Romans 3:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 3:7, NIV: "Someone might argue, 'If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?'"

Romans 3:7, ESV: "But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner?"

Romans 3:7, KJV: "For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?"

Romans 3:7, NASB: "But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner?"

Romans 3:7, NLT: "'But,' someone might still argue, 'how can God condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty highlights his truthfulness and brings him more glory?'"

Romans 3:7, CSB: "But if by my lie God's truth abounds to his glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner?"

What does Romans 3:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul returns again to the question raised in verse 5, somewhat re-phrasing it, using a more specific example. This challenge strikes at Paul's argument about God's judgment on human sinfulness. The basic claim is this: If telling a lie further displays God's truthfulness, leading to His glory, why should He condemn me for that lie? Paul has previously said that our sin does indeed result in proving God's righteous sinlessness. So if our sin brings glory to Him, in a sense, should He really condemn us for it?

Paul states in the following verse that some people were accusing him of teaching exactly this: that human sin leads to God's glory, so we might as well do more of it. Paul refutes the very idea of this in two directions. First, God's righteousness means, by definition, that He cannot be unrighteous. He is the standard of goodness and truth, so His judgment of our sin is by definition completely fair and justified. We deserve it.

Second, as Paul will write in the following verses, human sinfulness is inevitable. We do not sin, in any way, with an intent to bring glory to God. We sin because we are sinners. Later, Paul will more directly refute that salvation is a license to sin (Romans 6:1). For now, particularly in the next verse, he will brush aside this criticism as rank slander (Romans 3:8).