Romans 3:23 is the Life Before Christ - Not After

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It will help to read and understand the entire book of Romans but you truly do not need to do so for you to understand Romans 3:23 - "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..."

We are NOT all "sinners in the same boat" and this is NOT the point Paul was trying to make. But some way some how, people have used and abused Romans 3:23 to the point where it is the "go to" verse whenever we want to cover a multitude of sin with one stroke of the brush. Even some gospel preachers who know the truth about this verse, refuse to change their interpretation. Some have used this verse to justify all kinds of sin including the actions of erring congregations that have fallen away from the New Testament pattern of worship, and others have used it to justify things like same sex marriage in churches, etc. The sad part is, this verse often reminds me of how people misuse John 3:16, to say, all you need to do is believe and you will be saved.

Some (not all) who do not understand Romans 3:23, will often quote it to tell you that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. Or say, we are all sinners in the same boat. This is practically impossible because it means we are all condemned or we are all saved. This interpretation is not only wrong, it is also far from the truth about what the Holy Spirit was actually communicating in this verse, through the mouth of Paul. If Romans 3:23 is true about everyone being in the "same boat" as some claim, then verse 24 can be used in the same manner to say that ALL are justified - so everyone is saved regardlessThis is what I often (respectfully) refer to as the "unverified" knowledge that some people have, which is knowing what you know without actually verifying it with the scriptures to make sure it is true.

Let me make something clear before explaining what the verse actually means. If you are a Christian who left the worldly "boat" to get into the spiritual Ark, then Romans 3:23 only applies to you in the past, not in the present because you are no longer living in sin. It is not a matter of arrogance or pride, rather, it is a matter of understanding your place in Christ (2 Timothy 1:12). As Christians, we already have the Savior, who saved us by bridging the gap between us and God. This gap is the reason we fell short of His glory to begin with, and it started when Adam and Eve fell short in the garden. The only way back to the glory of God became through His son, Jesus Christ. And when you have His son, you are back to how the human relationship with God was meant to be - IN HIS GLORY. Right now, you are either in His glory or you are not. You are in Christ or you are not. There is no middle ground (Revelation 3:15-16), and no, we are not all in "the same" boat. understand Romans 3:23, you have to understand that Paul was addressing the "self entitled" Jews, who were no different from the unbelieving Gentiles before life in Christ. Some Jews felt like they deserved a free pass to salvation and have no need for the gospel of Christ. Others thought that their Jewish heritage should limit the gospel of Christ to them alone, and no one else. Paul was simply saying that it didn't matter what your HERITAGE is (Jews or Gentiles) because there is no such thing as a birth rite to salvation through circumcision of the flesh. Why not? It's simple, all humanity have sinned and fallen short of God's glory - period. In the same Romans chapter 3:1, Paul questioned the meaningless advantage of their Jewish heritage through circumcision of the flesh and in verse 10, he made similar statement that NONE is righteous. All humanity, regardless of nations, needed to be reunited with God, which can only be done through Jesus - the circumcision of the heart.

Paul continued his statement in verse 24, saying: "...ALL are justified FREELY by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." So, ALL humanity that sinned and fell short of God's glory, now have the opportunity to also be saved or JUSTIFIED through God's grace - ONE SAVIOR. But don't forget the word "FREELY" because this is key to verse 24. This justification or salvation is free for all people. We just need to accept the free gift of salvation, and when we do, we are no longer part of the group that are lacking or "short" of the glory of God.

1. Jesus Christ, the Savior, is also described as THE GLORY of God (2 Corinthians 4:6, Hebrews 1:3, Ephesians 1:17, 2 Peter 1:3, John 1:14, Colossians 1:27, Revelation 21:23 and more). You can't be in Christ or put on Christ and still be short of God's glory. We are called by and to be in His glory like Peter said. We are now in the light of His dear son. And when you are in this light, you are in His glory. When you are in Christ, you are able to approach the glorious throne of God, through faith in Christ Jesus.

2. Those who believed by seeing Him physically or by faith, have all SEEN and are IN His glory. "...we have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only son." (John 1:12-14, John 20:29, 1 John 4:4). Remember, WITHOUT faith, it is impossible to please God or be in His glorious presence to worship. When we become justified, through Christ, to be in the presence of God, we are now able to do the IMPOSSIBLE task, which is the ability to please God. This is something that was previously IMPOSSIBLE for ALL humanity who fell short of God's glory.

3. If you understand John 3:16, you will understand Romans 3:23. All you need to do is read the verses BEFORE and AFTER. John 3 was focused on being born again (not just believe) even if this wasn't specifically mentioned in verse 16. In the same way, Romans 3 was focused on the life BEFORE Christ (the lost world) even if this wasn't specifically mentioned in verse 23.

4. Those who DO NOT have the Savior, are still "SHORT" of His Glory (John 1:11). They need to be saved by the savior (Mark 16:16) in order to be in His glory. Those who became the children of God or Christians, regardless of heritage or nationality, now posses faith in Christ, which allows us to be in His glory.

Lastly, those who already have the Savior, still sin but they no longer LIVE in sin because they already left the world of Romans 3:23 group. They are now part of the Romans 3:24 group because they have been justified, redeemed, purified and made righteous. They are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus (John 1:11-18). I am a Sinner and I HAVE a Savior (1 John 4:4 , 2 Timothy 1:12) who is also my advocate. He keeps me clean (1 John 2:1) and His name is Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:21). If you are a sinner in NEED of a Savior (Mark 16:16) and you are tired of being short of His glory (Romans 3:23), CLICK HERE or go watch VIDEO #7 on my video page. Stay blessed my friends.

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