Romans 13

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Romans 12

  1. Serving God/gifts (12:1-8)
  2. Practicing love within the church (12:9-13)
  3. Practicing love toward those who persecute the church (12:14-21)

Romans 13

  1. Be subject to the authorities
  2. Pay tribute and honor
  3. Love your neighbor
  4. Love is fulfillment of the law


Why So Hopeful?

  1. Caligula claimed he was a god and put his statue in the Jerusalem Temple
  2. Claudius had expelled Jews from Rome (Acts 18)
  3. Only 16, Nero was tutored and advised by sensible men

    Nero became emperor at 16, the youngest emperor up until that time. Ancient historians describe Nero's early reign as being strongly influenced by his mother Agrippina, his tutor Lucius Annaeus Seneca, and the Praetorian Prefect Sextus Afranius Burrus, especially in the first year. Other tutors were less often mentioned, such as Alexander of Aegae.
    Very early in Nero's rule, problems arose from competition for influence between Agrippina and Nero's two main advisers, Seneca and Burrus.
    In 54, Agrippina tried to sit down next to Nero while he met with an Armenian envoy, but Seneca stopped her and prevented a scandalous scene.

    In 49 AD, Claudius' new wife Agrippina had Seneca recalled to Rome to tutor her son, then 12 years old, who was to become the emperor Nero. On Claudius' death in 54 AD, Agrippina secured the recognition of Nero as emperor over Claudius' son, Britannicus.
    From 54 – 62 AD, Seneca acted as Nero's advisor, together with the praetorian prefect Sextus Afranius Burrus. Seneca's influence was said to be especially strong in the first year. Many historians consider Nero's early rule with Seneca and Burrus to be quite competent. Over time, Seneca and Burrus lost their influence over Nero. In 59 AD they had to reluctantly agree to Agrippina's murder, and afterwards Seneca wrote a dishonest exculpation of Nero to the Senate. With the death of Burrus in 62 AD and accusations of embezzlement, Seneca retired and devoted his time to more study and writing.

Jew and Gentile in Rome

Paul’s Worldview

Paul - Ancients
  • Social Order is natural
  • It does not change
  • It is divinely instituted
  • Can be good or bad
Moderns – Us
  • Social Order is reasonable
  • It is changeable
  • It answers to the governed
  • Should be good

Politics Now and Then

  • Submission and not Rebellion
  • Ruler is God’s Servant
  • Empire
  • Our nation is founded on civil dissent
  • Godly critique of rulers
  • Nations

Principles vs Rules

  1. Respect and Honor
  2. Righteousness in Civic Affairs
  3. Judgment and Future

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 8 March 2009

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