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Romans 3:23 - How to Feel More Love for Jesus

Romans 3:23 - "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

Tags: Romans, memory verse, bible quote, bible verse, spiritual quote, spiritual verse


I was 12 years old and sitting with my family in the front-row pew of our Catholic church.

As the priest began his Sunday homily (i.e., sermon), his voice started echoing off the walls and threatening to lull me to sleep.

But suddenly his words caught my attention.

I could hardly believe what I was hearing.

You see, he started telling us all how sinful we were!

He painted a picture of the sinful nature in each of us. He described how even the most holy among us are not good enough to be close to God.

Now, as a kid who was already struggling with self-esteem, I objected strongly to his attack. I was having a hard time understanding why any of us should go to church to hear how awful we were.

Of course, my objections were rooted in my immaturity.

I now understand the importance of what that priest was trying to impress upon his congregation that day.

His message was the same message Paul preached to the early Roman church in this memory verse from Romans 3:23.

In Romans 3:23, Paul reminds the church that "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Paul understood the significance of communicating several key gospel components with this single statement. That's exactly why it's a great verse for us to add to our own memory verse library.

#1) Protecting Us from Self-Righteousness
First, understanding our inherent sinful nature puts us appropriately on-guard against our own self-righteousness.

It is very easy for us to judge others, even as we rationalize away our own sinful attitudes.

Like the Pharisees of Jesus' time, we develop a mental balance sheet of everything we're doing that's good verse what's bad - almost always in favor of what's good.

We also like to compare our balance sheet favorably against those around us. A natural extension of this attitude is to look down upon others. We think we're better than those around us because we do more good than them and/or they do more bad than we.

In our self-righteousness, we lose the ability to love others and have the compassion for them that Jesus modeled so well.

#2) Protecting Us from Works-Focused Salvation
Second, Paul's reminder highlights the fact that there is no stairway to heaven. There are not enough good works in the world for us to complete that would earn our way to heaven.

This is a fundamental principle of Christianity that is radically different from all other world religious views.

Instead of a massive list of "to dos" for earning our way to heaven, we have Jesus. As the only perfect man ever born (i.e., born without sin), He finished all the work necessary for man to be reunited with God in paradise.

And that leads to the third gospel truth radiating from this memory verse...

#3) Filling Us with Greater Love and Appreciation for Jesus
Finally, understanding our sinful natures fills us with greater love and appreciation for Jesus!

When we realize that even the holiest and most dedicated people who ever lived (e.g., Mother Theresa) are too sinful to be with God on their own accord, we are driven to the cross. Yes, we are driven to the cross in our need for Jesus. But we are also driven to the cross in our love and appreciation for Him. Thank You, Jesus!

Apply This


In contrast to what I believed in my youth, reflecting on our sinful nature has very little to do with feeling bad about ourselves. Rather this practice helps us open our hearts and minds to the revelation of several Gospel truths that include:
1. Protecting us from self-righteousness
2. Protecting us from works-focused salvation
3. Filling us with greater love and appreciation for Jesus

As such, you can apply this memory verse throughout the coming week as follows:
1. Review this verse at least twice a day
2. Consider how your sinful nature drives your need for Jesus as well as your love and appreciation for Him
3. Thank Him and praise Him for becoming the perfect sacrifice on your behalf

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