Lord's Day Liturgy

Making Us a Choir

What was Christ doing when He took reproaches meant for His Father? What were the reproaches?

Some of the disapproval and denouncement belonged with who He associated Himself with. The opening of Romans 15 makes the case that the strong should help the weak, but that’s easy compared to Christ saving sinners. “While we were still weak, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). It’s a scandal that God in flesh died, and it’s even worse based on who He died for, not even for a good man (Romans 5:7).

Here’s how the author of Hebrews put it:

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers (Hebrews 2:10–11 ESV)

So, are there weak brothers in the church? Yeah, there are all kinds of people who need sanctifying. Don’t be surprised. From the beginning of the church, the Lord purposed to build up the church using guys like Peter, a reformed betrayer, and Paul, a reformed persecutor.

Is it so hard to imagine someone saying, “I can’t share communion with that guy. He denied Christ three times!” Or, “Let’s try to avoid fellowship with that guy. He murdered Christians with his political power.”

But that is the power of God’s Word, and the God of righteousness is a God of comfort, the God of sanctification is the God of giving parts to His saints so that they can sing together. God doesn’t just preach to the choir, He makes us His choir. He’s not ashamed to call us brothers.