Should Christians go to war? (Romans 13:1-7)

Open Romans 13:1-7.

We discussed what this passage says about the authority of the state. Now we turn to the question of whether God authorizes governments to conduct wars, and whether it authorizes Christians to kill enemies in war.

Romans 13:4 is the crucial verse, and I’m going to argue these points:

  • carrying the sword refers to punishing wrongdoers, not prosecuting war;
  • the New Testament does not instruct the state about war;
  • followers of Jesus must not go to war, because our King forbids it.

Here’s the context:

Continue reading “Should Christians go to war? (Romans 13:1-7)”

Romans: opening and closing theme

The same phrase is the climax of the opening and closing sentences of the Book of Romans. Do you know what it is?

Paul’s letter to the Romans opens with one of the best gospel summaries anywhere. It’s a precis of the whole kingdom story, rising to a key phrase that is the goal of the gospel in Paul’s view. It’s so crucial that the same phrase is the culmination of both the opening sentence and the closing sentence of this remarkable letter. Do you know what it is? Continue reading “Romans: opening and closing theme”