The first Christians had many enemies who often spoke cruel or untrue things against them (1 Corinthians 4:11-13). In Romans 3:8, Paul records one of the things that those enemies were saying.
The enemies lied that Paul and his companions used evil methods in order to achieve good results. Of course it was not true. Paul believed that Godís people must always be careful not to carry out evil acts. God wants Christians to live in the right way that pleases him (Galatians 5:22-23). That, of course, is how Christians should still behave today.
It seems likely that those enemies were saying that untrue thing for a particular reason. Paul has just referred to someone who lies in order to prove the truth of God (verse 7). Perhaps the enemies were saying that Paul was lying in order to convince people to become Christians. However, Paul was pleased that he declared Godís message in a very clear manner (2 Corinthians 4:2). He did not use clever arguments, but instead he spoke simply about Christ, and about the death of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).
We know, however, that some Christians are not so sincere. Even some Christian leaders do not explain Godís message in a completely honest manner. Perhaps they want to impress other people; or perhaps they care more about the results than about their methods. Their enemies could make such a statement as appears in verse 8 about them; if they did, it would not be a lie, but the truth. It was a shock for Paul that people were saying such things about him. It is very unsatisfactory if people could say this truthfully about a Christian today.
Next part: Everybody is guilty of sin (Romans 3:9-12)
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© 2017, Keith Simons.