New American Standard Bible
But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.)
King James Bible
But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
Darby Bible Translation
But if our unrighteousness commend God's righteousness, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? I speak according to man.
World English Bible
But if our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God, what will we say? Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? I speak like men do.
Young's Literal Translation
And, if our unrighteousness God's righteousness doth establish, what shall we say? is God unrighteous who is inflicting the wrath? (after the manner of a man I speak)
Romans 3:5 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
But if our unrighteousness - If our sin. The particular sin which had been specified Romans 3:3 was "unbelief." But the apostle here gives the objection a general form. This is to be regarded as an objection which a Jew might make. The force of it is this:
(1) It had been conceded that some had not believed; that is, had sinned.
(2) but God was true to his promises. Notwithstanding their sin, God's character was the same. Nay,
(3) In the very midst of sin, and as one of the results of it, the character of God, as a just Being, shone out illustriously. The question then was,
(4) If his glory resulted from it; if the effect of all was to show that his character was pure; how could he punish that sin from which his own glory resulted? And this is a question which is often asked by sinners.
Commend - Recommend; show forth; render illustrious.
The righteousness of God - His just and holy character. This was the effect on David's mind, that he saw more clearly the justice of God in his threatenings against sin, in consequence of his own transgression. And if this effect followed, if honor was thus done to God, the question was, how he could consistently punish what tended to promote his own glory?
What shall we say? - What follows? or, what is the inference? This is a mode of speech as if the objector hesitated about expressing an inference which would seem to follow, but which was horrible in its character.
Is God unrighteous? - The meaning of this would be better expressed thus: "Is "not" God unrighteous in punishing? Does it not follow that if God is honored by sin, that it would be wrong for him to inflict punishment?"
Who taketh vengeance - The meaning of this is simply, "who inflicts punishment." The idea of vengeance is not necessarily in the original ὀργήν orgēn. It is commonly rendered "wrath," but it often means simply "punishment," without any reference to the state of the mind of him who inflicts it, Matthew 3:7; Luke 3:7; Luke 21:23; John 3:36. Notes, Romans 1:18; Romans 4:15.
I speak as a man - I speak after the manner of human beings. I speak as appears to be the case to human view; or as would strike the human mind. It does not mean that the language was such as wicked people were accustomed to use; but that the objector expressed a sentiment which to human view would seem to follow from what had been said. This I regard as the language of an objector. It implies a degree of reverence for the character of God, and a seeming unwillingness to state an objection which seemed to be dishonorable to God, but which nevertheless pressed itself so strong on the mind as to appear irresistible. No way of stating the objection could have been more artful or impressive.
LibraryGod Justified, Though Man Believes Not
"For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, and every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."--Romans 3:3,4. The seed of Israel had great privileges even before the coming of Christ. God had promised by covenant that they should have those privileges; and they did enjoy them. They had a revelation and a light divine, while all the world …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 38: 1892
How Christ is the Way in General, "I am the Way. "
"Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?"
"Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert what is right?
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET."
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