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Paul’s Letter to the Romans. When guidelines are laid down for the behaviour of Christians towards those who are outside the fellowship, it is natural.

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Presentation on theme: "Paul’s Letter to the Romans. When guidelines are laid down for the behaviour of Christians towards those who are outside the fellowship, it is natural."— Presentation transcript:

1 Paul’s Letter to the Romans

2 When guidelines are laid down for the behaviour of Christians towards those who are outside the fellowship, it is natural that something should be said about the Christian’s relation to the secular authorities – municipal, provincial, imperial. This subject became specially acute during the decade following the writing of this letter. 2 Paul's Letter to the Romans

3 Judaism was collegio licita (assembly allowed) Gallio (51 AD?) in Acts 18:12-17 (indifferent) Was Paul’s experience of Roman justice fairly favourable (and so v6 and v3?) But: Jesus was a convicted felon (Tacitus simply refers to this as proving his point of Christian wickedness). Cf Acts 17:6-9. Cf Mark 12:17 But what if the authorities are unrighteous? 3 Paul's Letter to the Romans

4 Nero! Fiddled while Rome burned (at his order) Blamed Christians Persecuted Christians Friendly Government? 4 Paul's Letter to the Romans

5 Do we enjoy authority being over us? If we struggle with God’s authority… how do we respond to imperfect authority? Any Authority? Life on my terms please! I don’t want to be vulnerable I don’t trust ______________ Cynicism is a poison that says we can arrogantly trust our own self defense mechanisms more than we can trust God. 5 Paul's Letter to the Romans

6 Are we trying to win the world over to see the light we have found, or are we dismissing, ripping, tearing, or otherwise “writing off” the opposition? Can God work through the wrong, even a bad leader? Nebuchadnezzar – Daniel 4:34-37 Cyrus – 2 Chron 36:22-23 Pontius Pilate Even Gallio! Who is REALLY running this show? We are called to be ambassadors of Love and Mercy 6 Paul's Letter to the Romans

7 Being Subject does NOT call for blind obedience No human authority is absolute (soldier may legally deny an illegal order) Biblically informed conscience places limits on legitimate government! Paul demanded Due Process Peter refused to stop preaching Willing to accept consequences of disobedience They resisted WITHIN the bounds of the government, and in so doing – God’s will – corrupt empire falls – church rises Motivated by Christian witness 7 Paul's Letter to the Romans

8 1. Everyone must submit? (v1a) “Let every person…” 2. There is no authority that God has not established? (v1b) “For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” 3. To rebel against [human] authority is to rebel against God? (v2) “Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” 4. “Rulers hold no terror for those who do right”? (v3) No terror for those who trust God! 5. “If you do wrong…he does not bear the sword for nothing” [but for righteous judgement]? (v4) “For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.” 8 Paul's Letter to the Romans

9 J.W.Allen: [This chapter] “contains what are perhaps the most important words ever written for the history of political thought. Yet it would be a gross mistake to suppose that men, at any time, took their political opinions from St Paul.” Ref: A History of Political Thought in the Sixteenth Century 9 Paul's Letter to the Romans

10 Submit to the authorities (v5) Because of possible punishment v5a Because of your conscience v5b How does our conscience call us to submit? Which form of resistance accomplishes more? Disorderly Within the system? Nero’s persecution (and that of his successors) led to MANY conversions Similarly, pay your taxes (v6) Submit in all ways: taxes, revenue, respect, honour… 10 Paul's Letter to the Romans

11 Better than civil disobedience! When the truth is on your side, and you are willing to pay the price When your message is not clouded by hate or cynicism, but rather clothed in Christ Able to be used by God who raises and decimates leaders, nations, and governments as he sees fit. 11 Paul's Letter to the Romans

12 Submission means mutual love (v8) The Law is summed up in the injunction to love your neighbour (vv9-10) “Understanding the present time” We need to show our love and do it actively! Being proud, that the resistive efforts of Christendom have changed the world for the better, time and time again! An expectation of the imminent return of Christ? (“the time… the day… the hour”) 12 Paul's Letter to the Romans

13 “For Christians to gain the respect, if not always the approval, of those who define culture, they must first get their own house in order. Surveys have shown that Christians are divorcing at the same rate as non-Christians. So much for “family values.” People who say they are Christians are getting abortions at a rate as high, or higher, as those who profess a different faith or none at all. How can a spiritually dysfunctional church hope to speak truth to an even more dysfunctional culture when it has lost its moral compass and compromised its message by allowing internal rot.” Cal Thomas, LA Times, 1994 13 Paul's Letter to the Romans

14 Put aside the deeds of darkness (v12) Behave decently, as in the daytime (v13) Orgies, drunkenness, debauchery, dissension, jealousy: normal (?) sins combined with sins of a community in conflict? 14 Paul's Letter to the Romans

15 “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh”. Gal 3:27, 5:16 ; Eph 4:24 In the footsteps of the master we can find the pathway to change our world – again. 15 Paul's Letter to the Romans

16 Chapter 14 (4/20) Chapter 15 (& 16) (4/27) Reading & Discussion Session (5/4) Reading & Discussion Session (if needed) (5/11) 16 Paul's Letter to the Romans

17 Summer Classes? Return in Fall? Topics of Interest? 17 Paul's Letter to the Romans

18 Acts 17:1-9 ESV (1) Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. (2) And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, (3) explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ." (4) And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. (5) But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. (6) And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, "These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, (7) and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus." (8) And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. (9) And when they had taken money as security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. 18 Paul's Letter to the Romans

19 Acts 18:1-17 ESV (1) After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. (2) And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, (3) and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. (4) And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks. (5) When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. (6) And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles." (7) And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. (8) Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. (9) And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, "Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, (10) for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people." (11) And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. (12) But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, (13) saying, "This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law." (14) But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, "If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. (15) But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things." (16) And he drove them from the tribunal. (17) And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this. 19 Paul's Letter to the Romans

20 Mark 12:13-17 ESV (13) And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. (14) And they came and said to him, "Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone's opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?" (15) But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, "Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it." (16) And they brought one. And he said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?" They said to him, "Caesar's." (17) Jesus said to them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they marveled at him. 20 Paul's Letter to the Romans

21 Galatians 3:27 ESV (27) For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Galatians 5:16 ESV (16) But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 21 Paul's Letter to the Romans

22 Ephesians 4:24 ESV (24) and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 22 Paul's Letter to the Romans

23 1 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV (1) First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, (2) for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 23 Paul's Letter to the Romans

24 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 ESV (22) Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: (23) "Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, 'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the LORD his God be with him. Let him go up.'" 24 Paul's Letter to the Romans

25 Daniel 4:34-37 ESV (34) At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; (35) all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?" (36) At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. (37) Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. 25 Paul's Letter to the Romans

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