Romans 3:23

Romans 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
(Rom 3:23 NKJV)

all have sinned

Paul brings bad news.  In Romans 1 he shows that Gentiles are guilty of sin and are under the wrath of God.  In Romans 2 he shows that Jews are just as guilty as Gentiles and are just as deserving of God’s wrath.  In chapter 3 he quotes various Old Testament passages that affirm the same bad news of everyone.  All are guilty of sin against a holy God.

Paul does not publish this bad news because he likes to upset people, but because –

  1. If he does not reveal our true condition, we will never embrace the remedy (the gospel) that can save us.
  2. Many think that they can save themselves by their own righteousness.  If this belief were true, why should they seek the gospel, God’s power that saves us (Romans 1:16)?
  3. He must expose our guilt to prevent us from justifying ourselves in our sins.  His gospel highlights our sinful condition in order to shut the mouths that profess innocence (Romans 3:19).   

Paul describes our state as falling short of the glory of God.  Only the holy can share God’s glory.  But if all are sinful, as both Romans and others passages affirm, we are without hope…unless God comes to our rescue.  And this is where the good news of the gospel comes in. 

Paul, like a good physician, diagnoses the patient accurately.  The patient must know the bad news before he will embrace the good news. 

The greatest news in the world is that Jesus the Christ died for our sins that we may come to Him in His appointed way and live with Him in heaven forever.  Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).  Thank God for His good news.

-- Rick Duggin