“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 (CSB)
Why do we Christians use touché zingers to evangelize people? I’m not asking this because I am against using zingers, I’m asking because I kinda feel that when we’re trying to get folks to understand their need to have a saving grace relationship with Jesus, we have a tendency to use “doom and gloom” verses from Scripture. As true as it is that the wages of sin is death, if we left out the rest of the sentence, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”, the church building would be pretty empty and the narrow road be not so populated.
I recently was up in the Port Jervis area of New York state and just happened to catch a glimpse of a little sign, attached to a tree, that had Romans 3:23 on it. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It’s one of Christianity’s greatest zingers and a good reminder but I thought to myself that if this person was trying to convey a message, they were only half way done. Now to be fair, I did look to see if there were any signs that may given the solution to the problem of our falling short but all I saw after that was summer turning into autumn. Anyway…
Let me say this to you today…only telling people how far they fall short of the glory of God, leaves out how much of an effort God has made in order to justify us by the free gift of His grace which was given to us through the person of Jesus Christ and falls short of the full Gospel message. I realize that I’ve just taken a potshot at the first stepping stone in the Romans Road of Salvation but I’m a guy who believes that before you head off into the promised land you need to meet the Promiser first. If we were to take a few steps back into the verses that come before Romans 3:23, I think they illustrate what I mean.
“But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.” (Romans 3:21-22)
Hopefully, when you share that passage with someone, they’ll ask, “Who’s Jesus?” This gives us the open door we need to show them who Jesus is either by personal testimony or showing them through the four Gospel writers. The most popular one is the Gospel of John. Why? Because it shows that Gods Word became flesh and dwelled among us. Why would He wanna do that? Because, as a human, it shows that Jesus’ will was in complete harmony with the will of God, so it’s cool to refer to Him as the Son of God and through this connection we can understand that “to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
When folks started sharing their Gospel message with me, I remember it being a barrage of Scripture verses that they said were true. At that time all I heard was, “you’re a terrible person who’s going to hell if you don’t say “YES” to Jesus”. It wasn’t until a guy named Jan Savercool took time to show me the complete Romans Road which included John’s Gospel. When we finally sat down to discuss what I found out, his question was, “Now do you see where you fall short?” Things haven’t been the same since.
I don’t wanna leave you with the impression that I’m a super evangelist, because I’m not but I am someone who believes that the good, the bad and the ugly of life cannot be avoided…and that a divine hand of guidance is needed (well I realize that now at 58). As important it is to point out the depravity of man is as important it is to point out the person of Jesus Christ. He may not be walking the roads the way He was some 2,000 plus years ago But He is around in a very big way.
If there is a takeaway from the Romans Road that I have come to know as truth it’s, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” (Romans 1:20) That’s my zinger and I’m sticking with it. How about you? Falling short? Fear NOT, you ain’t alone, Scripture says we all do…BUT GOD!! Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at email@example.com