Sunday, April 17, 2011
Chapter 8 —
COMMENTARY ON ROMANS 3: 1-8
(1) What advantage then hath the Jews? Or what profit is there of circumcision? (2) Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. (3) For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? (4) God forbid: let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. (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? (7) For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? (8) And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? Whose damnation is just.
What advantage then hath the Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision? In the beginning of this third chapter, the apostle shows that what he had said is in no way inconsistent with the fact, that the Jews possessed great advantage above the Gentiles. “To them were committed the oracles of God.” They were made the depositories of the Divine revelation, as the Psalmist says, “He showeth His word unto Jacob: His statues and his judgments to
. He hath not dealt so with any nation” (Psa. 147:19-20). But if being naturally a Jew and circumcised according to the Jewish law, and keeping externally the ritual law did not save him — what advantage then hath the Jew? The answer to that is that to the Jews were committed the oracles of God, and they had a better chance of getting acquainted with God’s one and only way of salvation (2 Tim. ). Then what if the majority of these Jews were without faith? That does not destroy that advantage; they had the privilege and some were brought to a saving knowledge of the God of the Bible. If a person is not truly a Jew in God’s eyes, though born of Jewish parents and brought up in the customs, ceremonies and religion of the Jews — and anyone of any nation who is born of the Spirit of God and obeys the Word of God is of the true Israel, if being circumcised profits nothing unless the whole law is ever kept perfectly, then of what profit is circumcision? If having the law, the prophets and the ceremonies adds to the condemnation of the natural, national Jews and increases their responsibility, what profit is there in being a Jew? Israel
In the first 5 verses of this chapter, the apostle, as the inspired spokesman of the Holy Ghost, removes from the sinner a last possibility of excuse. If the sinner is to receive the positive message of the Gospel, he must have nothing left that is of himself. There must be no possibility left for him to be justified by works. Not only must those works which we call the works of the Law, but also our religion, our piety, our professed Christianity be taken away. They are no good as a basis of righteousness. But also every excuse of the sinner that he shall not appear in the judgment, that God has no right to execute judgment upon him, must be taken out of the hand of the sinner, who always lies about God. The sinner must be brought to stop lying, to have his mouth stopped (vs. 19) about God. In this context the apostle answers a possible objector, who lies about God to excuse himself.
Verse 2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. “Chiefly” the quality, and so the excellency, of this privilege here spoken of (Deut. 4:7). To the O. T. Jews were given in custody, the Holy Scriptures, and therefore they had great advantage over the Gentile nations. The phrase “Oracles of God” is used 4 times in the New Testament. In Acts it refers to the Law given Moses in
as the “living words” to give to us. In Hebrews and 1 Peter 4:11 it embraces the Gospel, yea, the truth of the entire Word of God. In our verse here in Romans it includes all the O. T. Scriptures, especially as they regarded the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. As Henry Mahan said, “While the Gentile must discover what he could of God through the light of creation, conscience and providence, the Jew had the prophecies of the coming Messiah, pictures and types of His sacrifice and atonement in the ceremonies, and the promises of redemption and forgiveness through faith in Him. Instead of believing on Him, confessing their guilt revealed by the Law and resting by faith in the mercy of God and righteousness imputed, they took the Law, circumcision, ceremonies and Jewish heritage and went about to establish their own righteousness based on imperfect, hypocritical obedience to the form. All laws, rituals, morality, ceremonies, Scriptures and outward form are of no value, but rather are devastating, if they do not lead a person to Christ.” Mt. Sinai
When the Messiah came there were among those “who received Him not” the most privileged of mankind (the Jewish race), who by birth and descent, by the advantage of light and truth bestowed upon them through their own prophets and righteous men down through the centuries, ought to have been “a people prepared for the Lord.” “They received Him not.” But their unbelief could not make “the faith of God” of none effect. In God’s Divine wisdom He decreed that the purpose He worked out in calling out a people for His name should include the whole world as His playing field. A people was reserved by the Lord and for the Lord in whom His original and full purpose of manifesting His glory must be realized, for “To as many as received Him to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).
For Paul the written Word is God’s speech (Heb. ), and God’s speech is conceived of as existing in the form of a ‘trust’ to
, and he was not afraid of being accused of bibliolatry when he thus accessed the inscripturated Word. The tragedy of the Jews was that, with the message of salvation in their hands, they failed to profit by it. John Calvin states, “If the Lord’s favoring of a nation with the giving of His Word is to be regarded as such a great benefit, we can never sufficiently despise our ingratitude for receiving it with so much neglect or carelessness, not to say, disdain.” Ah, this Holy Book, this Precious Book, this Book we call the Bible is a Divine revelation, a discovery by God to man of Himself, or His will, over and above what He has made known by the light of nature or reason; and on that ground it demands our assent. The Holy Scriptures are divinely inspired for in the writing of them “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter ). God’s pure, perfect and powerful Word contains all things necessary to our salvation (2 Tim. -16); and must be received by the command of Christ our Lord (John ). The Holy Scriptures were also written for our reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:15-17); to be a light, a guide, a sure Word of prophecy (2 Pet. 1:19); that by a careful and prayerful attention to them and the teaching of the Spirit, we may learn what is God’s revealed will, and make it the rule and directory of obedience and practice. O, praise God for the gift of this blessed book. The Word of God is the most precious possession under heaven, for it is absolutely of Heavenly origin. Neither the thoughts nor the words are man’s, but absolutely and entirely the thoughts and words of God, they are God-breathed; the writers were borne upon a full tide of Divine Inspiration, not in such directions as their reason and understanding dictated, but whithersoever the Spirit willed to carry them for the Holy Ghost inspired every word and every letter of the Holy Scriptures, even to a “jot (the smallest Hebrew letter) and title (the smallest pen stroke distinguishing one Hebrew letter from another).” Israel
“And now, O Lord God, thou art that God, and thy words be true” (2 Sam. ). The oracles of God, the Scriptures, God’s Word written, is the final authority for all matters of Christian faith and practice. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,” and this Greek word means “breathed out by God.” Inspiration is to be defined as a supernatural, providential influence of God’s Holy Spirit upon the human authors which caused them to write what He wished to be written for the communication of revealed truth to others. The Biblical writers were “holy men of God” who “spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Pet. ) and they were totally, completely controlled by the Sovereign Spirit of God. They wrote word for word what the Lord intended. The Word of God is a Divine utterance, the sum total of Divine revelation recorded in a God-breathed written form, and every statement of Scripture is therefore to be received as a Divine utterance. When we call the Bible the Word of God, we mean that it declares that its message constitutes a single utterance of which God is the Author. What Scripture says, He says, for it is the speech of God Himself. The true saints of God are bound to receive the Bible as God’s pure, inerrant Word, written on the authority of Christ, not because they are all scholars and can prove it such by their own independent inquiry, but because as true disciples they trust completely their Divine Teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Unto the Jews were committed the oracles of God but they did but wrest them to their own condemnation. We give the following quote of B. B. Warfield, noted former professor of theology: “It is very plain that he who modifies the teachings of the Word of God in the smallest particular at the dictation of any man-made opinion has already deserted the Christian ground, and is already in principle a heretic. The very essence of heresy is that the modes of thought and tenets originating elsewhere than in the Scriptures of God are given decisive weight when they clash with the teachings of God’s Word.”
“The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” (Psa. 12: 6-7). The word translated pure often occurs in connection with the word gold, and is then always rendered pure, i. e., free from alloy. God’s words are as silver, tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. God’s words are pure from all error, all mistakes, all equivocation, all deception, all encouragement to sin, and all weakness. There is something amazing in the power of God’s Word. By the “singular care and providence” of God the Bible text has come down to us in such purity, the text as we have it is correct as conveying to us the Word of God with unblemished accuracy. God’s faithfulness to His own intentions is our guarantee of that. Seven times purified is the same as perfectly purified as the number seven was among the Jews a number of perfection. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them are powerful words that proclaim that Jehovah Himself would keep and preserve His Words for ever. Our Lord Jesus Christ said that “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35), no, not even one jot or one title shall in any wise pass away (Matt. ). This Word our Lord wrote by the hands of the prophets in the Hebrew tongue, giving it to
in custody and dealing not so with any other nation (Psa. 147: 19-20). But our Lord Christ took all special privileges from them as a nation (Matt. ) and gave them to “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people” (1 Pet. 1: 9-10), the true Israel . Our Blessed Lord Jesus, through the power of the Holy Ghost led the apostles into all truth (John ; ) as they wrote the books of the New Testament in the Greek language. On the day of Pentecost men were not required to understand the Hebrew language for the Gospel was preached by those given other tongues which enabled them to preach in the languages of all people assembled. The epistles were written to the Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. Our Lord was calling out a people for Himself from all over the world and He looked after His little flock, assuring that they had the pure Word in their own language. Church of God
Ah, dear reader, we must bow before Him and thank Him for our King James Version in English which He brought to us in His Providence. This version is the product of God’s great love for His English speaking Church. The KJV was translated from the Massoretic Text for the Old Testament (the same that our Lord Christ used) and the Received Text for the New Testament (from the hands of our Lord’s apostles;the same that the New Testament Church used). The hand of providence can be seen in lives of and translations of John Wycliffe (1380), William Tyndale, Daniel Bomberg (1516-28), Erasmus (1516-1535), Robert Stephanus (1546-1551), and Theodore Beza (1560-1598). Martin Luther was also involved. It is not our plan to give a long history lesson or become involved in a lot of technical data that will not edify the reader. We simply state that the 54 men used to translate the KJV were the most learned and godly men, all Protestants, of that day. They all loved Christ as precious to their hearts and considered the Scriptures to be the inspired Word of God. They gave us a word-for-word translation of the originals. This Bible comes down to us today stained with the blood of the martyrs. They were men of such strong conviction, by the grace of God, that they would suffer imprisonment and death rather than renounce their faith in the Bible as God’s infallible Word and as their sole authority. This is the Bible you can trust. This is the perfect Word of God translated into English. Ian R.K. Paisley said, “I believe the Bible is the verbally inspired Word of the living God and because the Authorized Version (KJV) is a faithful English translation of the original Hebrew of the O.T. and the original Greek of the N. T., it is the very Word of God in my mother tongue. Being a translation does not alter one iota of its integrity, inerrancy and infallibility as God’s Word. The King James Version preserves the Word of God for me in the English tongue and it contains no errors. In the unfolding of its history I trace the providential wonder of the God who both gave His own inerrant Word and transmitted it through many epochs of crucial centuries for the Christian Church.” Our King James Version was THE Bible used for 300 years before there arose a cry for a new version.
It was two men, B. F. Westcott (1825-1901) and Fenton J.A. Hort (1828-1892), who used the excuse of making some words in the King James Version more understandable, that began the onslaught of versions in our day by publishing the first (1881). They, however, did not use the same manuscripts but used corrupt manuscripts from a garbage can from
; trashed because they were not correct. And the new versions are all closely allied to the Westcott-Hort Greek Text. They, in reality, eliminated verses or portions that proclaimed strongly the Deity of our Lord Christ and also the miracles. They had previously said to a few that they hated the King James Version and, thus, their work was but an assault upon our Lord’s Word as He, in His providence, had given us in this version.. They did not believe in the inerrancy or infallibility of the Bible. They were both worshippers of Mary. Neither of them believed in the Substitutionary death of Christ our Lord. Hort believed in evolution. It is certain, in light of the Holy Scriptures, that men who hold such beliefs cannot be called a Christian, nor could indeed be a Christian. Lay aside, dear reader, these perversions of scripture that deny that our Lord was born of a virgin, deny or water down the Deity of our Lord Christ, and remove much Scripture from their pages.. The Bible is God’s Book, not man’s, and must be handled in its translation as God’s Text and not as a common man-made text. We have this in the King James Version, God’s word-for-word translation of the original in the English language. Please refer to the Worthy spiritual notes and quotes section which follows the main commentary section on important notes on this issue. Egypt
Verse 3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? It is the unbelief of the great body of the nation which the apostle points out but it is “some” and not all of the Jews who do not believe (Acts 28: 24), or did remain in infidelity. What if most of the Jews disregarded the promises of God, disbelieved the prophecies concerning the Messiah, despised and rejected Him when He came in the flesh, and sought acceptance with God through their heritage and rituals? The Jewish objector is asking Paul that if, according to his doctrine, they are all under the condemning sentence of God’s Law for their unbelief and disobedience, how can they be better for these promises. They were asking if God’s pledged faithfulness (Psa. 33:4) must be forfeited. No, widespread unbelief of the oracles of God does not alter the fact that there has always been within
“a remnant according to the election of grace” (the elect, the Israel ), for it is impossible that God’s Word should fail of it predestined accomplishment (Isa. ; 49:5; 55:11; Rom. 11:5). Unbelief by the majority does not make void the promises of God concerning the Messiah; it does not neutralize the promises of God in Christ. It does not make void God’s covenant with Abraham and his true Seed. Their rebellion and unbelief do not make redemption, which is by grace through faith in Christ, of none effect. The unfaithfulness of some cannot negate the faithfulness of God (2 Tim. ), yet man’s responsibility in no way detracts from the veracity of the Divine promise. O.T. Church
Paul has shown in this epistle that outward religion, without inward grace, is worthless. As another has said, “God requires that the spear that pierced Christ shall circumcise our hearts.” Outward profession without inward possession is not only worthless, but it is a witness against the professor that they knew in their head the truth which touched not their heart and did not affect their living. The Jews received the oracles of God, the great promises concerning the Messiah, yet the majority of them wallowed in the pride of their possession and refused to be surrendered to the demands of the accompanying responsibility. So the question: Shall the neglect of God’s truth render His plan inoperative? Shall the fact that, like filthy swine, they have trampled the pearls beneath their feet, change the pearls to pebbles? Shall the oracles cease to be Divine because the keeper of the oracles becomes drunk on sin and inward corruption? Shall fickleness in man destroy constancy in God, or man’s faithlessness cancel faithfulness in God? Shall the introduction of a lie change the nature of truth? (Num. 23:19). No never, but we must realize our responsibility toward the truth we profess. We can never break the plan of God by our inconstancy, but we can break ourselves against the plan of God (1 Pet. 2:7-8).
We conclude our comments on this verse by a quote of John Calvin. He writes: “Since most of the Jews are covenant-breakers, is God’s covenant so abrogated by their perfidiousness that it brings forth no fruit among them? To this he answers that it cannot be that the truth of God should lose its stability through man’s wickedness. Though, then, the greater part had nullified and trodden under foot of God’s covenant, it yet retained its efficacy and manifested its power, not indeed to all, but to a few of that nation: and it is then efficacious, when the grace or the blessing of the Lord avails to eternal salvation. But this cannot be, except when the promise is received by faith; for it is in this way that a mutual covenant is confirmed on both sides. Now since these two things stand together . . . that God is true and man is false, it follows that the truth of God is not nullified by the falsehood of man. God is true, not only because He is prepared to stand faithfully to His promises, but because He also really fulfills whatever He declares; for He so speaks that His command becomes a reality. On the other hand, man is false, not only because he often violates his pledged faith, but because he naturally seeks falsehood and shuns the truth.”
Verse 4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. Paul’s “God forbid” means “away with such a thought” — a favorite expression of our apostle when he would not only repudiate a supposed consequence of his doctrine, but express his abhorrence, indignation, and greatest detestation at such a thought. When his heavenly Father’s truth and faithfulness were attacked, Paul could not hold his silence: his soul set afire with a holy emotion of spirit, he cries out, “Let God be true.” His holy indignation was against vain, arrogant, sinful man who would dare oppose their carnal reasonings, and fallacious arguments, against the covenant purposes, faithful word, and precious promises of the Lord. Every such man, be he considered ever so noble, mighty, wise, and learned, is a liar. Paul’s heart was too warm with zeal (and may ours be also) for the glory of his God, to pay any compliment at all to those who act under the influence of the father of lies.
Our Lord will show Himself true, whoever be unfaithful. The unbeliever does exclude himself from the enjoyment of the promises, but there will be a believing by spiritual
, to whom the promises (in Christ) will be performed. This is illustrated at great length, in the 9th chapter of this epistle. Let God remain or appear faithful to His promises and covenant; or, let Him be acknowledged to be so, according to the frequent testimonies of Scripture (Num. 23:19; Titus 1:2; Heb. 6: 17-18). But as for man “I said in my haste, All men are liars;” not to be trusted or relied upon; therefore God alone is to be trusted. When human teachers are invoked as the reliable authorities by whom the Bible is to be tried and judged, God punishes this arrogant impiety by judicially confirming men in their chosen disbelief in the Divine oracles. Those who willingly sacrifice an Infallible Word upon the altar of scholarship find that they have exchanged truth for error. As Geoffrey B. Wilson said, “After the Gospel has been obediently filtered through the fine sieve of philosophy, often falsely described as ‘Theology,’ the permission to receive the remaining sediment as God’s revelation is a concession entirely without substance. The birth-right is despised and battered for a mess of pottage.” Israel
“As it is written” in Psalms 51:4, in which David confesses, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” Under the rebuke of the prophet Nathan, David was convicted of the enormity of his offence. Sin is only recognized as sin, when it is seen as sin directed against a holy God. David could stifle his conscience in the matter of Uriah the Hittite and Bathsheba for as long as God was not brought into the situation. “But when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died” (Rom. 7:9). Then David freely justified God’s judgment on his sin. Indeed his sin served to exhibit God’s justice. God is just in all His judgments, upright in all He does, and He will prevail, regardless of what sinful men say or do. Therefore, man’s faithlessness can never tarnish our Lord’s truthfulness. Man may hope to gain an acquittal in an earthly court, but before the Divine Tribunal his infidelity is demonstrated and the absolute justice of the Judge’s condemnation of it is, at the same time, fully vindicated. As Charles Hodge said, “It is a mark of genuine piety to be disposed always to justify God, and to condemn ourselves.” God is justified in His sayings when He is acknowledged just in His promises and threatening (Luke ; ; ; ). He is clear (pure) and therefore He overcomes in His just judgment, actively, when He does execute judgment upon anyone, or passively, when any do presume to censure — we are to vindicate the righteousness of God, at whatever expense to ourselves.
That godly saint, William Mason, has left us these remarks on this verse: “Christian, lay aside thy carnal reason; take up thy Lord’s Word; exercise thy faith upon it: thou art called to be valiant for the truths of a faithful, covenant-making, covenant-keeping God: timid silence is criminal, when your Father’s truth is arraigned, and His glory at stake: know thou hast much within thee, and many around thee, in combination to oppose the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh, to bring salvation to miserable sinners, and God’s faithfulness engaged to make this effectual, by His sovereign grace, in spite of all the unfaithfulness of man. Mr. Carnal-reason says, How can these things be? Mr. High-thoughts exalts himself against them. Mr. Free-will refuses to submit to them. Mr. Unbelief pronounces them impossible to be true. Mr. Self-love declares against subjection to them. Mr. Human-pride cries, away with them, and he totally rejects them. And Mr. Self-righteousness cries them down as leading to licentiousness. These are all professed judges of divinity, but in reality are lying adversaries against our Lord’s truth and faithfulness, and our peace, comfort, and holiness. Abide by what is written; oppose God’s truth to all their lying suggestions; be simple of heart; let simple faith prevail; feed by faith upon God’s truth, and you shall prosper, while others cavil against it, and grow lean. Hold fast the ‘hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised’ (to Christ Jesus, as our covenant Head, and that we may enjoy it in Him) ‘before the world began,’ Titus 1:2.”
Verse 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). Paul gives another objection of the condemned Jews, who said that it would appear that the more faithless they are, so much the more illustrious will the fidelity of God appear; and, in that case, for Him to take vengeance on us for our unfaithfulness would be (to speak as men profanely do) unrighteousness in God. This is not Paul’s opinion, but it is an objection raised by foolish men, so foolish that they dared suggest that their unrighteousness establishes, illustrates and commends the righteousness of God, and that God would be unjust to inflict His wrath on the objector. “What shall we say?” etc., we object. “I speak as a man,” for that is the language of carnal men, and such carnal blasphemy they speak, and Paul gave this reluctant statement of this sinful mode of reasoning in order to refute it with all the energy at his command. This question sets forth and its answer explains the righteousness of God in using the sin of man to His own honor and glory.
It is unquestionable that the glories of God’s love, mercy, grace, righteousness, goodness, and tenderness — in short, that all the attributes of His grace — are known by the fact that God redeemed and called His elect out of the filth of sin, corruption, and depravity (Eph. 2: 1-6). Paul shows us in Romans how that God, in Christ, is just and the Justifier of poor sinners who are brought to true faith in our Saviour. But the human philosopher from the depths of his fallen position, speaks with unclean lips the thoughts that pour out of the abundance of his depraved heart this sinful objection. In its context, the evil question has primary reference to the background of the evil history of the Jewish people, and when Paul said “our unrighteousness” he is referring to the unrighteousness of
throughout its history, as recorded throughout the Old Testament. David prayed in Psalms 19:13 “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins,” but it was a prayer that the wicked nation did not pray. They sinned by presuming upon the grace of God. They adopted the attitude that, since they were the chosen nation, they had inalienable rights with God and that, therefore, He must overlook anything that they did contrary to His will. We have many antinomians in our day who believe this and live their lives the same as the Jews, who trust in their unholy religion to their peril. Israel
Verse 6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? Paul rejects the cavil with his usual note of detestation, as not thinking it worthy of an answer. But he gives an answer to this suggestion, that the Jews should not be punished because their unfaithfulness served but as a foil to set off the faithfulness of God — the apostle answers that, on the same principle, that might be denied, which the Jews held very fast, to wit, that God would “judge,” that is, condemn, punish “the world” — the Gentiles; for their sins, as well as those of the Jews, would be overruled to the display of His glory and the attainment of His purposes; and that this principle, followed out to its fair consequences, leads to the monstrously absurd and shockingly impious conclusion stated in verse 8 — “Let us do evil that good may come.” To think such a thought is to “think like a man.” — To think humanly and vainly. Scripture declares that “the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts” (1 Chron. 28:9). Is it any wonder that He declares that the thoughts of man are “evil” (Gen. 6:5), “vanity” (Psa. 94:11), “an abomination” (Prov. ), “of iniquity” (Isa. 59:7), and “sin” (Prov. 24:9). Our Lord declares that He is not to be found in any of the thoughts of the wicked (Psa. 10:4), that their thoughts are against Him for evil (Psa. 56:5). God says that His thoughts are higher than human thoughts even as the heavens are high above the earth (Isa. 55:9), and that the unrighteous man is to forsake his thoughts (Isa. 55:7). The Lord Jesus Christ declares that the evil thoughts of men proceed out of their own sinful hearts (Mark ). The Holy Ghost declares that the Bible is the standard, the “discerner of the very thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. ).
Therefore, when there arises a question against the righteousness of God, it is a question that comes from the abundance of the evil heart of man. It is humanism. It is evil, vain, abominable, foolish, and iniquitous. Is it any wonder that Paul, having expressed the thought which had arisen naturally in the hearts of these unregenerate Jews, the enemies of God, that there might possibly be some unrighteousness in God, hastened to cry out, “I speak as a man.” God help us ever to turn away from the thoughts of man and turn to the revealed thoughts of our blessed Lord. It is by reverent, humble use of His Holy Word that we come to discern that which is good or evil (Heb. ). Oh, the audacity of the depraved human heart which attacks what it cannot understand or comprehend. Proud man finds himself in ignorance and wishing to be exalted in his own eyes, unwilling to cast himself at the feet of God as bankrupt, flouts what he does not wish to accept, denies that which reduces him to his proper statue, assails that which convicts him of his nothingness, and then boldly proclaims that error is truth.
Verse 7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto His glory, why yet am I also judged as a sinner? By truth he means the faithfulness and veracity of God; as by lie, the perfidiousness and inconstancy of fallen man. Nothing is more opposite to truth than a lie. A lie can never be of any advantage to truth or the God of truth. A lie is of the devil and is punishable by eternal death. The truth of God can never abound through a lie. The objector had said, “If my unfaithfulness commends the faithfulness of God, then God is unrighteous, if He brings wrath upon me.” Or, as in this 7th verse, “If my lie must serve to bring out His truth, then I cannot be judged as a sinner.” Therefore, the safest thing for me to do is this, “Let us do evil that good may come out of it.” Our apostle states emphatically that this is a damnable conclusion, a rash fallacy. The objector draws a conclusion from the doctrine Paul is preaching as is often done by hearers of truth. Preach the God Who is sovereign, insist that sin and Satan are in this world by the will of God, and they say we make God the Author of sin. This is not the conclusion of those who know and love our sovereign God but it is the conclusion of the enemy, Satan, a liar and father of lies (John ), and all those of the kingdom of darkness. This very conclusion is what we have in this Scripture. The objector utters the words “Let us do evil, that good may come” in the next verse. But from what doctrine of Paul does the objector draw this conclusion? He draws it from Paul’s teaching that even sin, evil and all the powers of darkness exist, operate, and must redound to God’s glory. The deluded objector comes to his rash conclusion from the teaching that all the lies of men must bring out the truth of God. Paul’s answer to those who had said, “What if some do not believe?” was that God must become ever increasingly true and man must become ever increasingly a liar. This must be, and will be, the outcome. But Paul had stated that this was the sovereign purpose of God when He did not give faith to everyone. This was the question, for faith is included in the promise, so why did not God give this faith to all? The apostle answers that God did not give faith to all in order that it may be ever evident that He is true and every man is a liar.
From Herman Hoeksema we quote the following: “There is a general principle at stake here. Sin has no purpose, no end of its own. The only purpose, the only end, which sin can reach is the glory of God. That is, God’s purpose with sin is that it may become evident that He is God, that He is God alone, and that He is the only good. The powers of darkness must serve this purpose, and they must serve this purpose alone. This is an important principle. To deny this truth is to deny the antithesis. This denial leads to dualism. You do not believe the antithesis if you do not explain sin and the devil out of God. Not to explain sin and the devil out of God leads to heathen dualism. This, the apostle does not teach. The apostle says that sin is there to glorify God. The unrighteousness of man must bring out the righteousness of God. The lie of man must bring out the truth of God. This is God’s purpose. This truth we must never surrender. This is the truth of truth. It is the truth that God is God.”
Now what is this false, damnable conclusion? Paul says, “I speak as a man;” it is the fallacy of man, not an apostle or even a Christian, but sinful man. And sinful man is saying to the apostle that if that which he had been teaching is true, then this is also true, that my lie bears good fruit, which serves a good purpose, which serves to bring out the truth of God. Therefore, wicked man claims that his lie is a necessary element in the glorification of God, if he does not lie, God will not be glorified. Not knowing the true nature of the Holy God of the Bible, man says that his unrighteousness commends, by way of comparison, the righteousness of God. He says all can see that I am unrighteous and God is righteous, but my unrighteousness serves to bring out the righteousness of God. “Why yet am I also judged as a sinner?” for God cannot judge me as a sinner for His truth abounds more through my lie unto His glory. The objector is telling Paul that he is excused, even though a liar, and unrighteous, that he cannot be judged because his lie must redound to the glory of God.
Verse 8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say), Let us do evil, that good may come? Whose damnation is just. As Matthew Poole says, “The apostle doth not vouchsafe to refute this absurd saying, but simply condemns it, and those that put it into practice.” The most outrageous application of this principle is found in the lawless perversion of the Gospel which was slanderously attributed to the apostle by the enemies of God who were also Paul’s enemies. These enemies, upon hearing the true doctrine of the Sovereignty of God declared, “Let us do evil that good may come.” This is the conclusion of those enemies who attacked the truth that Paul preached: “As we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,” declared the apostle. This is an old method of opposing the truth. There were some who actually said about the apostle’s doctrine that he taught, “Let us do evil that good may come,” but he did not teach this. This was merely a conclusion of the enemy that the apostle calls a damnable conclusion, a fallacy, an absurdity, an error. But what is the error, what is wrong with this conclusion. It is this: they who draw such a conclusion do not present the matter correctly and they are quite mistaken, and this mistake is a serious error. They state: “God’s glory must abound through our lie.” But this is wrong. It must be put differently in order to be true and their way of putting it is a devilish lie. The lie of man does not commend the truth, but opposes it. The unrighteousness of men does not commend the righteousness of God, but opposes it. The truth is man does not glorify God when he lies. Our Lord is against liars (Ezek. 13:8), He hates liars (Prov. -19), and He shall cast all liars into the eternal lake of fire to suffer His just wrath for ever (Rev. 21:8). Man does not glorify God when he commits unrighteousness for they all will “be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thes ). Man does not intend to glorify God when he lies or commits unrighteousness and neither is it a work that can be put to his credit. It was not his purpose to glorify God for a lie is always a lie.
The truth of this matter is this. God glorifies Himself through my unrighteousness. God glorifies Himself through our lie. Our lie does not glorify Him, but He glorifies Himself, He always glorifies Himself. He glorifies Himself in His elect, the true Church. We are not the meritorious glorifiers of our Lord. He glorifies Himself. Even as He glorifies Himself in the elect, so he glorifies Himself in the reprobate (Rom. -24). Sinful man does not glorify God. God uses man’s lie and unrighteousness to His own glory. The conclusion of the objector is absurd. God’s glorification is a self-glorification. It is a glorifying of Himself, in spite of sin and Satan. How then can the wicked sinner ask, “Why am I judged as a sinner?” His lie does not glorify God. Evil cannot of itself produce anything but evil. The fact that God’s glory is manifested through grace to the chief of sinners is not the work of men but the work of God, who, through the righteousness of His Son, turns even our sins to the promotion of His own glory. In the Day of Judgment, the wicked shall see and acknowledge that they have served nothing but the glory of God. Then they will know and not say, “This is our work,” but they will confess, “We were the most absurd fools that ever were.” The sinner is absurd; the devil is absurd; and they are foolish. The absurdity of the fool will be acknowledged by the fool himself, when it shall appear that God is true and every man is a liar.
This conclusion of man is a damnable conclusion. The naysayers condemn the pure doctrine of the Gospel and slander and lie about the messengers. They say we teach that God willed sin in the world and that is true. Then they add that if God willed that there be sin in the world then He is the Author of sin. This is a lie and when they say that we must not discontinue teaching the truth, but we must say to them, “Your damnation is just.” When Paul says that their damnation is just, he is not merely making a general statement of truth, he is saying of those who make such statements about our doctrine it is already evident that their damnation is certain. It is evident that they are hopelessly in sin. When the Gospel is preached to them and they are told that they can do nothing to gain their own salvation, it is evident their damnation is just, because they turn this Word of truth into a word of the devil. When sinful men hear the Gospel and subvert it into damnable doctrine, “Let us do evil that good may come,” then their damnation is evident. The apostle means that those who slander the Gospel of God and His true ministers are justly condemned. They do not mistakenly slander; nay, their purpose is that they want to lie about the living God. When they heard the truth they wanted to show that it was absurd and they wanted to accomplish their purpose which was to lead people away from the truth. People today are doing the same thing that these lost, blind Jews were doing then. When we preach that the God of the Bible is absolutely sovereign in all things, including sin and the powers of darkness, people say that we make God the Author of sin. They are not uttering a mistake, no, for their purpose is to oppose the truth and their damnation is just.
Every excuse is gone. God glorifies Himself and He does so whether you believe or not. In no way can evil be made into a credit. Our salvation is that God Himself brought light out of darkness (Cor. 4:6), not we; that God brought righteousness out of unrighteousness (2 Cor. ), not we; that God brought life out of death (Eph. 2:1), not we. Our Lord is true and He is true when He became manifest in Christ, whom He sent into death, raised from the dead. In Him, He revealed a perfect righteousness with which we can appear before God, a righteousness which is of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Jer. 33:16).
Upon the seriousness of this slander against the truth we quote from Donald Grey Barnhouse: “Consider the motives that are back of a slander against the truth. What is in the mind of a man who accuses God of injustice? It is, in reality, a claim to superior justice. It is the sin of Satan who wished to exalt himself into the place of God. It is not a request to God to share His throne, but to abdicate His throne and let someone else move in who knows how to carry on better than the Deity. It is a proclamation that the Divine standards are inferior to those of the one who makes the accusation. Think of that the next time you hear anyone say that God would not be just if He sent one of His creatures to Hell. Think of that the next time you hear the righteousness of God attacked because someone does not think it right that a loving God should not overlook all iniquity and take everyone to Heaven. Think of that the next time you hear anyone attack the doctrine of free and sovereign grace on the grounds that it is an infringement on the dignity of human personality. Think of that the next time you hear someone say that the doctrine of justification will lead men to sin more freely, or that the doctrine of our eternal security in God will lead to laxity in Christian living. The disputer, in all cases, is arguing against God and His righteous plan. His condemnation is just.”
We appeal to our readers. Question not God. Judge yourself as a sinner. Fall before Him as a poor beggar and plead for His mercy. Poor sinner, believe in Christ. Throw away all that is of self — something we must do every day. Let no one tell you that it is easy to believe in Christ, for it is not. Every day we must throw away all that is of self and only when everything of self has been cast away, will we cast ourselves on Christ. All that truly come to Christ, casting ourselves upon HIM, will be clothed with His righteousness, and can then truly say, “We then being justified by faith, have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:1). RCLVC.
Worthy Doctrinal and Spiritual Notes and Quotes on Romans 3: 1-8
Verse 1. The more I advance, the more clearly I perceive that the greatest human knowledge amounts to a more pompous proof of our ignorance, by showing us how little we know about anything. — John Newton (1725-1807).
What is the advantage of being born in a Christian land, or a Christian home? My friend, my young person or child, there is no advantage of being born in a Christian home if you do not trust Christ for salvation, but there is every advantage of being born in a Christian home, where there is the Bible, where there is the preaching of the Gospel, where there is a family altar, if it leads you to Christ. But if you rebel against the truth, your punishment will be the more severe if you do not take hold of the advantage and opportunities of being born in a Christian home where the truth is preached. — L. R. Shelton, Sr. (1898-1971).
“Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place. Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name” (Jer. -14).
EYES of the Lord God, there is nothing more wicked than a false prophet, a religious practitioner who comes among the people and assumes the character of a God-sent preacher, while in truth proclaiming the vain imaginations and willful deceits of his own heart. God says, “I hate them, and I’m going to pour all their wickedness back upon them in their utter destruction.” But the saddest feature of it all is that their hearers will be deceived and fall prey to the same degree of destruction as their teachers! False prophets! Often our Lord warned of such while He walked in the during the days of His flesh. There was nothing that aroused His denunciation more than deceiving, lying prophets! land of Israel
The characteristic of false prophets in Jeremiah’s day was that they prophesied smooth things, assuring the people that they had no need to fear judgment. The same was prevalent during Isaiah’s tenure as
’s prophet of God. But the people wanted to hear smooth things, lies that propped up their rebellion against the Law of Jehovah God, and they demanded of their prophets, “Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isaiah 30:10). And as it was in those days, so it is today — the easy-going prophets are able to command a wide hearing, while only here and there is one who will listen to God's sent servant. A true prophet always gives God and His Holy Law the rightful place, demanding that sinners bow in absolute submission. The false prophet plays games, keeps the old Adam nature satisfied, and leads the people into easy-believe profession of faith without the corresponding God-ordained repentance and obedience. As it was then, so today — judgment will be sure and swift! — Wylie W. Israel (b. 1939). Fulton
Verse 2. Hugh Binning (1627-1653) was a bright and shining light in
. He was considered to be a very godly man, guided by the Holy Spirit in the things of God. It is said that there was a Divine thread running through all of his sermons, and his lifetime witness, the adherence to and the authority of the Scriptures. (I add, unlike the modern professors that flippantly consider versions as the best men can do, Binning reverently bowed to the very KJV Scriptures as the very “oracles of God.”) Mr. Binning died of consumption before his 27th year. On his death bed he stated, “one line of the Bible is worth more than all human learning.” Version addicts can’t make that statement for they have no Scripture. The true saint of God is crying “Thy WORD have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against God.” — Lynn V. Connell (b. 1939) Scotland
IT is a basic proposition laid down by the Protestant Reformers, that we must have a Bible “understanded of the people.” This is common sense ... we must never be obscurantists. We must never approach the Bible in a mere antiquarian spirit. But it does seem to me that there is a very grave danger incipient in so much of the argument that is being presented today for these new translations. There is danger, I say, of our surrendering something that is vital and essential. Take this argument that the modern man does not understand such terms as justification, sanctification and so on. I want to ask a question. When did the ordinary man ever understand these terms? Did the colliers to whom George Whitefield preached in the 18th century understand? They had not even been to a day school... they could not read, they could not write. Yet these were the terms that were used. This was the version that was used—the Authorized (King James) Version. The common people have never understood these terms. We are concerned here with something that is spiritual; something which does not belong to this world at all; which, as the Apostle Paul reminds us, the princes of this world do not know. Human wisdom is of no value here—it is spiritual truth. This is truth about God primarily, and because of that it is a mystery...Yet we are told—it must be put in such simple terms and language that anybody taking it up and reading it is going to understand all about it. My friends, this is sheer nonsense. What we must do is to educate the masses of the people up to the Bible, not bring the Bible down to their level. One of the greatest troubles today is that everything is being brought down to the same level; everything is cheapened. The common man is made the standard of authority; he decides everything, and everything has to be brought down to him. Are we to do that with the Word of God? I say NO! What has happened in the past has been this. Ignorant, illiterate people in this country and in foreign countries, coming into salvation, have been educated up to the Book and have begun to understand it, and I say that we need to do the same at this present time. What we need is, therefore, not to replace the Authorized Version ... we need rather to teach and train people up to the standard and the language, the dignity and the glory of the old Authorized Version. — Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1889-1981).
The name TEXTUS RECEPTUS comes from these words in the 2nd edition of the Greek New Testament printed by the brothers Elzevir then indeed received by all. This is seen in the fact that the Textus Receptus is the basis of the translations of the New Testament from that time until the closing years of the 19th century. Such translations as Martin Luther’s German, the De Reina translation in Spanish, made in 1569, one of the very finest translations of the New Testament, the Genevan Diodati, even the Roman Catholic Douay, and the English King James Version, are all based on the TEXTUS RECEPTUS. . . The text which they printed in this edition was indeed received by all at that time as the true text of the New Testament. And this text continued to be the received text of the New Testament until the closing years of the 19th century. . . Modern Biblical scholarship, beginning with F. J. A. Hort (1828-1892), has sought to ground the canon of the Scriptures in modern scholarship sans teleology. If modern scholarship were allowed to continue in this course, we would be left without any canon of the New Testament. Textual scholarship must begin with the question, for what purpose was the Bible given?
It says in 2 Tim. 3:14-17 that the Bible was given for the profit of the people of God, and the people of God are defined in the Bible as the elect of God called to sainthood. If this is the purpose of the Bible, is there historical evidence that the New Testament was so received? We accept the Massoretic text of the Old Testament because it was received as the received text. Should we not accept the text of the New Testament because it was received? Was not that 117 years, from the first edition of the Greek New Testament by Erasmus on March 1, 1516, to the second edition of the brothers Elzevir in 1633, that time when the universal Church received a text of the New Testament because it was received?
That century and more was the time of the most intense controversy which ever gripped the Church of Christ, the time of the Reformation and the warring century which followed, and yet the RECEIVED TEXT became the basis for all the versions of the New Testament produced during that century and the years following, until the days of Hort in the latter part of the 19th century. — Deceased Baptist Pastor E. W. Johnson (1914-2001).
Let the Bible critic beware, contemptuous as he is of the supernatural nature of Divine revelation in the Written Word, eagerly seeking by “New Translations,” by attacks upon the authenticity of the RECEIVED TEXT of Holy Scripture (preserved through Divine Providence from the beginning) and by piecemeal denial of the Divine origin, preservation and supreme authority thereof. . . The modern attack on this glorious Received Text really began with the Revised Version of 1881, the translators of which were bullied by the modernistic Professor Westcott into substituting for the Received Text three or four ancient manuscripts, including the recently discovered Sinaitic Codex (a codex is a manuscript in book form as distinct from a scroll). The others were the Codices (plural for Codex) known as the Alexandrian, the
, and that known as “Ephraemi Rescriptus”. We spare our readers the more scholastic and scientific terms by which these copies are known. Vatican
We like what Dr. John Owen said when speaking of those who would not admit the canonicity of the epistle to the Hebrews. He laid down a principle which they should heed who accepts the allegation that there are interpolations in the Received Text upon which the evangelical Church has relied for so long. “It may be easily imagined,” he wrote, “once such exceptions are admitted, how able some men will think themselves, to question other passages in the New Testament and thereby render the authority dubious.” Which is precisely what is happening. Our readers ought not to accept for one moment that any single alleged interpolation in the Received Text has been proved to be so in fact. We now proceed to show the ground of our confidence and also to advance a DEFENCE OF THE AUTHORISED VERSION. — Charles D. Alexander (1904-1991).
In regard to the issuing of new versions of the Scriptures, J. C. Philpot, one time editor of the Gospel Standard, wrote quite prophetically in 1857:
Into whose hand would the revision fall? What an opportunity for the enemies of truth to give us a mutilated false Bible. Of course, they must be learned men, great critics, scholars, and divines. But these are notoriously either Puseyites or Neologians; in other words, deeply tainted with either popery or infidelity. Where are there learned men sound to the truth, not to say alive unto God, who possess the necessary qualifications for so important a work? And can erroneous men, men dead in trespasses and sins, carnal, worldly, ungodly persons, spiritually translate a book written by the blessed Spirit? We have not the slightest ground for hope that they would be godly men, such as we have reason to believe translated the Scriptures into our present version
Again, it would unsettle the minds of thousands, as to which was the Word of God, the old translation or the new. What a door it would open for the workings of infidelity, or the temptations of Satan! There would be two Bibles spread through the land, the old and the new, and what confusion would this usage in almost every place!
The present English Bible has been blessed to thousands of the saints of God; and not only so it has become part of our national inheritance which we have received unimpaired from our fathers, and are bound to hand down unimpaired to our children. It is, we believe the grand bulwark of Protestantism; safeguard of the Gospel, and the treasure of the Church; and we should be traitors in every sense of the word if we consented to give it up to be rifiled by sacrilegious hands. — J. C. Philpot (1802-1869).
Dr. Stier did not know that at the very time he wrote in the middle of the last century, scholars were already at work in Britain and America whose researches were to confirm in a startling way, the authenticity of the Received Text upon which the Authorized Version of 1611 is based, and to expose the defectibility of the very manuscripts on which the Revised Translators of 1881 and their partners in the USA (who produced the American Standard Version) relied. These defective versions are those upon which all revisions have been based ever since, including the American R. S.V. (now being insidiously or even openly and aggressively foisted upon the evangelical world), the N.E.B. and the numerous brood of versions which are springing from the printing presses with such rapidity that it is now almost impossible to keep pace with them.
Dr. R. L. Dabney,
, scholar, pastor, philosopher, teacher, a man of acute logical and analytical mind, labored to show that the Received Text was the true authentic text which lay nearest to the actual original writings of the apostles. He showed moreover, that the three ancient manuscripts known as the Sinaitic, Vatican, and Alexandrian, upon which largely the modern revisions are based, are defective and contradictory to each other and their principal variations from the Received Text are undoubtedly due to their connection with the Arian heresy which raged some time before the alleged date at which these mss. were written. The Arian heresy of course, was that early form of what is now known as Unitarianism, which questioned the absolute deity of Christ as the Second Person of the Glorious Trinity. — Charles D. Alexander (1904-1991). U.S.A.
Verse 3. Unbelief is far, far more than entertaining an erroneous conception of God’s way of salvation: it is a species of hatred against Him . . . Unbelief is not simply an infirmity of fallen human nature, it is a heinous crime. — A. W. Pink 1886-1952).
Generally, it is taken for granted by all that Christ is able to save us if He will; yea, who shall question His ability to save us, though we live in sin and unbelief? Many may expect that He will do so because they believe He can if He will. But indeed Christ hath no such power, no such ability: HE CANNOT SAVE UNBELIEVING, IMPINITENT SINNERS; for THIS CANNOT BE DONE WITHOUT DENYING HIMSELF, ACTING CONTRARY TO HIS WORD
AND DESTROYING HIS OWN GLORY . . . Christ is able to save all those, and only those, who come to God by Him. While you live in sin and unbelief, Christ Himself cannot save you. — John Owen (1616-1683).
In unbelief there are two things: a good opinion of one’s self, and a bad opinion of God. — Horatius Bonar (1808-1889).
Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends. — George Muller (1805-1898).
Faith is nothing else but the soul’s venture. It ventures to Christ, in opposition to all legal terrors. It ventures upon Christ, in opposition to our guiltiness. It ventures for Christ, in opposition to all difficulties and discouragements. —
(1600-1670). William Bridge
Verse 4. “They justified God;” not, surely, by making Him righteous in Himself, but by owning, avowing, and declaring His righteousness. — John Owen (1616-1683).
God is the source of all truth, and every discovery is a means of glorifying Him. — Gene Veith.
Divine faithfulness is a wonderful comfort for those who are loyal. It is a very earnest warning for those who might be inclined to become disloyal. — William Hendricks (1782-1850).
Unfaithfulness is one of the most outstanding sins of these evil days. In the business world, a man’s word is, with exceedingly rare exceptions, no longer his bond. In the social world, marital infidelity abounds on every hand, the sacred bounds of wedlock being broken with as little regard as the discarding of an old garment. In the ecclesiastical realm, thousands who have solemnly covenanted to preach the truth make no scruple to attack and deny it. Nor can reader of writer claim complete immunity from this fearful sin: in how many ways have we been unfaithful to Christ, and to the light and privileges which God has entrusted to us! How refreshing, then, how unspeakably blessed, to lift our eyes above this scene of ruin, and behold
ONE WHO IS FAITHFUL in all things, faithful at all times. — A. W. Pink (1886-1952).
Verse 5. Justification is totally against formal religion. God has no room for those who persist in relying on forms or ceremonies. — Robert M. Horn.
Christ hides our unrighteousness with His righteousness, He covers our disobedience with His obedience, He shadows our death with His death, that the wrath of God cannot find us. — Henry Smith (1560-1591).
Let justice be done though the world perish. — Augustine of Hippo (354-430).
Belief in a just God is not optional. — John Rowland.
Those who hated God here will hate Him there; the morally careless in daily life will be morally careless still; the defiant will continue defiant, and the unclean will remain unclean and unrepentant. — J. A. Motyer.
Verse 6. In the 6th verse Paul sets forth God as the great Judge of the universe. Then if man’s sins commended the righteousness of God, there would be no judgment; this reasoning is nothing short of blasphemy. The great office of God is Judge. Then the judgment of God would be wrecked, and the moral order of the universe would become disordered. Then the Gentiles would not be punished, and God would be forced to reward the Gentiles in their idolatry. Therefore, there would be no Judge, no judgment, no sin. Everything would be virtue, and no man would have to be righteous to be good. Then every person who is wrong would be right, and every unrighteous and immoral one would be unto God’s glory. — L. R. Shelton, Sr. (1898-1971).
God’s will is done no less in the condemnation of unbelievers than in the salvation of those who are brought to faith in Christ. — Anonymous.
God will be glorified in the punishment of sin as well as in the reward of obedience. — Thomas V. Moore (1818-1871).
Verse 7. It seems, then, the apostle had told lies for the upholding of the truth, and that the truth of God had abounded to the glory of God through his lies. I answer; the apostle doth not speak those words in his own person, or in the person of a godly man, but in the person of a profane objector, whom he confutes. As if he had said, — “Some man possibly may plead thus for his sin: The truth of God hath gained by my lie, and if so, why am I judged as a sinner? They are shining sins indeed, which cause the glory of God to shine more bright. Can I be a loser where God gains? Surely I cannot. I may rather encourage myself to do evil (as we, saith the apostle, are also affirmed to say,) that good may come.” So then, the apostle doth but repeat and refute what some said for themselves, and of the apostles; he doth not in the least affirm it of himself. God often brings good out of the worst of evils; but no thanks to them who commit the evil. Evil can produce nothing naturally but evil; it is a Divine power and wisdom which overmasters it unto good. The way which God hath taught us to glorify Him by, is to do that which is good and to speak the truth; and though He can raise glory to Himself out of the evil which we do, and out of the lies which we publish, yet He never calls for our evil, or for our lie, to raise His glory. — Joseph Caryl (1602-1673).
The glory of God is the supreme end of all He does. — John Gill (1697-1771).
Paul answers the whole objection by one brief, pithy sentence; bring down upon him (the sinner) the broad sword of God: “Whose damnation is just.” He will not stay to argue the question; he cuts down the objection at a stroke. Such an arguer and such an objector is justly damned. Now just see the consequence, if it were Paul’s doctrine, and not the objecting Jews. It would be this, that God could not justly punish sin if He were glorified thereby. Then the greatest sin that was ever committed, the crucifixion of the Son of God was no sin at all, for by it God was glorified. Nay, it would lose all its heinous character, and be rather a merit than a sin. Peter judged otherwise; and though he preached the doctrine of God’s predestination, he charged home on their consciences their personal wickedness. “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts ). We thus see that the doctrine laid down in the passage inquired of is not Paul’s doctrine, for it is awful Antinomianism, but the objection of an unbelieving Jew, which he puts into his mouth that he may more effectually answer it. — 1865 Gospel Standard.
Man is a double-dyed villain. He is corrupted by nature and afterwards by practice. — Augustus H. Strong (1836-1921).
Verse 8. The prevarication of Rahab unto the king’s officers is appealed to by the Jesuits in support of their pernicious dogma. “The end justifies the means”, that if we aim at a praiseworthy object it is permissible to use questionable or even evil means to attain the same — a principle which has regulated many so-called “Protestants” during the past century, and which is flagrantly flouted before our eyes today throughout Christendom, as seen for example, in the carnal and worldly devices used to attract young people to “religious” services. But “let us do evil that good may come” is a sentiment entertained by no truly regenerated soul, rather it is detested by him; and Scripture plainly declares of such as are actuated by it, that their “damnation is just (Rom. 3:8). — A. W. Pink (1886-1952).
The only way any group of men could ever arrive at the idea of ending the life of a man to put him out of his misery is by having rejected the truth of the reality of the judgment and righteousness of God, denied the reality of life after death and the reality of the over-all control of all circumstances by an all-wise God. — Donald Grey Barnhouse (1895-1960).
Unspeakably solemn is it to see so many abusing this Divine perfection. They continue to despise God’s authority, trample upon His laws, continue in sin, and yet presume upon His mercy. But God will not be unjust to Himself. God shows mercy to the truly penitent, but not to the impenitent (Luke 13:3). To continue in sin and yet reckon upon Divine mercy remitting punishment is diabolical. It is saying, “Let us do evil that good may come,” and of all such it is written, “Whose damnation is just” (Rom. 3:8). Presumption shall most certainly be disappointed; read carefully Deut. 29: 18-20. Christ is the spiritual mercy-seat, and all who despise and reject His Lordship shall “perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little” (Psa. ). — A. W. Pink (1886-1952).
There can be no question about God’s enemies — they will perish. — Jabez Burns (1805-1876).