Ministers of Wrath
Romans 12:17-13:5
Why are Christians called to submit to authorities?
Published January 7th, 2022
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Main point summary
Romans 12:17 to 13:5
Main point summary
Do no repay evil with evil, but give wrath to God to whom it belongs. Submit to authorities as they are God's ministers of wrath - a terror for evil doers and a blessing to those who do good.
Romans 12:17 to 13:5
Romans 12:17-13:5
j Repay no one evil for evil,
Do not commit evil against those who do evil to you,
but k give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
instead seek to do what is right for all to see.
If possible, so far as it depends on you,
If you can and it is in your power,
l live peaceably with all.
then conduct your life so as to promote peace with all around you.
Beloved, m never avenge yourselves,
Brothers, when evil is done to you do not take justice into your own hands,
but leave it 1 to the wrath of God,
but give it to God and he will mete out justice and wrath .
for it is written,
As God has said in his word,
n “ Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
"I will repay evil with my vengeance "
To the contrary,
Rather than avenging yourself,
o “if your enemy is hungry,
"If you see your enemy hungry,
feed him;
then provide food for him.
if he is thirsty,
and "if your enemy is thirsty,
give him something to drink;
then provide drink for him."
for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
so that you will cause his evil to be compounded and the judgement on him to increase.
Do not be overcome by evil,
So then, do not let evil fill you,
but overcome evil with good.
rather defeat evil by doing good.
Let every person p be subject to the governing authorities.
Everyone should submit to the governing authorities.
For q there is no authority except from God,
Because God is the giver of authority,
and those that exist have been instituted by God.
and any authority that exists has been established by God.
Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed,
So anyone who opposes the authorities resists what God has established,
and those who resist will incur judgment .
with the result that they will receive judgement from God.
For rulers are not a terror to good conduct,
Because there is no judgement for doing what is right,
but to bad.
but there is great judgement for evil.
Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority?
Do you desire to live in peace and have no fear of the authorities God has appointed?
Then do what is good,
Do what is right,
and you r will receive his approval,
and this will be acceptable,
for s he is God’s servant for your good.
because the authorities are the ministers of God to uphold what is right.
But if you do wrong, be afraid,
But be afraid if you do evil,
for he does not bear the sword in vain.
for the authority can execute judgement with the sword.
For he is the servant of God, t an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.
and it is right that he does so because he is the minister of God's wrath on this earth - the avenger of evil.
Therefore one must be in subjection,
Accordingly, be submitted to the authorities,
not only to avoid God’s wrath
not only to avoid evil and the resulting wrath of God,
but also u for the sake of conscience.
but also by doing what is right for the sake of your conscience before Christ.
12:17-21 Paul's call is to not return evil with evil. And in this call he is echoing Jesus (Matthew 5:39) and Proverbs (Prov 20:22). And from this call Paul explains - it is God right to punish the wrongdoer. This is God's prerogative as the creator, the righteous one, and the one against whom the wrongs are ultimately committed. We are to leave this justice in God's hands and instead seek to return evil with good. 13:1-5 Paul turns to the manner in which we are to live in a world full of wrong without taking vengeance into our own hands. We are to submit to the God's appointed authorities. Those whom he has instituted to be "an avenger" to mete out God's wrath in the world - the ministers of wrath. These are means that God uses to administer justice and punishment. We are to submit to these authorities in this realm - both to avoid wrath on any wrongdoing of our own and for the sake of our conscience. For our conscience that we know we do what is right in the sight of God! Take Aways: - Living at peace with others is living within the structure of the world that God has established. - We can do good to all knowing that we are not in judgement over them. - Submitting to authorities is in the context of justice and administration of wrath. - Submitting is to authorities appointed by God and who do true justice.
Brent Karding
Regarding your Main Point Summary, it is good, and reflects an understanding of the text being a Series (see below).
Brent Karding
Excellent bracketing throughout. It clearly demonstrates that you have understood this method well.
Brent Karding
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.
I wouldn't make 1-5 a Manner of 17-21, since Paul says nothing about "governing authorities" in 17-21. There are two specific instructions, for two different groups of people, in 17-21 and 1-5, so Series would be best.
Nathan B
Yes, I'm not sure of the Manner, but I think there is more connection than Series seems to imply. The topic of who is responsible for executing judgement is a clear link between the two sections. Maybe Id-Exp?
Brent Karding
I agree that there is a connection, since both are talking about responding to others, relating to others, and you've helpfully pointed out connections like the word "wrath." Yes, Id-Exp would work well.
Brent Karding
Do not be overcome by evil,
I like this connection of 21 to 19-20. It works.
Brent Karding
so that you will cause his evil to be compounded and the judgement on him to increase.
Ac-Res makes sense for your paraphrase here.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.