant, Chosen by Grace

Although we read it as a book, it is important to remember that Romans is a letter, and we should read it as it was written. In substance, it is of course more than a letter—the very Word of God. And so, we read it and study it intently even intricately to glean from God’s special revelation, to know his will. So rich and deep is this divine truth that we dare not rush through it but study it diligently verse by verse. But none of this changes its form: It is a letter.

A Heavenly Feast

So, when we come to the Lord’s table we look to his body, the bread, and his blood, the wine, seeing in them the mystical union we enjoy with Christ and in Christ one another. We come to a feast, so to speak, not in quantity but in substance, a sacrament that reminds us of our union and nourishes us by his Spirit.

A Meal with God

As a covenant is a bond in blood sovereignly administered, so God’s covenant with his people was fulfilled only and ultimately in Christ. Therefore, all who are covered by the blood of Christ are invited to worship our Lord. We come not through another mediating prophet or priests or presbyters. We worship God only through our Prophet, Priest, and King, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Fearing God

In the fullness of time, God came to his people not upon a mountain but in the person of Jesus Christ. Fully God yet fully man, he became the sinless sacrifice upon the altar of the cross. He is not offered up repeatedly like sheep or oxen but was sacrificed once for all for the sins of his people. Therefore, it is through the sacrifice of Christ, and only through him, that we rightly worship God as his people.

The Thief of Contentment

As we learn this, we can look at all that is our neighbor’s and be content with, what our catechism calls, “a right and charitable frame of spirit” (WSC Q. 80). We can be genuinely happy for our neighbor’s sake, because we trust the providence of God. And we can be content with our own lot, knowing “we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out…” (1 Tim. 6:7).

The Unity of One God

The result is “the bond of peace” or “the bond which consists of peace,”[7] (O’Brien, 280), meaning unity in the body is evidenced in peace. Such peace is telling of the peace that every Christian enjoys with God the Father through God the Son by God the Holy Spirit. Just as there is unity in God, so there should be unity in his body, as it is manifested in the local church.