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Scripture Reading:  Romans 13:1-10


August 2004



   Our intent in answering Bible questions is to understand what the Bible teaches us, not in order to justify ourselves, but so that we can conform our beliefs & lives to will of God (Lk. 10:25-29; Rom. 12:2).


#1 - The 10 commandments say, “thou shalt not kill!”  But we read of many Israelites, including King David / Solomon, killing “in the name of the Lord.”  Why?


1.  A principle from the beginning:  the sacredness of human life (Gen. 4:11-14; 9:5-6; Num. 35:33-34).

2.  Because the Law of Moses was a moral law (ruling the individual) & a civil law (ruling the governance of a nation).

  a.  Personal killing/vengeance was forbidden – Exo. 20:13.

  b.  The government (state) was given the right to punish criminals – Exo. 21:12-17, 23.  (To apply justice)

  c.  Law of Moses regulated the “avenger of blood” to avoid revenge & to apply justice (Num. 35:9-34).

3.  Because God used Israel (as well as other nations) to execute His punishment upon evildoers.

  a.  Cf. Judgment upon the Amalekites – Exo. 17:8, 14-16; Deut. 25:17-19; 1 Sam. 15:1-3.

  b.  Cf. David against the enemies of Israel – 2 Sam. 5:17-25.

4.  The New Testament also establishes such a distinction:

  a.  God ordains that we live peaceably with all people & give place to God’s wrath – Rom. 12:17-21.

    1)  Give place (12:19) – “place, any portion or space marked off, as it were from surrounding space…an inhabited place, as a city, village, district” (OLB Greek Lexicon, #5117).

    2)  “metaph….opportunity, power, occasion for acting” (Ibid.).

  b.  God ordained civil authorities to punish evildoers & protect the innocent – Rom. 13:1-4.  (Civil government is the proper “place” for such.)

  c.  God ordains that “owe” love to all:  “You shall not commit murder”Rom. 13:8-10.

  d.  We can love our neighbor and government can execute evildoers without contradiction!


#2:  “Regarding 1 Timothy 5:11-14:  Could you please clarify what these verses mean?”

[“In verse 11 it sounds like the young widows want to remarry because they are growing weary in Christ, and verse 12 makes it sound as though they would be condemned if they were to remarry.  But in verse 14 you widows are encouraged to remarry.  I’m confused.  Are there other verses to help explain this?”]


1.  Context:  Enrollment of true widows for continuing care by the local church (1 Tim. 5:3-16).

  a.  These have nobody else to care for them – 5:4-5.

  b.  Widow is not to live a self-indulgent life – 5:6-7.

  c.  Responsibility for the care of widows begins at home – 5:8, 16.

  d.  An “enrolled” widow must qualify to be enrolled for ongoing care by the church – 5:9-10.

     -“taken into the number” (NKJV) – “to set down in a list or register, to enroll” (OLB Grk Lexicon, #2639)

2.  1 Tim. 5:11:  “Refuse” to enroll for ongoing care by the church.  (Not:  “refuse them to remarry”.) 

3.  Two basic reasons to refuse (address avoiding sin & fulfilling responsibilities) – 5:11-13:

  a.  They desire to remarry (in contradiction of their pledge to widowhood).

    1)  5:11-12:  Choosing to remain a widow (in order to be sustained by the church) could tempt the young widow to fulfill her youthful desires in a sinful way – 5:13 (cf. 1 Cor. 7:8-9).

      (a)  Wanton – “to exercise one’s youthful vigor against”; Undisciplined, unruly; to live strenuously, rudely, luxuriously.

      (b)  “To feel the impulses of sexual desire” (youthful vigor out of control leads to sin & condemnation) – 5:12.

    2)  Thus, she breaks her pledge to Christ & to the local church.

  b.  Such enrollment would contribute to idleness & its sinful tendencies (gossips & busybodies) - 5:13:

    1)  Gossip:  “a trifling, silly talker”.

    2)  Busybody:  Meddler (1 Pet. 4:15).

4.  Younger widows should fulfill the domain & province God ordained for women: The home & motherhood 5:14-15.

  a.  Marry (1 Cor. 7:1, 9).

  b.  Bear children (1 Tim. 2:15; Eph. 6:4).

  c.  Manage the house (oikodespoteo):  “to rule a household, manage family affairs” (Titus 2:5; Prov. 31:27)

  d.  Thus give no opportunity for adversaries to reproach her &/or the church.

5.  Don’t be a cause of reproach against the truth; had already happened to some, 5:15.

6.  Do not burden the church by enrolling widows who are not truly widows – 5:16.

  a.  If they have family, that is the first place of responsibility & ongoing care.  

  b.  If they are younger, encourage remarriage instead of a life that would tempt them with wanton excess & unfaithfulness.



1.  Jesus died so we would be above reproach (without blame, not accused) – Col. 1:22-23.

2.  So, we must all be careful to live so as not to reproach the name of Christ – 1 Pet. 4:14-16.

3.  Redemption from your sin & reconciliation with God is offered through death of Jesus:  Will you be saved?