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Forgiveness Essay

2913 words - 12 pages

Romans 12:14-21
An Exegetical Paper on Forgiving Your Enemies

Romans 12:14-21
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble n the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap ...view middle of the document...

If any of us interfered, it would be the height of presumption.”
God has already taken care of judgment, if we take upon ourselves to do His work then as Christians we are no better than those who persecute. Justice is not ours to claim; rather sincerity of forgiveness to enemies is where our hearts must remain. Paul takes us step by step through hurdles of the flesh, mountains of emotions, and leads us through the narrow path of forgiveness.
II. Contextual Analysis: Historical
Authorship
The writer of Romans was the apostle Paul. It is clearly stated “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God (Romans 1:1)”. It’s also clearly stated in detail when we look at two other verses in Romans “An apostle for Gentiles” (11:13) and “Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation” (15:15-20). A few people over the time have doubted the writings to be from Paul. In the book titled Introduction to the New Testament by Eerdmans; it talks about a guy named Bruno Bauer who was a German theologian who did not believe Paul to be the writer of the Pauline letters. He based his doubt off of two other theologians who also rejected Paul as the writer. They rejected it on the grounds that in “the Book of Acts that Paul could not have known so many people by name in a city that he had not as yet visited” (Pg. 220). Nowhere in my research did I find other sources to back Bruno Bauer theory. I have no doubt that Paul was the writer of the Pauline Letters.
Audience
Paul identified his audience by saying “To all in Rome who are beloved ones of God, called as saints” (Romans 1:7). I believe this would have included both Jews and Gentiles. It was a little confusing when it came to identify Paul’s audience. A few bible reverences had Paul’s readers, “among all the Gentiles” (Romans 1:5) and other reverence suggested a Jewish audience. Most of the Christians in Rome had never actually met Paul. They had only heard his name the relationship between author and recipients had not formed yet. That is why Paul wrote the letters to improve his standing with the Roman Christians. He wanted them to know all about his beliefs before he went...

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