Romans 13

The Gospel Applied: “Mission Impossible” (Romans 13)

Read the series.

When I was a kid, Peter Graves used to get his spy assignments for a secret team of agents on a reel to reel tape recorder. Every episode, we heard the words: “Your mission, should you decide to accept it is…” The fun part was the end of his listening to the message when it ended with: “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds.”

The tape would start smoking, then evaporate! During the whole series (1966-73), producer Bruce Geller kept us guessing at how the IMF (Impossible Mission Force) would trick one bad guy after another. Every enemy seemed clever. Every problem seemed insurmountable. Yet, episode after episode, the “Impossible Mission Force” pulled out some new magic.

Romans 13 is a simple passage. Its plain instruction is not written in a style that demands too much of any reader to grasp. Yet, though it is simple, the passage requires an understanding of the broader context. Otherwise, we will read God’s Word, seek to do what He told us, and find ourselves defeated and depleted. Read more about The Gospel Applied: “Mission Impossible” (Romans 13)

Are Erring and Rogue Cops “Ministers To You for Good”?

I just finished reading Gulag: A History by Anne Applebaum. The cruelty that human beings can inflict on one another is staggering. KGB agents in the USSR enforced laws against anyone disagreeing with the Soviet government. They stormed into homes in the middle of the night, dragged one or more family members away to interrogate them, subjected them to a charade trial, and shipped them like cattle in freezing train cars to toil in labor camps in sub-human conditions. Many of the prisoners died, while some lived through the ordeal. Millions, yes millions, of people were subjected to this treatment. The KGB agents represented the government. Were they “ministers for good?”

What I am referring to is the section of the Apostle Paul’s letter to Christians in Rome where he instructed them about their attitude toward members of the civil government. Here is what Paul said (emphasis mine): Read more about Are Erring and Rogue Cops “Ministers To You for Good”?

Mark 9: 13, Prophecy of Elijah's rejection

Mark 9:13 (ESV) reads:

13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”

Jesus is clearly referring to John the Baptist, and the prophecy is about Elijah (Malachi 4:5-6).  But where is it prophesied that he would be killed/abused?  Some say by means of type (Jezebel was out to get Elijah), but that seems a bit shabby to me.  Any ideas?

 

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