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

Our key verse is well known as a part of the “Romans Road,” a way of presenting the gospel using selected texts from the book of Romans. As a result, we have a tendency to miss this verse’s context and the bigger picture of what the Holy Spirit is trying to teach us. That is too bad because Romans 3:23 is part of a larger passage of Scripture that shows us more about God than it does us. In our egocentric world, we can be quick to jump at the idea that sin is what we do, and therefore all that we will ever be. “I am just a poor sinner, that’s who I am,” some say. This statement flies in the face of God’s Word because it prevents us from seeing God.

Part of God’s amazing plan of salvation is to show us who He is and what He can do in our hearts! After all, if it is true, as is often said, that our chief goal is to love God and enjoy Him forever, then we should expect that, by saving, God isn’t just handing out fire insurance. The God who created us in His image wants more for us than to be perpetual sinners. We didn’t just need to be saved from hell’s fire, we needed to be restored to God.

Memorize Romans 3:23–24.

Devon Smith is currently the director of the masters’ program in theology and apologetics at Oklahoma Wesleyan University. He and his wife have pastored for fourteen years.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.