Falling Short

After much thought, I have decided not to rush the study to complete it in the time frame.  As my pastor said, studying Scripture isn't about completing a challenge; it's about immersing oneself in the Word and being divinely inspired by it.  I may double-post if I find the time to do two full studies in a day, but I'm not going to squeeze two studies into the time set aside for one.  And I may let a few days pass if the Spirit leads me down a particularly complex train of research.

Day 4: Romans 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (ESV)

Key Thoughts


  • All are equal (verse 22)
  • All have sinned
  • None are worthy of the glory of God

This verse really needs the last half of the previous verse to complete it: For there is no distinction: for all have sinned... Paul is tearing down the spiritual barriers between those who were steeped in the faith for generations (the Jews) and those who have always been spiritually outcast (the Gentiles).  Today we might compare the pastor's child and the hardened criminal.  Regardless, neither can stand before God on any sort of intrinsic moral superiority; all have sinned and thus all fall short of God's glory.  It's the answer to the perpetual question, "How good is good enough for God?"  This verse says, "God's standard is so high that we can't even imagine it in our sinful,fallen little mortal minds, much less reach it."

Key Verse

This verse does not explain today's selection so much as it provides a necessary completion to it:

and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom 3:24, ESV)


How should my life become a proper response to this passage?

This is a verse to knock me down when I start feeling too superior - to remind me that as good as I think I am, I am still woefully inadequate to the task of being a cherished creation of God.  I actually had a pastor say such a lie of me when I was a preteen - he was praising me for serving so faithfully in the church (apparently I was the only kid my age who would show up when I was schedule to serve in the seven a.m. mass) and he said to other church members that I "was a good person."  But I'm not.  I sin and I stumble and I fall every day, same as every other person around.  Humility is the proper attitude of such a broken person.  Not pride in the meager, insignificant successes I occasionally have in following God.

Read ahead!  Next verse: Romans 6:23


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