Romans 3:4 – God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Hello readers, today I am going to be talking about “let God be true, but every man a liar”. What a wonderful verse in the Bible this is. If we just got a grip of this single verse, a lot of things would be set in order in our lives all the way to judgment. God’s word sets us in order, and makes our paths straight. The problem most people have is that they think they’re true, they’re right, they’re just, they know everything… and they call God a liar. They think they know more than God, they exalt themselves above him. But they have it all back the front.
If you let God be true in your life, and every man (including yourself) a liar, you are now ready to receive the truth, repent of your sin, and follow Jesus Christ. That’s why he’s Master and Lord, because he’s right and we’re not. Read the gospels and you’ll find that Jesus Christ himself let God be true but every man a liar in his life. If he did, so should we. Christians are meant to be “Christ like” after all. And there’s a great freedom that comes in an argument, debate, discussion or in your decision making process when you say… hey I don’t know and you don’t know, let’s see what the Bible says about this.
I’ve done several blogs on the guiding star that the wise men followed all the way to the manger of Jesus Christ, well, God’s word is that guiding star for the Christian. They were following a thousands of year old prophecy of God’s word. They evidently didn’t think God’s word was archaic and relevant. And that’s what made them wise men. They clung on to the smallest bit of God’s word. And look where it took them. For the Christian, God’s word is our milk and our meat. If when you are born, you need milk and then food to grow and mature… it is not different for us spiritually. You cannot grow as a Christian without the word of God. You have no foundation in life if Christ and his word is not your foundation.
So Paul is writing, and God is saying something very key here in Romans. Well the whole book is key, but questions come up about what God is saying and doing. Many people question God’s righteousness in what he says and does. Many people find fault in God, when the only fault is in us. In Romans so far we’ve been dealing with the universal guilt of sin of man. We are all sinners. It doesn’t matter whether you were born a Jew or a Gentile. And who and what you were born as isn’t what decides your fate. What you do with Jesus Christ is what determines your life and eternity, and what you will be held to account for.
We know from the previous verse that faith is on the line in this discussion. Romans 3:3 – “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?”. Faith matters, both ways. You know, God is faithful to us. There is faith of God, and faith in God. Our Christian life necessitates him being faithful to us and us being faithful to him. Guess who fails at that?
The Jews were required to repent and believe in Jesus Christ just like you and I. Because faith in God is what made Abraham righteous, and is what will make you righteous. But what is faith? Faith isn’t just choosing to believe something that you make up that suits you. For most people, their faith has no foundation, and that’s why they’re blown away when the storms and waves and winds come that Jesus spoke of. How many Christians have blown away all because they violated the principle of Romans 3:4 in letting God be true but every man a liar.
Romans 10:17 – “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Faith is belief, hope, assurance and trust founded on God’s word alone. While the Jews had an advantage in that their nation had the law, the prophets and so much witness of God himself to man… many still did not believe. It’s kinda sad that in our country we have so much access to the Bible, to the truth, to be able to believe and follow Christ… and we are as lost as anyone in the world.
Faith is not made without effect, it still has saving effect today. Faith is still the means by which you are saved. Without faith it is still impossible to please God. By grace are we saved through faith. Faith is so necessary, you will be forbidden and rejected just as Cain was, if you come to God any other way both for salvation, sanctification and service.
The verse starts with “God forbid”. Ok I’m offended! Most people don’t like when God forbids them. God forbid our false doctrines, false wisdom, false thinking, false worship, false praise, false service, false questions, false Bibles, false spirit, false gospel, false Jesus. When you let God be true, it’s because God forbade everything you had to bring… as it says, every man a liar. Most people can’t get past the part where God forbids their self justification, excuses, good intentions and best efforts.
“As it is written” is also in this verse. We need to get back to that. What is written? What does the Bible say? The Bible is what should frame our thinking and understanding and doing. The Bible itself frames the very image of Christ. You can’t know God outside of the word of God. So many Christians have a faith completely devoid and detached from God’s word. It’s a joke. The word of God is how God reveals himself to man. Always has been. Consider these verses, from way back in the Old Testament and a child called Samuel.
1 Samuel 3:19 – And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.
1 Samuel 3:20 – And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord.
1 Samuel 3:21 – And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh: for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.
I’ve quoted these because just like Paul was going back into the examples of Abraham and David in Romans to prove what was being said, so Samuel’s life is also a practical example of doctrines and teachings of scripture. Samuel’s an example of the person that lives Romans 3:4. Would it be said of you that you let none of God’s words fall to the ground as he? God’s given you his word, but instead of laying them to heart, you reject, dismiss or forget. Maybe you’re just plain lazy as a Christian.
People knew that Samuel was going to be a prophet… do people know you’re a Christian? Samuel wasn’t going around saying God’s called me, I’m so great. Most people have to tell others they’re Christians, because it’s not obvious from their actual life.
In Samuel, we see a Christian growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ as they read the word of God. He grew because whatever God said, he laid to heart. And people around him took notice, as they will you if you truly believe God’s word and base your life on it. And because of his attitude to God’s word, God appeared again, but look how he appeared. He appeared to him by the word of the Lord. If you want God to appear to you… get in his word. That’s where he will appear to you.
So back on topic, and the Bible says “yea, let God be true, but every man a liar”. That’s pretty easy when you think about it? Is God’s word your foundation, your basis of truth and light? Is it your authority? Does it have the final say? Your life would be so much simpler and straight if this was a guiding principle in your life. It’s a shame that even the Christians of today don’t have such a fundamental truth in place. You get a lot of authority and strength and clarity when you let God be true, but every man a liar. Moses stood before Pharaoh and ALL he had was what God had said. No army, no intellect, no flowery speeches, no negotiation… thus saith the Lord God.
So we can understand that, but the verse isn’t done. And I love what it goes on to say because it makes so much sense “That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged”. So there’s a result, a consequence, of letting God be true but every man a liar.
The first is “That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings”. See, all of us have our own opinions, theories, wisdom and so on. People believe and say all sorts of stuff. They spout off and speak like an authority, like they know… but the problem is, they haven’t let God be true and themselves a liar. When you are saying stuff that is ignorant or in violation of God’s word, you’re not justified in what you’re saying. You are wrong. You’re speaking lies, you’re speaking things that aren’t true.
If you want to be justified in what you say, so what you say isn’t a load of garbage, make sure what you say is in line with what God’s word says… seeing as he is true and you’re a liar. It’s not because you’re true, but because God is. That’s why lining up your belief, speech and actions with God’s word is wise, because his word is where the wisdom, truth, light is.
Does that make sense? If you don’t want to be wrong, or shown to be untrue and a liar… get in God’s word. People say and believe all sorts of stuff, but they’re not justified in what they’re saying, because God’s word teaches something different. And God’s word is right and they’re not. If you want to live a life where what you have to say and offer to other people is truth, it has to be because you let God be true in your own life. If his word is not your foundation, you have no foundation of truth in your life to speak from. If you want to believe and say what is right, what is good, what is truth… get in God’s word rather than trusting yourself and what other people say.
So the first part is being justified in what you say. The second part is “and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” This is massive. You are going to be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ according to the book. So if you’ve let God be true in your life, you’ll be ready for the day of judgment because what you said and did was in light of what the book said. Many people are not going to overcome at judgment… they’re going to BE overcome by judgment. They’ll have lived a life in violation of God’s word, and they’re going to be held accountable for that. Even Christians are going to be ashamed and suffer loss… if that’s the case… how much more the unsaved and unbelieving?
You’re also judged by others here. How are you going to overcome that? When people read my blog, will I be justified in what I’ve said, will I overcome when I’m judged by readers… is he writing lies or not? Like it or not, we all constantly judge one another. What are people going to see in your life? Because they hear what you’re saying and they see what you’re doing. If you haven’t lined your life up with God’s word, they’re going to see hypocrisy, double standards, lies… and you won’t hold up to judgment. 1 Peter is all about Christian trials and suffering, if you’re going to be judged and suffer at the hands of men, let it before doing right and speaking truth… not for being a hypocrite and liar and a worst sinner than they.
So in summary, this verse is quite clear and unequivocal. It all starts with God forbid. Jesus offended many people, and that’s why they stopped following him. If you can’t get over being offended because God doesn’t accept you based on your ideas, thoughts, questions, logic, righteousness and self justification… you’ll never go anywhere with Christ. The fact is, God doesn’t accept your person. He doesn’t accept your identity, that’s news to this generation right! Can you be told you’re a liar? Take that. We get so high on ourselves, we have such an inflated view and opinion of ourselves and what we think and know. And this verse SLAMS us to the ground where we belong and from whence we came. God gives grace to the humble, if you need and want grace from God, you need to come humbly, not in pride. In this easily offended generation, we all need to take the rebuke of God’s word. There is no revival without rebuke.
Let God be true, but every man a liar. What a principle this is for life, in handling matters in your own life and towards others. You won’t be ashamed for doing so. Nobody who ever held to God’s word was shown to be wrong or embarrassed for this choice in the end. If Moses could hold to God’s word through all of Pharaoh’s scorn, questioning, rivaling of power and compromise… you can too. All the way out of Egypt in fact. Make God’s word the most High in your life, because it is the word of the Most High God. Let him be true in your thinking, your living, your speaking, your doing. Why? Because it pays. What you say won’t be a load of rubbish. You can know and tell people the truth, you can shed light rather than spread darkness, you can help others be saved rather than plunge them deeper into the mire.
And at the end of your life, whoever let God be true, they have nothing to fear at judgment. Did you let God be true? This life here is one of getting ready of judgment. Look at Noah, he was hammering away at that ark for years, getting ready for what was coming. Which wasn’t seen yet by the way. He was preparing for something not seen yet, and only seen by the word of God in his life. But it surely was coming, as surely as judgment is coming to us all. And he floated when it did come, while the rest of the world drowned. You’ll drown in your life of rebellion and rejection and ignorance of God’s word. The only way to make it, is as Noah did, heed God’s word and obey it, and “future proof” your life with it. May you make God’s word but every man a liar in your life today.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)