May it never be, or God forbid Meaning No One has the right to Mess With GODs Words.

Rom 3:4 God Forbid C Notes--Parallel Translations and Commentaries Rom/3-4.

  Romans 3:4  

Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written:

 "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."

Commentators. Print: Let this not happen---then in their verse by verse Commentary they make the Bible Contradict itself, and blame the [Bible Publishers].

So it is up to each individual to Imitate Jesus, and all Bible Penman--God’s Penmans Writings.

Simply by following these few verses…..

 

Simple AnswerSee the Verses that apply to Imitate and Imitators

Here they are

(1) Heb 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result

of their conduct, imitate their faith.

 

(2) 1 Cor 4:16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.

 

(3) 1Cor 11:1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.

 

(4) Eph 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;

 

(5) 1 Thess 1:6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,

 

(6) 1 Thess 2:14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea,for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews,

 

(7) Heb 6:12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

(8) 3 John 1:11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God;

the one who does evil has not seen God.

 

1 John 3:11-13 - [Verse 12 in Original Greek

11 For R136 this is the message which R137 you have heard from the beginning, that R138 we should love one another;

12 not as Cain, R139 {who} was of the R140 evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him?

Because his R141 deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous.

13 Do not be surprised, brethren, if the R142 world hates you.

Can YOU answer that? Contact Us

Is Celebrating Christmas and Other man make Holidays and man make DOCTRINEs Imitating the Master Teacher’s

Teachings and His Apostles Teachings and what they did? Can YOU answer that? Contact Us

 

Open and Study Sbt’s C Notes.htm

 

Imitate Is Part 3-1 is MysteryVersesPlusMore. 2 is TraditionPlusVerses.htm

 

 

 

 

Romans 3 Commentaries: BarnesCalvinClarkeChrysostomDarbyGillGenevaGuzikJFBKJV Translators'Henry's ConciseMatthew HenryPeople's NTScofieldTeedTSKVincentWesley

 

Parallel Commentaries

Barnes' Notes on the Bible

God forbid - Greek. Let not this be. The sense is, "let not this by any means be supposed." This is the answer of the apostle, showing that no such consequence followed from his doctrines; and that "if" any such consequence should follow, the doctrine should be at once abandoned, and that every man, no matter who, should be rather esteemed false than God. The veracity of God was a great first principle, which was to be held, whatever might be the consequence. This implies that the apostle believed that the fidelity of God could be maintained in strict consistency with the fact that any number of the Jews might be found to be unfaithful, and be cast off. The apostle has not entered into an explanation of this, or shown how it could be, but it is not difficult to understand how it was. The promise made to Abraham, and the fathers, was not unconditional and absolute, that all the Jews should be saved. It was implied that they were to be obedient; and that if they were not, they would be cast off; Genesis 18:19. Though the apostle has not stated it here, yet he has considered it at length in another part of this Epistle, and showed that it was not only consistent with the original promise that a part of the Jews should be found unfaithful, and be east off, but that it had actually occurred according to the prophets; Romans 10:16-21; 11. Thus, the fidelity of God was preserved; at the same time that it was a matter of fact that no small part of the nation was rejected and lost.

Let God be true - Let God be esteemed true and faithful, whatever consequence may follow. This was a first principle, and should be now, that God should be believed to be a God of truth, whatever consequence it might involve. How happy would it be, if all people would regard this as a fixed principle, a matter not to be questioned in their hearts, or debated about, that God is true to his word! How much doubt and anxiety would it save professing Christians; and how much error would it save among sinners! Amidst all the agitations of the world, all conflicts, debates, and trials, it would be a fixed position where every man might find rest, and which would do more than all other things to allay the tempests and smooth the agitated waves of human life.

But every man a liar - Though every man and every other opinion should be found to be false. Of course this included the apostle and his reasoning; and the expression is one of those which show his magnanimity and greatness of soul. It implies that every opinion which he and all others held; every doctrine which had been defended; should be at once abandoned, if it implied that God was false. It was to be assumed as a first principle in all religion and all reasoning, that if a doctrine implied that God was not faithful, it was of course a false doctrine. This showed his firm conviction that the doctrine which he advanced was strictly in accordance with the veracity of the divine promise. What a noble principle is this! How strikingly illustrative of the humility of true piety, and of the confidence which true piety places in God above all the deductions of human reason! And if all people were willing to sacrifice their opinions when they appeared to impinge on the veracity of God; if they started back with instinctive shuddering at the very supposition of such a lack of fidelity in him; how soon would it put an end to the boastings of error, to the pride of philosophy, to lofty dictation in religion! No man with this feeling could be for a moment a universalist; and none could be an infidel.

As it is written - Psalm 51:4. To confirm the sentiment which he had just advanced and to show that it accorded with the spirit of religion as expressed in the Jewish writings, the apostle appeals to the language of David, uttered in a state of deep penitence for past transgressions. Of all quotations ever made, this is one of the most beautiful and most happy. David was overwhelmed with grief; he saw his crime to be awful; he feared the displeasure of God, and trembled before him. Yet "he held it as a fixed, indisputable principle that" God was right. This he never once thought of calling in question. He had sinned against God, God only; and he did not once think of calling in question the fact that God was just altogether in reproving him for his sin, and in pronouncing against him the sentence of condemnation.

That thou mightest be justified - That thou mightest be regarded as just or right, or, that it may appear that God is not unjust. This does not mean that David had sinned against God for the purpose of justifying him, but that he now clearly saw that his sin had been so directly against him, and so aggravated, that God was right in his sentence of condemnation.

In thy sayings - In what thou hast spoken; that is, in thy sentence of condemnation; in thy words in relation to this offence. It may help us to understand this, to remember that the psalm was written immediately after Nathan, at the command of God, had gone to reprove David for his crime; (see the title of the psalm.) God, by the mouth of Nathan, had expressly condemned David for his crime. To this expression of condemnation David doubtless refers by the expression "in thy sayings;" see 2 Samuel 12:7-13.

And mightest overcome - In the Hebrew, "mightest be pure," or mightest be esteemed pure, or just. The word which the Septuagint and the apostle have used, "mightest overcome," is sometimes used with reference to litigations or trials in a court of justice. He that was accused and acquitted, or who was adjudged to be innocent, might be said to overcome, or to gain the cause. The expression is thus used here. As if there were a trial between David and God, God would overcome; that is, would be esteemed pure and righteous in his sentence condemning the crime of David.

When thou art judged - The Hebrew is, "when thou judgest;" that is, in thy judgment pronounced on this crime. The Greek may also be in the middle voice as well as the passive, and may correspond, therefore, in meaning precisely with the Hebrew. So the Arabic renders it. The Syriac renders it, "when they (that is, people) shall judge thee." The meaning, as expressed by David, is, that God is to be esteemed right and just in condemning people for their sins, and that a true penitent, that is, a man placed in the best circumstances to form a proper estimate of God, will see this, though it should condemn himself. The meaning of the expression in the connection in which Paul uses it, is, that it is to be held as a fixed, unwavering principle, that God is right and true, whatever consequences it may involve; whatever doctrine it may overthrow; or whatever man it may prove to be a liar.


Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Apostle. God forbid - μη γενοιτο, Let it not be, far from it, by no means. Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar, etc. We must ever maintain that God is true, and that if, in any case, his promise appear to fail, it is because the condition on which it was given has not been complied with; which is the sense of what is written, Psalm 51:4 : I acknowledge my sin, and condemn myself that the truth of thy promise (2 Samuel 7:15, 2 Samuel 7:16) to establish my house and throne for ever, may be vindicated when thou shalt execute that dreadful threatening, (2 Samuel 12:10), that the sword shall never depart from my house, which I own I have brought upon myself by my own iniquity. Should any man say that the promise of God had failed toward him, let him examine his heart and his ways, and he will find that he has departed out of that way in which alone God could, consistently with his holiness and truth, fulfill the promise.


Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

God forbid, yea, let God be true, but every man a liar,.... Let no such thing ever enter into the minds of any, that the truth of God can be, or will be made of none effect by the want of faith in man; let it be always asserted and abode by; that God is true, faithful to his word, constant in his promises, and will always fulfil his purposes; though "every man is a liar", vain, fallacious, and inconstant: referring to Psalm 116:11;

as it is written, Psalm 51:4;

that thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. This is a proof that God is true, and stands to his word, though men are fallacious, inconstant, and wicked. God made a promise to David, that of the fruit of his body he would set upon his throne; that the Messiah should spring from him; that he would of his seed raise up unto Israel a Saviour. Now David sinned greatly in the case of Bathsheba, 2 Samuel 11:3 (title), but his sin did not make of no effect the truth and faithfulness of God: though David showed himself to be a weak sinful man, yet God appeared true and faithful to every word of promise which he had sworn in truth to him; and therefore when he was brought to a sense of his evil, and at the same time to observe the invariable truth and faithfulness of God, said, "I acknowledge my transgression, &c. against thee, thee only have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight", Psalm 51:3, which confession of sin I make, "that thou mightest be justified in thy sayings"; or "when thou speakest", Psalm 51:4, which is all one; that is, that thou mightest appear to be just, and faithful, and true in all thy promises, in every word that is gone out of thy mouth, which shall not be recalled and made void, on account of my sins; for though I have sinned, thou abidest faithful; and this also I declare with shame to myself, and with adoring views of thine unchangeable truth and goodness: "that thou mightest overcome"; that is, put to silence all such cavils and charges, as if the faith of God could be made void by the unfaithfulness of men: "when thou art judged"; when men will be so bold and daring to arraign thy truth and faithfulness, and contend with thee about them. This now is brought as a full proof, and is a full proof of this truth, that God is always true to his word, though men fail in theirs, and fall into sin. God kept his word with David concerning the stability of his kingdom, his successor, and the Messiah that should spring from him, though he acted a bad part against God. There is some little difference between these words as they stand in the Hebrew text of Psalm 51:4; and as they are cited and rendered by the apostle, in the last clause of them; in the former it is, "that thou mightest be clear"; in the latter, "that thou mightest overcome". Now to vindicate the apostle's version, let it be observed, that the Hebrew word signifies to "overcome", as well as to "be clear"; of which instances may be given out of the Jewish writings. Says (l) Rabba; concerning an argument used by R. Chanina, in a controversy with other Rabbins, by this R. Chanina ben Antigonus, "hath overcome" them: and in another place (m), whosoever "overcomes" a king, they cast him into an empty ditch; where the gloss upon it is, he that overcomes a king by words, that is, by disputing with him, which is a disgrace to a king. So the word is used in the Syriac language in John 16:33. Moreover, the sense is the same, be it rendered either way; for as a man, when he overcomes his adversary, and carries his point against him, is clear of his charges and cavils, so God, when he overcomes in judgment, is clear of the imputations of wicked men. Another difference in the citation is, that what in the psalm is rendered "when thou judgest", is by the apostle, "when thou art judged", Psalm 51:4, the word, which is used by the Psalmist, may be rendered either way; either "when thou judgest", as a word of the same form is rendered, when "thou speakest", in Psalm 51:4; or "when anyone judges of thee", or "when thou art judged": a like instance is in Psalm 46:2; and so it is rendered by the Septuagint, and followed by the apostle, though the word he uses may be considered in the middle voice, and may have an active signification in it; and the phrase, , may be rendered, "when thou judgest", and then both agree.

(l) T. Bab. Niddah, fol. 52. 2.((m) T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 10. 2. Sanhedrim, fol. 39. 1. & Becorot, fol. 8. 2.


Vincent's Word Studies

God forbid (μὴ γένοιτο)

Lit., may it not have come to pass. Used by Paul fourteen times. It introduces the rebuttal of an inference drawn from Paul's arguments by an opponent. Luther renders das sey ferne that be far. Wyc. fer be it. It corresponds to the Hebrew chalilah. profane, which in the Septuagint is sometimes rendered by it, sometimes by μηδαμῶς by no means, sometimes by μὴ εἴη may it not be, and again by ἵλεως God be merciful to us (see on Matthew 16:22). It indicates a feeling of strong aversion: "Away with the thought."

Let God be true (γινέσθω ὁ Θεὸς ἀληθής)

Rev., better, "let God be found true;" thus giving the force of γίνομαι to become. See on was, I am, John 8:58. The phrase is used with reference to men's apprehension. Let God turn out to be or be found to be by His creatures.

Be justified

Acknowledged righteous. The figure is forensic. God's justice is put on trial.

Overcome (νικήσῃς)

Rev., prevail. Gain the case. The word occurs only three times outside of John's writings.

When thou art judged (ἐν τῷ κρίνεσθαί σε)

Rev., when thou comest into judgment.


Geneva Study Bible

God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be {e} justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome {f} when thou art judged.

(e) That your justice might be plainly seen.

(f) Seeing that you showed forth an true token of your righteousness, steadfastness and faith, by preserving him who had broken his covenant.


People's New Testament

3:4 God forbid. The Greek means, literally, Not so. It does not follow that God is unfaithful, because he rejects unbelieving Israel, for his covenant with Israel and his promise to Abraham were conditional.

Let God be true, but every man a liar. That is, Let us believe all men to have broken their word, rather than God his.

As it is written. See Ps 51:4. One of the penitential psalms, in which David mourns over his own sins.

That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings. God's sayings, his threatenings, are justified by his judgments. They were in the case of David. They were also in the rejection of the Jewish nation, in spite of the promise, when it had rejected the Holy One of Israel.


Wesley's Notes

3:4 Psalm 2:4.


Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. God forbid-literally, "Let it not be," that is, "Away with such a thought"-a favorite expression of our apostle, when he would not only repudiate a supposed consequence of his doctrine, but express his abhorrence of it. "The Scriptures do not authorize such a use of God's name as must have been common among the English translators of the Bible" [Hodge].

yea, let God be-held

true, and every man a liar-that is, even though it should follow from this that every man is a liar.

when thou art judged-so in Ps 51:4, according to the Septuagint; but in the Hebrew and in our version, "when thou judgest." The general sentiment, however, is the same in both-that we are to vindicate the righteousness of God, at whatever expense to ourselves.


Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:1-8 The law could not save in or from sins, yet it gave the Jews advantages for obtaining salvation. Their stated ordinances, education in the knowledge of the true God and his service, and many favours shown to the children of Abraham, all were means of grace, and doubtless were made useful to the conversion of many. But especially the Scriptures were committed to them. Enjoyment of God's word and ordinances, is the chief happiness of a people. But God's promises are made only to believers; therefore the unbelief of some, or of many professors, cannot make this faithfulness of no effect. He will fulfil his promises to his people, and bring his threatened vengeance upon unbelievers. God's judging the world, should for ever silence all doubtings and reflections upon his justice. The wickedness and obstinate unbelief of the Jews, proved man's need of the righteousness of God by faith, and also his justice in punishing for sin. Let us do evil, that good may come, is oftener in the heart than in the mouth of sinners; for few thus justify themselves in their wicked ways. The believer knows that duty belongs to him, and events to God; and that he must not commit any sin, or speak one falsehood, upon the hope, or even assurance, that God may thereby glorify himself. If any speak and act thus, their condemnation is just.


Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Chapter 3

The apostle, in this chapter, carries on his discourse concerning justification. He had already proved the guilt both of Gentiles and Jews. Now in this chapter, I. He answers some objections that might be made against what he had said about the Jews (v. 1-8). II. He asserts the guilt and corruption of mankind in common, both Jews and Gentiles (v. 9-18). III. He argues thence that justification must needs be by faith, and not by the law, which he gives several reasons for (v. 19 to the end). The many digressions in his writings render his discourse sometimes a little difficult, but his scope is evident.

Verses 1-18

I. Here the apostle answers several objections, which might be made, to clear his way. No truth so plain and evident but wicked wits and corrupt carnal hearts will have something to say against it; but divine truths must be cleared from cavil.

Object. 1. If Jew and Gentile stand so much upon the same level before God, what advantage then hath the Jew? Hath not God often spoken with a great deal of respect for the Jews, as a non-such people (Deu. 33:29), a holy nation, a peculiar treasure, the seed of Abraham his friend: Did not he institute circumcision as a badge of their church-membership, and a seal of their covenant-relation to God? Now does not this levelling doctrine deny them all such prerogatives, and reflect dishonour upon the ordinance of circumcision, as a fruitless insignificant thing.

Answer. The Jews are, notwithstanding this, a people greatly privileged and honoured, have great means and helps, though these be not infallibly saving (v. 2): Much every way. The door is open to the Gentiles as well as the Jews, but the Jews have a fairer way up to this door, by reason of their church-privileges, which are not to be undervalued, though many that have them perish eternally for not improving them. He reckons up many of the Jews' privileges Rom. 9:4, 5; here he mentions but one (which is indeed instar omnium-equivalent to all), that unto them were committed the oracles of God, that is, the scriptures of the Old Testament, especially the law of Moses, which is called the lively oracles (Acts 7:38), and those types, promises, and prophecies, which relate to Christ and the gospel. The scriptures are the oracles of God: they are a divine revelation, they come from heaven, are of infallible truth, and of eternal consequence as oracles. The Septuagint call the Urim and Thummim the logia-the oracles. The scripture is our breast-plate of judgment. We must have recourse to the law and to the testimony, as to an oracle. The gospel is called the oracles of God, Heb. 5:12; 1 Pt. 4:11. Now these oracles were committed to the Jews; the Old Testament was written in their language; Moses and the prophets were of their nation, lived among them, preached and wrote primarily to and for the Jews. They were committed to them as trustees for succeeding ages and churches. The Old Testament was deposited in their hands, to be carefully preserved pure and uncorrupt, and so transmitted down to posterity. The Jews were the Christians' library-keepers, were entrusted with that sacred treasure for their own use and benefit in the first place, and then for the advantage of the world; and, in preserving the letter of the scripture, they were very faithful to their trust, did not lose one iota or tittle, in which we are to acknowledge God's gracious care and providence. The Jews had the means of salvation, but they had not the monopoly of salvation. Now this he mentions with a chiefly, proµton men gar-this was their prime and principal privilege. The enjoyment of God's word and ordinances is the chief happiness of a people, is to be put in the imprimis of their advantages, Deu. 4:8; 33:3; Ps. 147:20.

Object. 2. Against what he had said of the advantages the Jews had in the lively oracles, some might object the unbelief of many of them. To what purpose were the oracles of God committed to them, when so many of them, notwithstanding these oracles, continued strangers to Christ, and enemies to his gospel? Some did not believe, v. 3.

Answer. It is very true that some, nay most of the present Jews, do not believe in Christ; but shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? The apostle startles at such a thought: God forbid! The infidelity and obstinacy of the Jews could not invalidate and overthrow those prophecies of the Messiah which were contained in the oracles committed to them. Christ will be glorious, though Israel be not gathered, Isa. 49:5. God's words shall be accomplished, his purposes performed, and all his ends answered, though there be a generation that by their unbelief go about to make God a liar. Let God be true but every man a liar; let us abide by this principle, that God is true to every word which he has spoken, and will let none of his oracles fall to the ground, though thereby we give the lie to man; better question and overthrow the credit of all the men in the world than doubt of the faithfulness of God. What David said in his haste (Ps. 116:11), that all men are liars, Paul here asserts deliberately. Lying is a limb of that old man which we every one of us come into the world clothed with. All men are fickle, and mutable, and given to change, vanity and a lie (Ps. 62:9), altogether vanity, Ps. 39:5. All men are liars, compared with God. It is very comfortable, when we find every man a liar (no faith in man), that God is faithful. When they speak vanity every one with his neighbour, it is very comfortable to think that the words of the Lord are pure words, Ps. 12:2, 6. For the further proof of this he quotes Ps. 51:4, That thou mightest be justified, the design of which is to show, 1. That God does and will preserve his own honour in the world, notwithstanding the sins of men. 2. That it is our duty, in all our conclusions concerning ourselves and others, to justify God and to assert and maintain his justice, truth, and goodness, however it goes. David lays a load upon himself in his confession, that he might justify God, and acquit him from any injustice. So here, Let the credit or reputation of man shift for itself, the matter is not great whether it sink or swim; let us hold fast this conclusion, how specious soever the premises may be to the contrary, that the Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. Thus is God justified in his sayings, and cleared when he judges (as it is Ps. 51:4), or when he is judged, as it is here rendered. When men presume to quarrel with God and his proceedings, we may be sure the sentence will go on God's side.

Object. 3. Carnal hearts might hence take occasion to encourage themselves in sin. He had said that the universal guilt and corruption of mankind gave occasion to the manifestation of God's righteousness in Jesus Christ. Now it may be suggested, If all our sin be so far from overthrowing God's honour that it commends it, and his ends are secured, so that there is no harm done, is it not unjust for God to punish our sin and unbelief so severely? If the unrighteousness of the Jews gave occasion to the calling in of the Gentiles, and so to God's greater glory, why are the Jews so much censured? If our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? v. 5. What inference may be drawn from this? Is God unrighteous, meµ adikos ho Theos-Is not God unrighteous (so it may be read, more in the form of an objection), who taketh vengeance? Unbelieving hearts will gladly take any occasion to quarrel with equity of God's proceedings, and to condemn him that is most just, Job 34:17. I speak as a man, that is, I object this as the of carnal hearts; it is suggested like a man, a vain, foolish, proud creature.

Answer. God forbid; far be it from us to imagine such a thing. Suggestions that reflect dishonour upon God and his justice and holiness are rather to be startled at than parleyed with. Get thee behind me, Satan; never entertain such a thought. For then how shall God judge the world? v. 6. The argument is much the same with that of Abraham (Gen. 18:25): Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? No doubt, he shall. If he were not infinitely just and righteous, he would be unfit to be the judge of all the earth. Shall even he that hateth right govern? Job 34:17. Compare v. 18, 19. The sin has never the less of malignity and demerit in it though God bring glory to himself out of it. It is only accidentally that sin commends God's righteousness. No thanks to the sinner for that, who intends no such thing. The consideration of God's judging the world should for ever silence all our doubtings of, and reflections upon, his justice and equity. It is not for us to arraign the proceedings of such an absolute Sovereign. The sentence of the supreme court, whence lies no appeal, is not to be called in question.

Object. 4. The former objection is repeated and prosecuted (v. 7, 8), for proud hearts will hardly be beaten out of their refuge of lies, but will hold fast the deceit. But his setting off the objection in its own colours is sufficient to answer it: If the truth of God has more abounded through my lie. He supposes the sophisters to follow their objection thus: "If my lie, that is, my sin" (for there is something of a lie in every sin, especially in the sins of professors) "have occasioned the glorifying of God's truth and faithfulness, why should I be judged and condemned as a sinner, and not rather thence take encouragement to go on in my sin, that grace may abound?" an inference which at first sight appears too black to be argued, and fit to be cast out with abhorrence. Daring sinners take occasion to boast in mischief, because the goodness of God endures continually, Ps. 52:1. Let us do evil that good may come is oftener in the heart than in the mouth of sinners, so justifying themselves in their wicked ways. Mentioning this wicked thought, he observes, in a parenthesis, that there were those who charged such doctrines as this upon Paul and his fellow-ministers: Some affirm that we say so. It is no new thing for the best of God's people and ministers to be charged with holding and teaching such things as they do most detest and abhor; and it is not to be thought strange, when our Master himself was said to be in league with Beelzebub. Many have been reproached as if they had said that the contrary of which they maintain: it is an old artifice of Satan thus to cast dirt upon Christ's ministers, Fortiter calumniari, aliquid adhaerebi-ay slander thickly on, for some will be sure to stick. The best men and the best truths are subject to slander. Bishop Sanderson makes a further remark upon this, as we are slanderously reported-blaspheµmoumetha. Blasphemy in scripture usually signifies the highest degree of slander, speaking ill of God. The slander of a minister and his regular doctrine is a more than ordinary slander, it is a kind of blasphemy, not for his person's sake, but for his calling's sake and his work's sake, 1 Th. 5:13.

Answer. He says no more by way of confutation but that, whatever they themselves may argue, the damnation of those is just. Some understand it of the slanderers; God will justly condemn those who unjustly condemn his truth. Or, rather, it is to be applied to those who embolden themselves in sin under a pretence of God's getting glory to himself out of it. Those who deliberately do evil that good may come of it will be so far from escaping, under the shelter of that excuse, that it will rather justify their damnation, and render them the more inexcusable; for sinning upon such a surmise, and in such a confidence, argues a great deal both of the wit and of the will in the sin-a wicked will deliberately to choose the evil, and a wicked wit to palliate it with the pretence of good arising from it. Therefore their damnation is just; and, whatever excuses of this kind they may now please themselves with, they will none of them stand good in the great day, but God will be justified in his proceedings, and all flesh, even the proud flesh that now lifts up itself against him, shall be silent before him. Some think Paul herein refers to the approaching ruin of the Jewish church and nation, which their obstinacy and self-justification in their unbelief hastened upon them apace.

II. Paul, having removed these objections, next revives his assertion of the general guilt and corruption of mankind in common, both of Jews and Gentiles, v. 9-18. "Are we better than they, we Jews, to whom were committed the oracles of God? Does this recommend us to God, or will this justify us? No, by no means." Or, "Are we Christians (Jews and Gentiles) so much better antecedently than the unbelieving part as to have merited God's grace? Alas! no: before free grace made the difference, those of us that had been Jews and those that had been Gentiles were all alike corrupted." They are all under sin. Under the guilt of sin: under it as under a sentence;-under it as under a bond, by which they are bound over to eternal ruin and damnation;-under it as under a burden (Ps. 38:4) that will sink them to the lowest hell: we are guilty before God, v. 19. Under the government and dominion of sin: under it as under a tyrant and cruel task-master, enslaved to it;-under it as under a yoke;-under the power of it, sold to work wickedness. And this he had proved, proeµtiasametha. It is a law term: We have charged them with it, and have made good our charge; we have proved the indictment, we have convicted them by the notorious evidence of the fact. This charge and conviction he here further illustrates by several scriptures out of the Old Testament, which describe the corrupt depraved state of all men, till grave restrain or change them; so that herein as in a glass we may all of us behold our natural face. The 10th, 11th, and 12th verses are taken from Ps. 14:1-3, which are repeated as containing a very weighty truth, Ps. 53:1-3. The rest that follows here is found in the Septuagint translation of the 14th Psalm, which some think the apostle chooses to follow as better known; but I rather think that Paul took these passages from other places of scripture here referred to, but in later copies of the Septuagint they were all added in Ps. 14 from this discourse of Paul. It is observable that, to prove the general corruption of nature, he quotes some scriptures which speak of the particular corruptions of particular persons, as of Doeg (Ps. 140:3), of the Jews (Isa. 59:7, 8), which shows that the same sins that are committed by one are in the nature of all. The times of David and Isaiah were some of the better times, and yet to their days he refers. What is said Ps. 14 is expressly spoken of all the children of men, and that upon a particular view and inspection made by God himself. The Lord looked down, as upon the old world, Gen. 6:5. And this judgment of God was according to truth. He who, when he himself had made all, looked upon every thing that he had made, and behold all was very good, now that man had marred all, looked, and behold all was very bad. Let us take a view of the particulars. Observe,

1. That which is habitual, which is two-fold:-

(1.) An habitual defect of every thing that is good. [1.] There is none righteous, none that has an honest good principle of virtue, or is governed by such a principle, none that retains any thing of that image of God, consisting in righteousness, wherein man was created; no, not one; implying that, if there had been but one, God would have found him out. When all the world was corrupt, God had his eye upon one righteous Noah. Even those who through grace are justified and sanctified were none of them righteous by nature. No righteousness is born with us. The man after God's own heart owns himself conceived in sin. [2.] There is none that understandeth, v. 11. The fault lies in the corruption of the understanding; that is blinded, depraved, perverted. Religion and righteousness have so much reason on their side that if people had but any understanding they would be better and do better. But they do not understand. Sinners are fools. [3.] None that seeketh after God, that is, none that has any regard to God, any desire after him. Those may justly be reckoned to have no understanding that do not seek after God. The carnal mind is so far from seeking after God that really it is enmity against him. [4.] They are together become unprofitable, v. 12. Those that have forsaken God soon grow good for nothing, useless burdens of the earth. Those that are in a state of sin are the most unprofitable creatures under the sun; for it follows, [5.] There is none that doeth good; no, not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not, Eccl. 7:23. Even in those actions of sinners that have some goodness in them there is a fundamental error in the principle and end; so that it may be said, There is none that doeth good. Malum oritur ex quolibet defect-very defect is the source of evil.

(2.) An habitual defection to every thing that is evil: They are all gone out of the way. No wonder that those miss the right way who do not seek after God, the highest end. God made man in the way, set him in right, but he hath forsaken it. The corruption of mankind is an apostasy.

2. That which is actual. And what good can be expected from such a degenerate race? He instances,

(1.) In their words (v. 13, 14), in three things particularly:-[1.] Cruelty: Their throat is an open sepulchre, ready to swallow up the poor and innocent, waiting an opportunity to do mischief, like the old serpent seeking to devour, whose name is Abaddon and Apollyon, the destroyer. And when they do not openly avow this cruelty, and vent it publicly, yet they are underhand intending mischief: the poison of asps is under their lips (Jam. 3:8), the most venomous and incurable poison, with which they blast the good name of their neighbour by reproaches, and aim at his life by false witness. These passages are borrowed from Ps. 5:9 and 140:3. [2.] Cheating: With their tongues they have used deceit. Herein they show themselves the devil's children, for he is a liar, and the father of lies. They have used it: it intimates that they make a trade of lying; it is their constant practice, especially belying the ways and people of God. [3.] Cursing: reflecting upon God, and blaspheming his holy name; wishing evil to their brethren: Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. This is mentioned as one of the great sins of the tongue, Jam. 3:9. But those that thus love cursing shall have enough of it, Ps. 109:17-19. How many, who are called Christians, do by these sin evince that they are still under the reign and dominion of sin, still in the condition that they were born in.

(2.) In their ways (v. 15-17): Their feet are swift to shed blood; that is, they are very industrious to compass any cruel design, ready to lay hold of all such opportunities. Wherever they go, destruction and misery go along with them; these are their companions-destruction and misery to the people of God, to the country and neighbourhood where they live, to the land and nation, and to themselves at last. Besides the destruction and misery that are at the end of their ways (death is the end of these things), destruction and misery are in their ways; their sin is its own punishment: a man needs no more to make him miserable than to be a slave to his sins.-And the way of peace have they not known; that is, they know not how to preserve peace with others, nor how to obtain peace for themselves. They may talk of peace, such a peace as is in the devil's palace, while he keeps it, but they are strangers to all true peace; they know not the things that belong to their peace. These are quoted from Prov. 1:16; Isa. 59:7, 8.

(3.) The root of all this we have: There is no fear of God before their eyes, v. 18. The fear of God is here put for all practical religion, which consists in an awful and serious regard to the word and will of God as our rule, to the honour and glory of God as our end. Wicked people have not this before their eyes; that is, they do not steer by it; they are governed by other rules, aim at other ends. This is quoted from Ps. 36:1. Where no fear of God is, no good is to be expected. The fear of God is would lay a restraint upon our spirits, and keep them right, Neh. 5:15. When once fear is cast off, prayer is restrained (Job 15:4), and then all goes to wreck and ruin quickly. So that we have here a short account of the general depravity and corruption of mankind; and may say, O Adam! what hast thou done? God made man upright, but thus he hath sought out many inventions.

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