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“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

So many times this verse is used as a reminder of our individual sins. You’ll hear it often, especially when someone blows it! I’ve said it many times: I might get a bit angry, or say something not so nice to my lovely wife. I know it’s hard to believe such a holy person as myself would do something like that. (LOL! I hope you know I’m joking!) I use it to let myself off the hook, because of that great word “all.” This means everyone blows it, so I’m in a crowd and not solitary in my sin.

The truth is, this verse isn’t really about our individual faults, but the sin of mankind. The emphasis is on falling short of the glory. See, in the garden when Adam sinned, the Bible says he realized he was naked. Why? Because up to that point, it was the glory of God that was covering him. That’s why God could come and meet with him. When Adam sinned, the glory departed. His covering (God) was no longer available.

In reality, this verse speaks more of where we’re headed than where we’ve been. We’re all headed back to that state of glory, that place where we’re no longer completely separated from God and all His glory. It’s like driving: you can’t drive looking in the rearview mirror (unless you’re going backwards). Because of God’s grace, you and I are not going backward but forward. We’re in a constant state of progression. We’re moving up!  We aren’t going to be naked much longer.

Let me leave you with verse 24 which sums up this progression: “Being justified freely by His grace through redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).

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