Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“1 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? 2 Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? 4 Not at all! 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.’ 5 But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing His wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) 6 Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? 7 Someone might argue, ‘If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases His glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?’ 8 Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—‘Let us do evil that good may result?’ Their condemnation is just!”
Now we come to the final objection to Paul’s teaching in our passage. Here the objector says in verse 7, “But if my sin brings glory to God, if my lie vindicates His truth, if He causes man’s wrath to praise Him, then how can He consistently find fault with me as a sinner?” Paul interrupted and said, “that some people actually accuse us Christians of living this way, but it is a slander.” To which the objector replied, “Why wouldn’t it be logical to say, ‘Let us do evil, that good may come?’” Paul’s response was to say, “All I can say is that the condemnation of people who talk like that is well-deserved.”
The folks who heard Paul’s gospel, who responded in this way, had a distortion of Paul’s gospel that caused them to misunderstand his devaluation of the Law as a license to sin. Paul made his disapproval clear by stating that whoever acted in such a way was worthy of condemnation.
I’m sure you’ve heard this same kind of “license to sin” argument before. It is a false argument. But yet it is one that is leveled against the gospel of grace of God. It goes something like this, “If you could be saved just by faith in Christ, then you could go out and live in sin. Since God’s grace abounds over man’s sin, then the more you sin, the more His grace abounds.” Paul answers this in more detail in Chapter 6.
The Bible is clear that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Remember Ephesians 2:8-10, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
So does this mean that a Christian can live any way he wants? No! James tells us that faith without works is dead. The believer does not have a license to sin! It’s just the opposite; we were made for good works. In fact, the believer’s lifestyle should be evidence of their salvation. We’re not to live any way we want to, but we’re to live a life that demonstrates the fruits of the Spirit as outlined in Galatians chapter 5. We’re to conform to the likeness of Christ. If we are truly believers in Christ, then we can’t live in sin anymore (John 3:6-9). We are saved to serve!
Our salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Let that truth sink deep into your soul. It’s a free gift, all that we’re asked to do is receive it… oh the wonderful work of Christ Jesus! Today I want us to rest secure in Him. Let’s let the Holy Spirit work to conform us more and more to the likeness of Christ.
Let us close out our week by reading Romans 8:28-30 from The Message:
“That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in Him. After God made that decision of what His children should be like, He followed it up by calling people by name. After He called them by name, He set them on a solid basis with Himself. And then, after getting them established, He stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what He had begun.”
*From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians.