5 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.) 6 May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world? 7 But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), “Let us do evil that good may come”? Their condemnation is just (Romans 3).
O, the wickedness of man — we find an excuse for everything. First, we think we can excuse our sins by blaming God for our own sinfulness (verse 5), and then we think we can excuse our sins both because of the glory God gets in the end through them (verse 7) as well as the good He can bring in spite of them (verse 8). “How can a good God allow evil (sins) — and then judge people for them?” “God will save everyone to show how loving and merciful He really is. Why, He’ll even save the devil himself one day!” “I’m going to go ahead and give in to this temptation because I know I’m saved and thus I know God’s grace is amazing and He will forgive me. I also know that God’s power is unlimited and He can easily bring good from it.”
Yes, we are excuse machines alright. Some may not appreciate their music, but the lyrics from D.C. Talk’s classic song, In the Light, are right on point:
“What’s goin’ on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior.
This only serves to confirm my suspicions,
That I’m still a man in need of a Savior.”
Lord, only You know completely what’s going on in our hearts. And, as much as we despise our sins, You despise them infinitely more. Help us to be more suspicious of our deceitful hearts (Jeremiah 17:9), and help us to see our great need for Jesus every moment of This Day. Help us not to be excuse machines. Amen.