This next section, verses 5-7, is extremely difficult of interpretation, and has puzzled Bible readers over many ages.  I do not pretend to have a final solution to all the difficulties that it raises, but will only attempt to offer the meaning that seems best to me on the surface of the passage.  First, Paul asks what we should say if our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God.  He is apparently answering a philosophical objection that he knows will be raised by some of his opponents, who will ask whether, if our unrighteousness helps to magnify God’s righteousness, then why should God take vengeance on the sinner.  Paul seems to shudder at the very thought of suggesting unrighteousness in God, for he adds parenthetically, “I speak as a man,” and then insists in the plainest terms possible that there can never be unrighteousness with God, and that we ought to let the very thought perish.  If God allowed our unrighteousness to go unpunished, then how can God judge the world?  Paul knew that this was an answer which ought to carry very great weight with his Jewish brethren, for they knew that if the Old Testament scriptures established anything, it was that God will be the judge of all mankind.

In verse 7, he seems once again to be quoting the objector, who sill say, “If the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto His glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?”  The idea here seems to be the same as in the preceding two verses.  Some man may object, that is his telling of lies only magnifies the truthfulness of God, why should he be judged as a sinner?  Judging by the way the apostle handles this objection, it seems evident that he himself had been accused of this very thing; for in verse 9 he speaks of those who have slanderously reported that those who preach a Gospel of free grace are essentially telling men to do evil that good may come.  As we study through Romans, we find that Paul is very concerned to answer the objection that his doctrine of free grace through the justification provided in Christ’s great work of redemption will lead to lawlessness and loose living.  The holy apostle detested the very thought, detested it so thoroughly that he affirms the damnation of such slanderers is just.  They knew very well that he in no way advocated any kind of uncleanness in living, but on the contrary upheld the highest standards of holiness.  The only difference between he and his Judaizing accusers was that he put obedience to God on the footing of love borne out of Gospel grace, while they put it on the footing of seeking to please God and merit salvation.

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