Today Paul builds on the previous section and asks well, if God shows no partiality, then what advantage has the Jew? Why not just live as we like to show just how good God is?
Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written,
“That you may be justified in your words,
and prevail when you are judged.”
5 But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world? 7 But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.
So as God’s chosen people, does their faithlessness cancel out God’s faithfulness? By no means Paul says! Once you have promised something to your children, even if they misbehave in the meantime you still follow through on your promise, don’t you? You follow through because you made a promise and you want them to see that when a man or when a woman makes a promise, a commitment, that they stick to it. Parenting and grace need to be applied together! Now take this thought and apply it to what we know about God; cannot lie, unchanging character, good, faithful, pure, just…great is His faithfulness, and it is not dependent on us!
Paul then asks a couple of rhetorical questions, maybe you’ve heard them before;
- If I am bad and that makes God look even better, why am I being condemned as a sinner?
- Why don’t I just do bad stuff so God can prove that He is good by doing even more good stuff?
Sadly, these questions come from those who have no real change of heart to speak of, no real conversion experience, no relationship with God to consider. Consider those questions in the context of the fact that we are justified by faith; we believe all that is said and written about Jesus in God’s Word, we believe by faith that God raised Him from the dead, we believe by faith that God is who He claims to be, we believe by faith…but now we want to do a load of bad stuff? It just doesn’t compute.
Today then, when there is a choice to be made, big or small, choose the option that glorifies God most through your conduct, not by taking a path away from Him in a misguided attempt to show just how good He is compared to your bad self!
Point to ponder – Having been justified by faith, am I now living by faith?
Prayer – Father we know we can come to you openly and honestly because Jesus stands before You in righteousness, and that when you look at us you see His righteousness, not ours. For this we thank you. We pray today that through the power of Your indwelling Holy Spirit we are able to make good choices, choices that glorify You through our actions, our behaviour, our words, and our conduct, and not choices that lead us away from You. Amen.