5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
I came across this in my study this morning. As I began to compare the Greek text i was amazed to see how the intent of the verse changed;
the translation expressed as "taketh vengeance" changes when we consider the use of these words in other places of the New Testament.
"taketh" is the word ἐπιφέρω (epipherō) which means to "bring near" or "bring to" which implies nearness and bringing or coming into close proximity.
"vengeance" is the word ὀργή (orgē) which expresses the "desire" of the heart or is generally translated as follows; wrath 31, anger 3, vengeance 1, indignation 1. However, the intent of the word is "the natural disposition, temper, character". this of course is generally anger for man but God's ways are not our ways and so the natural disposition of HIS heart is totally different to ours. therefore, to look at these verses again we read;
But if our righteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? is God unrighteous who draweth near to reveal His character? God forbid: FOR THEN HOW SHALL GOD JUDGE THE WORLD.
i hope you are seeing this brethren, the judgment of the world is a revelation of His character. those who have received a transformation of Character through the continual dwelling with and beholding of Christ will be able to stand in the light of such a revelation. those who have not chosen to allow this transformation to take place will see the revelation of His amazing character as a consuming fire for;
Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.