"For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23, ESV)
Last week, we committed to memory Romans 3:10-12 and were reminded once again that "None is righteous, no, not one." This sobering reminder flows right into this week's verse: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)." To “fall short” means that we fail in our vain attempts to work our way into God's holy presence. Not only do we fall but we fall miserably and eternally short of God's righteous command to be holy just as He is holy!
I am reminded of a story of two young men who set a goal to swim from the coast of California all the way to the coast of Japan. They trained rigorously for months, day after day, in their local swimming pool. Finally, the time had come. They felt up to the monumental task of doing what no person had ever done before. The two men dove into the cold waters of the Pacific and began to swim just as they had practiced in their local swimming pool. But, soon after the valiant start one of the young men ached of body cramps and turned back to the shore. The other one continued to swim, determined to reach the other side, but he only swam about 50 miles before calling it quits.
While swimming 50 miles is quite impressive, clearly neither young man was up for the challenge of conquering the Pacific. In similar fashion, none of us are up for the challenge of working our way across the vast ocean of our sin unto the Heavenly shore. We may live better moral lives than those around us, but we still fall short of the righteous life that God requires. You may think that you are an impressive human being with the greatest potential to live a "good" life pleasing unto God. But if this were even faintly possible, then there would be no need for Jesus. All of us need Jesus, because we all fall short! Jesus has conquered a vast ocean of sin for all of those who place their faith and trust in His good work!
If you are not a Christian, please heed the warning in Romans 3:23 and place your faith and trust in Christ -- believe that He lived for you, died for you, rose for you, and will return for you one day soon.
If you are a Christian, live your life with great hope today as you have been reminded of what Christ "finished" on your behalf. All glory be to God! Amen.