Rom 3:5-8 “But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? 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.”
God’s wondrous love and grace are displayed to His glory when we walk in the light of the gospel. However, we should not assume that God is not being glorified even when we ourselves are walking unrighteously. Our unrighteous behavior proves the righteous judgement of God in our lives. How can we ever complain that God is not just?
God is never unrighteous in His judgement of men. However, speaking as men, we often accuse Him of unrighteousness. We are often ready to accuse God of being unfair. This is especially true when find ourselves reaping the evil that we have sowed.
We take the attitude that if God is so merciful and kind, why are we punished? Surely we deserve a pass because we go to church, we pray every day, and we are behaving a lot better than our neighbor. While love is a characteristic of God, expecting Him to turn a blind eye to sin is contrary to His very nature. God judgement in the world is just because His judgement of His people is just.
We do not see in Paul’s letters any propensity for lying. However, it may be that Paul is referencing his unrighteousness in his early persecution of those that believed in the name of Jesus. We clearly see that Paul’s conversion brought great honor and glory to the Lord. Paul’s life certainly proves that God was righteous in striking him down on the road to Damascus.
There were apparently some that accused Paul of using his testimony of the Lord’s grace to defend sinful action. Even today we hear men say that if they believed in the pure grace of God and His eternal forgiveness of sin as we do that they would just go and live any way they wanted to. Paul said that no matter who affirmed that to be what he was saying, that it was a slanderous lie. Just because God’s righteousness is commended in our unrighteousness does not make unrighteousness desirable.
The notion that doing evil (unrighteousness) will bear good fruit is ridiculous. Paul told us in Galatians 6:8 that, if we sow to the flesh (do evil), we shall of the flesh reap corruption. We are never going to see good come from doing evil. However, if we sow to the Spirit we shall reap from the Spirit life everlasting.
No matter how much God loves us (and He does love us), He is not going to ignore our unrighteous behavior. If we walk after sin (are willfully disobedient), then God’s righteous judgement is going to deal with us accordingly. He does not have any double standards. God is righteous in all His judgements.
May we find both rest and instruction in the holy righteousness of God who cannot lie!