The Fallen Restored: Romans 3:23

Day 18/30

"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;" - Romans 3:23 (NASB)

This verse was actually repeated several times when we had folks "write on the door frames" of our auditorium passages of Scripture which really spoke to their hearts.  This is one of those verses that is packed with Truth, but certainly isn't a "get-all-excited-jump-up-and-down" verse.

In studying these words this morning, it seems to me that this often quoted phrase is actually a part of a longer statement that would span verses 21-25 (at least partially).  This being the case, I would encourage you to grab your Bible and spend some time with the whole passage.

Now, this may get touchy.  I happen to differ in belief from the popular theology of the day in this area.  This is what I'm talking about (perhaps this will sound familiar): "We're all sinners and sin every day" and "I'm just a sinner and sin every day like everybody else."  I'm sorry, but I just do not believe that this is what this phrase within a larger statement means.

All of have sinned.  Yes.  And because we have sinned, we fall short of the glory of God.  This is Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden stuff.  The desire to achieve the glory of God is the reason the forbidden fruit was eaten, and it was this act of self-rule and misdirected love that is forever tied to the "fall."  We are the fallen.  Yes.  Absolutely.

But that's not the end of the story (can I get an "Amen"?)!  If God were just Creator it might be, but God is also Redeemer (Jesus) and Restorer (Spirit).  Through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, and the supernatural power of the Resurrection... and because of God's own Spirit now living within... you and I can now be a "used-to-be."  Have we "arrived"?  No.  Are we perfect?  Not yet.  But are we changed?  YES!  How many times in the recorded Scriptures does Jesus say, "Your sins are forgiven, go and keep sinning every day because, after all, you're just a sinner who sins every day"?  I can't find it.  What I do find on several of occasions is Jesus saying, "Your sins are forgiven. Now, go and sin no more."

We will always fall short of the glory of God, because we're not god (and contrary to some other popular teachings, I don't believe we become "gods" either).  We will always fall short of the glory of God because all of us have sinned; God never has.  Let me let you in on a little secret - falling short of the glory of God is not a sin... it's being human.

As this statement continues in Romans 3, check out these words in verse 25 from the Message paraphrase: "God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin.  Having faith in Him sets us in the clear."

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