Is God Unjust?

May genoitaw!

Romans 3:5-8 (NKJV)

But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?

For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.

He did it again. May genoitaw! But what is Paul talking about this time?

But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? 

Is this the question that popped into your head when you read Romans 3:1-4? It didn’t pop into mine. That’s why Paul brings it up himself.

And his answer is short and sweet. May genoitaw! For then how will God judge the world?

But if this doesn’t completely answer it for you, join the club. At first, this answer seems circular. The question was whether his judgement of us would be unrighteous. Paul’s answer is that it can’t be, because then He couldn’t judge. Well, okay then, but how does that answer the question?

Paul will get back to this issue many more times in Romans, with longer explanations, but the point here is that the creator must be able to judge His own creation.

It’s His world and He can do anything He wants to with it. If God wanted to create a world with a completely different Ten Commandments, He could have. He makes the rules.

God can’t be unjust because He gets to define what justice is.

God is good in ways we never think of. We take for granted all the things in life that we’re used to. A fish doesn’t know that it’s wet either.

This has become a hot topic among physicists because the constants of the universe (such as the speed of light or the weight of an electron) seem to be perfectly designed. By all accounts, a universe with different parameters would be fatally flawed.

This is a big puzzle for non-believers. They’ve come up with multiple explanations, including the fantastical idea that there are many universes but we’re in the only one that works.

The Heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. – Psalm 1:1 (NIV)

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Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.