Explore Sermons By Dr. Lloyd-Jones

God's Wrath. Not Man's

Book of Romans

A Sermon on Romans 12:19-20

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.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” (ESV)

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While some popular streams of so-called Christianity claim that becoming a Christian means a care-free life, the New Testament is clear that Christians are likely to have more troubles. In this passage, the apostle Paul assumes Christians faithfully living in this fallen world will inevitably encounter evil against them. In this sermon on Romans 12:19–20 titled “God’s Wrath, Not Man’s,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds Paul’s teaching on the topic. Negatively, Christians are to respond to evil by not avenging. Positively, they are to give place to God’s wrath. But what do these things mean? Why should the Christian never seek personal vengeance and does this teaching support Christian pacifism? What about questions about the wrath of God and how are Christians to understand imprecatory prayers in light of this teaching regarding personal vengeance? In all these complex questions, Dr. Lloyd-Jones brings the Scriptures to bear in a cohesive manner by allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture. Listen to this thought-provoking message as he challenges Christians to a distinct way of life in a world where they will encounter evil.

Additional Scripture Translations

Romans 12:19-20, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

19Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Romans 12:19-20, King James Version (KJV)

19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.