The Berean Expositor
Volume 29 - Page 150 of 208
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The Epistle to the Romans.
#74.  Romans 12: and 13:
"Vengeance" and "The Powers That be" (12: 17 - 13: 7).
pp. 29 - 34
We now arrive at the central section of Rom. 12: and 13: with its emphasis upon
"vengeance" and "civil rule". For the place this section occupies in the main structure,
the reader is referred to Volume XXVIII, page 191.
Romans 12: 17 - 13: 7.
C | 12: 17 - 13: 7. "Coals of fire" or "The sword".
e | l | 12: 17. Recompense no man evil.
m | 17. Provide things honest.
f  |  n | 18-21. Vengeance. Coals of fire.
o | 13: 1. Be subject.
n | 2-4. Revenger. The sword.
o | 5. Be subject.
e |
m | 6. Pay tribute.
l | 7. Render to all their dues.
The exhortations of the Apostle, from verse 10 onwards, have been mainly concerned
with the believer's attitude towards those within the sphere of grace. At verse 17,
however, where our new section starts, he turns his attention to the attitude which should
be manifested by the Christian towards those that are without. Immediately the outside
circle is brought into view a note of evil is struck, and the question of vengeance
introduced.  The problem of the Christian's right attitude towards his enemies and
towards civil government has now to be faced. To appreciate this problem in its true
setting involves a very considerable knowledge of Roman history.  To attempt the
briefest synopsis here, would, however, hold up our studies far too much, and we must
therefore refer the interested reader to the series under the general heading: "The Powers
That Be." This series forms a kind of supplement to our studies in the Acts and Romans,
and deals with "Roman history, and Roman laws and customs, in so far as they throw
light upon the N.T. narrative". By arranging the articles in this way, those who are not
specially interested will not have the studies in the Acts and Romans impeded, while
those who are, will, we trust, find them valuable sidelights on the many passages that
refer, either pointedly or remotely, to the historical events taking place at the time of
It had been a most perplexing question among the Jews, as to how far they should
recognize the sovereignty of a pagan ruler. The Law of Moses reads: