|Art by Patrick Slaven
For months I've been pondering the meaning of Romans 3:23, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God... I always assumed it was talking about God's standard of expected behavior from His followers. I would see myself, heels pressed against the wall while I stretched to my full height, hoping to be a little closer to the top of God's huge yardstick designed to measure my righteousness. I saw this verse from a legal point of view, and I always fell short.
Charles Stanley says that we fall short of God's likeness. This is falling short of God's standard, and even more. Created in God's likeness (Genesis 1:26), we fall short of it. We are incapable of living up to all that God had in mind for us. We are sinners, we are fundamentally flawed!
But there is hope! It is found in Jesus Christ.
Here's how the Message Bible renders Romans 3:23 and 24: Since we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners...and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we're in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. (emphasis mine)
Praise the Lord for the gift of Jesus Christ, who makes us righteous and qualifies us to experience the glory of God in our lives!