God’s Unfailing Faithfulness

For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: ‘That You may be justified in Your words and may overcome when You are judged.’” (Romans 3:3-4).

Ten times in the book of Romans the apostle Paul uses the phrase me genoito. It has vigorously challenged translators to try to capture the full flavor of its nuance and pungency.

Here is a sampling of attempts made by various English translators: “God forbid!”, “Certainly not!”, “By no means!”, “Absolutely not!”, Far be the thought!”, “No indeed!”, “That is unthinkable!”, “Of course not!”, “Far from it!”.

Because of the mood employed by Paul as he conjugated the Greek verb he used, the basic concept of this phrase in response to the question posed is: “That is as far away from being right as you can possible get. It is impossible for you to be any more wrong-er about this matter. You are 180 degrees away from being right.” In modern day, shirt sleeve English we might say: “When pigs fly!”

In the context of Romans 3:3-4, Paul’s use of this emphatic phrase communicates a simple message: No amount of human unbelief will in any way nullify or even hinder God’s faithfulness to His promises. Any belief or doctrine predicated on this idea (such as premillennialism does, for example) is wrong, Wrong, WRONG. Emphatically wrong. Completely wrong. Forever wrong.

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13); therefore, “let God be true but every man a liar” even if the day comes when pigs fly.

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Author: jchowning

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