"Vengeance Is Mine"
Context: Romans is an epistle which Paul wrote to the Christian Church that was gradually building itself in Rome. He had not had a part in its founding and had not visited there; he was not acquainted with its members. Therefore, his letter is more a treatise on Christianity than an ordinary communication between good friends. Starting with a statement of his qualifications and an expression of his gospel, he declares the great mercies God has shown through Christ. Paul's principal concern is for the Jews; it has been his custom during his missionary activities to go to the synagogue whenever he enters a town, beginning his preaching and scriptural argumentation there. He has found the Jews difficult to convert, and has at times been treated roughly. Feeling that he can give converted Romans a better understanding of the Jews, he lists all the objections to Christianity that his experience has taught him a member of the Jewish faith would have. He supplies carefully reasoned answers to each of the objections; in this way he gives his readers a handbook for their missionary efforts. In Chapters 9 through 12 Paul's concern for the Jews is expressed in another way; here he admonishes his fellow Christians in regard to their possible attitude toward the Jews. He feels sorry for the latter and shows that he understands them; in Chapter 11 he points out that they must not be insulted, but treated with consideration and mercy. Chapter 12 is a little sermon on the proper attitude and conduct of a Christian. Paul reminds his readers that they must keep themselves pure as a sacrifice to God; that they should not conform themselves to this world; that they are unified through faith. He then lists a number of principles they should adhere to in their daily life, each using his special talents in the service of the Lord. He ends with a particular caution against the desire to be revenged:
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil;cleave to...
(The entire section is 510 words.)