God’s Avenger – Romans 13:1-5

To balance out the verse from yesterday, which discussed not repaying evil for evil, we must now look at God’s approved method of vengenace.

‘Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. ‘ Romans 13:1-5

Personal vengeance is prohibited. However, God has setup authorities on the Earth that are meant to be instruments of His justice, namely governments. Repeatedly, God used these powers throughout the history outlined in the Old Testament to bring judgment on evil doers, even if the nations that were God’s instrument of justice were evil themselves.

We as moderns seem to think it appropriate to rebel against our government if we consider it unjust. To which I would say “Perhaps.” Keep in mind, that Paul wrote this letter in the context of the Roman Empire. This is an empire that was notorious for persecuting the Church and eventually put Paul to death.

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