Thoughts on the Epistle to the Romans (55)

The Conversion of Saulfresco by Michelangelo, 1542–1545

For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to his glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? And why not say, Let us do evil that good may come? – as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say, Their condemnation is just.

Romans 3:7.8.

Paul here refers back to the wording of verse 4, where he had stressed that the truth of God was established beyond any doubt. That made it clear when people proved to be liars. Once again he anticipates his opponents’ arguments. He says, as it were: “You think that through your wicked deeds the truth of God comes to light more gloriously, so that God cannot judge you for them. Then you should go one step further. The obvious conclusion of your argument is virtually: do evil, so that good comes of it.”

Paul was in fact himself accused of this evil doctrine. They asserted that the gospel of God’s free grace and the justification of sinners through faith in Jesus Christ would lead to this conclusion. Paul was to deal with this reproach later. In fact this reprehensible thought was merely the result of his opponents’s false conclusions. They were so convinced of their abilities and their religion that they imagined they did not need God’s grace. Moreover it would only lead to licentiousness.

Paul prevents himself from becoming involved in a verbal exchange with his opponents. If anyone produces such blatantly audacious arguments against God’s message, despising God’s grace, then God’s righteous judgment is all that remains for him.

Image: By Michelangelo – From Web Gallery of Art –, Public Domain,