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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Romans 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Adam Clarke Commentary

For all have sinned : - And consequently are equally helpless and guilty; and, as God is no respecter of persons, all human creatures being equally his offspring, and there being no reason why one should be preferred before another, therefore his endless mercy has embraced All.

And come short of the glory of God - και υστερουνται της δοξης του θεου These words have been variously translated. Failed of attaining the glory of God: Have not been able to bring glory to God: Stand in need of the glory, that is, the mercy of God. The simple meaning seems to be this: that all have sinned, and none can enjoy God's glory but they that are holy; consequently both Jews and Gentiles have failed in their endeavors to attain it, as, by the works of any law, no human being can be justified.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/romans-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For all have sinned - This was the point which he had fully established in the discussion in these chapters.

Have come short - Greek, “Are deficient in regard to;” are lacking, etc. Here it means, that they had failed to obtain, or were destitute of.

The glory of God - The praise or approbation of God. They had sought to be justified, or approved, by God; but all had failed. Their works of the Law had not secured his approbation; and they were therefore under condemnation. The word “glory” ( δόξα doxa) is often used in the sense of praise, or approbation, John 5:41, John 5:44; John 7:18; John 8:50, John 8:54; John 12:43.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/romans-3.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Romans 3:23

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

Sin as a fact

I. The necessity of a clear sense of sin.

1. The gospel is a glorious remedy for a universal and otherwise incurable disease; and the first step must ever be to make us sensible of that disease. For one of its most dangerous symptoms is, that it makes men insensible of it. And, seeing that the remedy is not one which can be simply taken once for all, but requires long application, a man must be very thoroughly persuaded that he has the disease before he will take the necessary trouble to be cured of it. Let us try and see what “all having sinned” means.

2. When any of us looks cut upon mankind, or within himself, one thing can hardly fail to strike him. It is the presence of evil. From the first, man’s history has been a history of going wrong and doing wrong. From the first, our own personal history has been a history of interrupted good and interfering bad.

3. Some have said, “Don’t tell people about it; forget that there is evil in yourself; and you and they will become good. It may be true that there is such a dark spot in nature; but gazing upon it is painful and useless; look at the bright side.” But do you suppose that evil in our nature can be thus got rid of? Try it for a day--for an hour; then take strict unsparing account. And if more time is wanted, try it for a year; then retire and trace your path during the time. Does not every man see that it would be simply the tale of the silly ostrich over again, which imagines itself safe from the hunter by hiding him from its sight? No; a man who wants to get rid of evil must open his eyes to it, stand face to face with it, and conquer it.

II. Sin is distinguished from every other evil.

1. There are bodily pain, discomfort, misery, common to us and to all. Now, if we can manage to flee away from them, we thereby get rid of them. We need not study their nature. But the man who wishes to avoid evil in this world must be awake and alive to the forms and accesses of evil. His very safety consists in it. Therefore evil is a matter of a totally different kind from bodily pain, misery, or death.

2. Evil is not by any means our only inward source of annoyance and hindrance. Everyone has defects and infirmities. But none of these do we look upon as we look upon evil. Let it be shown that we are dull, or feeble, or inferior to some others, we put up with it, we excuse it, we make ourselves as comfortable as we may under it; but let it be once shown that we have wished, said, done, that which is evil, and we know at once that there is no excuse for it. We may try to show that we did it inadvertently, or by force of circumstances, or in some way to lessen our own share in it, but the very labour to construct an excuse shows that we hold the evil itself, as evil, to be inexcusable. So far, then, this evil is something which our nature itself teaches us to revolt from and abhor. No son of man ever said or could say, from his inmost heart, “Evil, be thou my good.” It requires more than man ever to say this.

III. Sin is the transgression of law.

1. What we have said shows that there is a law implanted in our nature by which evil is avoided and good desired. All our laws, public opinion, even our ways of thinking and speaking, are founded on this.

2. Now, when man says or acts evil, what sort of a thing does he do? Is it a necessary condition of our lives that we must enter into compact with evil? Certainly not. Every protest against, resistance to, victory over it, proves that evil is not necessary to our being. But true as this is, the freedom from and victory over evil is not that after which all men are striving. One man seeks sensual gratification; another wealth; a third power; a fourth reputation, etc., etc.; and so, not man’s highest aim to be good, but an aim very far below this is followed by even the best of mankind sometimes. Now every one of these lower objects, if followed as an object, does necessarily bring a man into contact and compromise with evil. Greed, intemperance, injustice, unkindness, overweening opinion of self, and a hundred other evil things beset everyone in such courses of life.

3. When a man lives such a course he is disobeying that great first law of our being by which we choose the good and abhor the evil. Now, whenever we do this we sin. “All sin is transgression of law.”

4. Now, sin is committed against a person. And this law of good and evil of which we have been speaking, springs from that Holy and Just One who hath made us and to whom we are accountable. All sin is against Him.

IV. All have sinned. And in dwelling on this, the fact that all men have inherited the disposition to sin, necessarily comes first. And, inheriting this disposition, but with it inheriting also the great inward law of conscience warning us against evil, we have again and again followed, not the good law, but the evil propensity. In wayward childhood this has been so; in passionate youth; in calm, deliberate manhood. Now, then, this being so, can sin be safe? Can a sinner be happy? Sin is and must be the ruin of man, body and soul, here and hereafter. (Dean Alford.)

The charge of sin universal

I. The charge here brought is that of having sinned, and a most solemn and awful charge it is. “Fools,” indeed, “make a mock at sin”; and that they do so, is a proof of their folly. God is love; and consequently His law requires love. To love God with all the heart, and their fellow beings as themselves, is the essence of that law. To break this law is sin; and sin produces only misery and ruin. To charge a person with having sinned is to charge him with having acted contrary to the purpose for which he was made; with having failed to love and obey the best and greatest of beings; with being guilty of the same conduct with that which cast the angels out of heaven, and man out of Paradise. Surely this is a solemn charge. Do we want other examples of the evil of having sinned? Why the Flood? why the fire upon the people of Sodom and Gomorrah? etc. Because they had sinned. Or, to give a more awful and decisive example, why did the Son of God die on the Cross? Because He had taken upon Himself the nature and the cause of sinners.

II. The persons against whom it is brought. “There is no difference; for all have sinned,” in their progenitor and representative, and in their own persons also. But this is a truth unpalatable to the pride of man. And under the influence of this principle he will be disposed yet further to ask, “What! is there no difference? no difference between righteous Abel and wicked Cain? between impenitent Saul and contrite David? Are they all equally guilty before God?” In one sense all these persons are not alike. They have not all sinned in the same manner, in the same measure, to the same degree. Here there is a wide difference between them. But in the sense spoken of in the text they are all alike. They have all sinned; and here there is no difference. Though they may not be equally guilty, yet they are all guilty before God.

III. The extent of the charge here brought. “All have sinned, and,” by so doing, “have come short of the glory of God.” This expression signifies--

1. To fall short of rendering to God that glory to which He is entitled. He requires that all His creatures shall glorify Him. He has created them for His glory; and when they fulfil the purpose for which He created them, then they do glorify Him. Thus “the heavens declare the glory of God.” What, then, was the end and purpose for which man was made? To love, obey, and serve his Maker. By opposition to His will he comes “short of the glory of God.” Man, a living, rational being, is placed, not like the other works of creation, under a law of necessity which he cannot break, but under a moral restraint, by which he ought to be kept in the path of duty. But he is not so kept by it. He dishonours God in his very gifts, and endeavours, according to his power, to introduce confusion into His works, and to defeat His great and gracious designs.

2. The failing to obtain that glory which God originally designed for man. God originally designed man for a glorious immortality. But by sin he fell short of that glory; he forfeited and lost it. This, indeed, was the consequence of not rendering to God the glory due to Him. Having been unwilling to glorify God, he could no longer expect to be glorified with God. Conclusion: Perhaps you say, “Why, this doctrine takes away all hope. Would you drive us to despair?” No, not to a despair of salvation, but to a despair of justifying yourselves before God. But in Christ there is a full and gracious pardon for all your sins; there is glory offered to you again. (E. Cooper.)

The test of a sinner

A young man once said to me, “I do not think I am a sinner.” I asked him if he would be willing his mother or sister should know all he had done or said or thought--all his motives and desires. After a moment he said, “No, indeed, not for all the world.” “Then can you dare to say, in the presence of a holy God, who knows every thought of your heart, ‘I do not commit sin’?” (J. B. Gough.)

Man’s sinfulness and inability

I. It is universally admitted that there is something wrong in man’s nature.

1. In every one of us there is a something good which perceives a something bad; also something which whispers of an ideal state--a kind of reminiscence of a lost condition.

2. To account for this it suffices if we think of our nature as having had, originally controlling it, a supreme love which has been largely but by no means entirely lost. That in us which accuses us when we do wrong and commends us when we do right cannot be sinful, but must be holy. And so there is in us all a viceroy asserting kingship in the name of the true Sovereign of our souls. As a matter of fact we look upon one another as beings not entirely trustworthy. If man be not a depraved creature, why this universal suspicion? And yet we are not so depraved as not to know that we are depraved.

3. It is often argued that we are here in a state of probation. But man as man has had his probation and has fallen. Adam’s “tree of knowledge of good and evil” tested his obedience. Our Tree of Life--Jesus Christ--tests our obedience. Only with a difference. The first man, knowing only good, wanted to know what evil was. We, having in ourselves the knowledge of good and evil, are put upon trial, whether we will adhere persistently to that which is good--good personalised in Christ.

II. What does this condition mean?

1. There is suggested the explanation of incompleteness. Our nature, say some, is moving on gradually towards perfection. Give it time and it will come out according to the highest idea that the best and most intelligent man has of it. Unhappily, except under certain conditions, and in a certain environment, man as he grows older does not grow better. And this idea does not account for our sense of guilt. It leaves out too much. There are too many facts which lie outside of it. It only covers a part of the ground.

2. It needs along with it the idea of depravation. The sense of not being right, of being wrong, is in us all. And it is an internal trouble which men would get away from if they could. But no man can get away from himself. No external condition can eradicate it. Men try all sorts of devices to rid themselves of it. Sometimes they change their opinions, but that does not alter the inward condition. The bad consciousness is there all the time, and there is no other word but sinfulness which will express its nature. For it is certain that there are in man not only defects which mean weakness, but also a parent defect which means guilt.

III. This degeneration is total. It affects the whole nature. Our nature is so connected, part with part, that degeneration in one region means degeneration in every region. If a man be unjust in his feelings he will be unjust in his thinking and action. It is the merest rubbish to talk of a man being good at heart and bad everywhere else. Whatever affects the centre of our nature affects also every part of it to the outermost extremities. If there be impure blood in the heart there will be impure blood in every vein. And there is no kindness in any teaching which leads men to assume that sinfulness is only an eruption on the skin and not a disease of the heart. Only “fools make a mock at sin.”

IV. The view we take of this fact of sinfulness will influence our estimate of every other vital truth. If sinfulness be only ignorance we need only a Teacher; if only disease, a Physician; if only error, an Example. But if it be something more, we need in Him who is to deliver us from it a power other than that possessed by the Teacher, etc. Sinfulness means ignorance, error, disease; but it means a great deal more. In many a case it means that state of heart in which the idea of God is more hateful than the idea of the devil. I have known fallen men and women who never ceased praying “God be merciful to me a sinner,” and I cannot forget Christ’s words--“The publicans and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.” There are sins of the flesh which destroy reputation, which bring misery, social degradation, and much else. There are sins of the spirit which bring none of these, and yet which put men and women at even a farther distance from God. Of what condition of heart is he who is amiable and placid until someone speaks to him such a truth as “God is Love,” “God is Light,” “God so loved the world”? etc. To err is human, but to contemn and reject the claims of Deity, that is not human, but fiendish. No one has ever taken a true measure of what sinfulness is until he has considered it in this, its most terrible form. I want you to feel “the exceeding sinfulness of sin,” for only then will you be able to appreciate the exceeding goodness of God who “willeth not the death of a sinner, but that all should come to repentance.” “Where sin abounded grace did superabound.” No man who looks away from his sin to his Saviour need despair, but then he must look to Him as Saviour. If a man can grow out of this condition of sinfulness by natural development; if every old man be nearer to the ideal of manhood than when he was young, then a Teacher, etc., is needed; but if man is helpless to deliver himself from sinfulness, then he who is to meet the necessities of the case must be human to understand him, but more than human to deliver him from an enemy stronger than man himself. (Reuben Thomas, D. D.)

Coming short of God’s glory

Different persons, according to the difference of their habits of thought, or their education, or their moral attainments, take a very different standard of what sin is. But here we have God’s definition--whatever “comes short of the glory of God,” that is “sin.”

I. God measures sin by the degree in which the act, or the word, or the thought, injures or grieves him. This must be so. The only true rule for the estimate of any sin must be taken from the mind of Him whose mind is law, and whom to offend against constitutes sinfulness. Do not say, “Are not we forbidden to seek our own glory? How, then, can God seek His own glory?” For the reason why no creature is to seek his own glory is because all glory belongs to the Creator. What does it mean to “come short of the glory of God”? It may mean to come short of heaven, or to be unworthy of any praise from God, or to come short of that which is indeed God’s glory--His perfect image and likeness; to fail to reach, in its purity, the only motive which God approves--a desire for His own glory. It appears to me that though all the other senses are included in the words, yet that their great primary intention is the last.

II. This brings me to the motive of human action.

1. You who can read only what speaks to the outward senses, think most of words and actions. And, as naturally, God will look at the sources more than at the streams of every man’s moral being. So it will be at the last great account. All the deeds and sayings of a man will then stand forth to give evidence to a certain inward state of the man, according to which everyone will receive his sentence.

2. And yet even we judge of things by their motives. Why do we value the most trivial gift, the act of a moment, a smile, a glance of the eye, more than all the treasures of substance?

3. Note some of the legitimate motives which may actuate us.

4. To all these principles of action, except the last, there attaches a shadow. The wish to be happy, even where the things we desire are spiritual, may degenerate into religious selfishness. The longing to be holy will often turn into morbid self-examination and a restless disquietude. The ambition to be useful easily becomes vitiated with--I will not say the love of human applause--but a desire to be liked. But the motive to do anything for God’s glory has no shadow, and is that which makes all the other motives right. It is right to endeavour to be happy, mainly because our happiness gives glory to God as the result of the finished work of Christ. It is right to study to be holy, because where God sees holiness He sees His own reflection, and He is satisfied. It is right to set ourselves to be useful, because it extends the kingdom of God. Here, then, lies the wrongness of everything that is done on any inferior principle--it “comes short of the glory of God.” (J. Vaughan, M. A.)

Missing the mark

The word “sin” alike in the Hebrew and the Greek means “missed the mark,” as an archer might. When one is interested in rifle shooting the picture is easily realised and not easily forgotten.

I. The mark, the centre, the bull’s eye, that man is to make his aim through life, is “the glory of God.”

1. And what is that? The outshining of God’s attributes; Christ is the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person. We can, at best, be but broken images, interrupted rays of His light. But still that is what we are to aim at--becoming ourselves, and reflecting to the world around us some images of the holiness, goodness, and love of God.

2. In this shooting we are a spectacle to men. See us they will, and judge from us the character and the worth of the religion we profess. The various professions or trades we may follow are but the courses which our bullets take amidst the various influences to the right or to the left, to be allowed for by the shooter. Our bullets must pass through them without erring, and in all alike the aim is to be one--to manifest the character of the God we serve. Those occupations are not in themselves the true centre to be aimed at--they are but the means of reaching the glory of God.

II. Missing this mark is sin. St. Paul lays it to the charge of all alike.

1. The standard is a high one--to aim directly and always at God’s glory. But, then, man occupies a high position, made above all creation, blessed with faculties above all creatures for being the glory of God; placed with opportunities of being so now, and the promise of being more so hereafter.

2. Shall we complain that we are so high in the creation, or complacently stoop down from it and forfeit the crown held out for us to take, like Bunyan’s man with the muck rake? Was not he missing the mark of life? He took up, as many do, a handful of dirt--he lost the crown of gold. We speak of men having made a good hit when they have succeeded in a telling speech, or a successful speculation, or a fortunate match, but what have they hit if they have not sought to honour God? Certainly not the glory of God, nor have they advanced the true purposes of life.

3. Now a rifle is made to shoot straight; if it will not do so, however perfect the polish of its barrel, or the finish of its lock or stock, it is useless, and you throw it on one side or break it up. The more complete it seems the more vexed you are with it for its utter failure in the one work for which you had it made. God has made us for the one object of glorifying Him, and if we fail in that, then whatsoever else we have which decorates us--intellect, politeness, science, art, position, wealth--all tend not to diminish but to increase our condemnation.

4. What our condemnation may be I do not pretend to fathom; but if the words mean no more than that having been made for the highest purpose, and then having utterly failed, we are henceforth cast on one side as useless, our powers broken up, and our opportunities taken from us, they will mean enough to stir us to redeem the time. We should not like to meet the exposure of such a shame. Pindar describes the return of a combatant from the great National Games. He speaks of him as hiding himself along the byways, not venturing to enter by the gates into his city, or to be seen in any public place. Why? Because he had missed the mark. He went out in the name of his city, equipped by his fellow citizens, to win honour for their name, and to give them glory. But he has failed, and he dare not meet them. We have failed, and we must “all appear before the judgment seat, that everyone may receive the things done in his body.”

III. To what does this lead us?

1. We must realise more and more our condition as sinners. Let any man solemnly ask himself, How much of God has the world seen in me? How much of His glory have I reflected?

2. We must go back to the same butts and shoot again for a truer aim. Go to your seat in Parliament, or your books, or your shop, and there aim afresh at rising to the glory of God, “forgetting those things which are behind,” etc. True, it will not be so easy now that one’s hand is unsteadied by neglecting to aim aright; true, it will not be so simple now that many Ere looking on and wondering what in the world you are changing for, to shoot straight under their critical eye; but such sense of sin, such turning from it to God in Christ again, such trusting hope that with His aid we may succeed, will bring with it His forgiveness for the past and His guidance for the future; and we may yet, with His encouragement, hit the mark and glorify Him. (Canon Morse.)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Romans 3:23". The Biblical Illustrator. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/romans-3.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

For all have sinned any fall short of the glory of God.

This is Paul's statement of the fact of God's justice in making salvation to all who complied with the terms upon which it was extended. All people are in fact sinners; and the same basis for saving one, or making salvation available, is the basis for extending it to all.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/romans-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For all have sinned,.... This is the general character of all mankind; all have sinned in Adam, are guilty by his sin, polluted with it, and condemned for it; all are sinners in themselves, and by their own actual transgressions; this is the case of the whole world, and of all the men in it; not only of the Gentiles, but of the Jews, and the more righteous among them: hence there is no difference in the state and condition of men by nature; nor is there any reason from and in themselves, why God saves one and not another; nor any room to despair of the grace and righteousness of Christ, on account of persons being, in their own view, the worst of sinners:

and hence it is, that they are all

come short of the glory of God; either of glorifying of God; man was made for this purpose, and was capable of it, though now through sin incapable; and it is only by the grace of God that he is enabled to do it: or of glorying: before him; sin has made him infamous, and is his shame; by it he has forfeited all external favours, and has nothing of his own to glory in; his moral righteousness is no foundation for boasting, especially before God: or of having glory from God; the most pure and perfect creature does not of itself deserve any glory and praise from God; good men, in a way of grace, will have praise of God; but sinners can never expect any on their own account: or of the glorious grace of God, as sanctifying and pardoning grace, and particularly the grace of a justifying righteousness; man has no righteousness, nor can he work out one; nor will his own avail, he wants a better than that: or of eternal glory; which may be called the glory of God, because it is of his preparing, what he calls persons to by his grace, and which of his own free grace he bestows upon them, and will chiefly lie in the enjoyment of him; now this is represented sometimes as a prize, which is run for, and pressed after; but men, through sinning, come short of it, and must of themselves do so for ever: or rather of the image of God in man, who is called "the image and glory of God", 1 Corinthians 11:7, which consisted externally in government over the creatures; internally, in righteousness and holiness, in wisdom and knowledge, in the bias of his mind to that which is good, and in power to perform it; of all which he is come short, or deprived by sinning.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/romans-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

For all have sinned, and come short of the t glory of God;

(t) By the "glory of God" is meant that mark which we all aim for, that is, everlasting life, which consists in our being made partakers of the glory of God.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/romans-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

for all have sinned — Though men differ greatly in the nature and extent of their sinfulness, there is absolutely no difference between the best and the worst of men, in the fact that “all have sinned,” and so underlie the wrath of God.

and come short of the glory — or “praise”

of God — that is, “have failed to earn His approbation” (compare John 12:43, Greek). So the best interpreters.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/romans-3.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Sinned (ηρμαρτονhērmarton). Constative second aorist active indicative of αμαρτανωhamartanō as in Romans 5:12. This tense gathers up the whole race into one statement (a timeless aorist).

And fall short (και υστερουνταιkai husterountai). Present middle indicative of υστερεωhustereō to be υστεροςhusteros (comparative) too late, continued action, still fall short. It is followed by the ablative case as here, the case of separation.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/romans-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Have sinned ( ἥμαρτον )

Aorist tense: sinned, looking back to a thing definitely past - the historic occurrence of sin.

And come short ( ὑστεροῦνται )

Rev., fall short: The present tense. The A.V. leaves it uncertain whether the present or the perfect have come is intended. They sinned, and therefore they are lacking. See on Luke 15:14. The word is not merely equivalent to they are wanting in, but implies want under the aspect of shortcoming.

The glory of God ( τῆς δόξης τοῦ Θεοῦ )

Interpretations vary greatly. The glory of personal righteousness; that righteousness which God judges to be glory; the image of God in man; the glorying or boasting of righteousness before God; the approbation of God; the state of future glory.

The dominant meanings of δόξα in classical Greek are notion, opinion, conjecture, repute. See on Revelation 1:6. In biblical usage: 1. Recognition, honor, Philemon 1:11; 1 Peter 1:7. It is joined with τιμή honor 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 2:7, Hebrews 2:9; 2 Peter 1:17. Opposed to ἀτιμὶα dishonor 1 Corinthians 11:14, 1 Corinthians 11:15; 1 Corinthians 15:43; 2 Corinthians 6:8. With ζητέω toseek, 1 Thessalonians 2:6; John 5:44; John 7:18. With λαμβάνω toreceive, John 5:41, John 5:44. With δίδωμι togive, Luke 17:18; John 9:24. In the ascriptive phrase glory be to, Luke 2:14, and ascriptions in the Epistles. Compare Luke 14:10. 2. The glorious appearance which attracts the eye, Matthew 4:8; Luke 4:6; Luke 12:27. Hence parallel with εἰκών image μορφή form ὁμοίωμα likeness εἶδος appearancefigure, Romans 1:23; Psalm 17:15; Numbers 12:8.

The glory of God is used of the aggregate of the divine attributes and coincides with His self-revelation, Exodus 33:22; compare πρόσωπον face Exodus 33:23. Hence the idea is prominent in the redemptive revelation (Isaiah 60:3; Romans 6:4; Romans 5:2). It expresses the form in which God reveals Himself in the economy of salvation (Romans 9:23; 1 Timothy 1:11; Ephesians 1:12). It is the means by which the redemptive work is carried on; for instance, in calling, 2 Peter 1:3; in raising up Christ and believers with Him to newness of life, Romans 6:4; in imparting strength to believers, Ephesians 3:16; Colossians 1:11; as the goal of Christian hope, Romans 5:2; Romans 8:18, Romans 8:21; Titus 2:13. It appears prominently in the work of Christ - the outraying of the Father's glory (Hebrews 1:3), especially in John. See John 1:14; John 2:11, etc.

The sense of the phrase here is: they are coming short of the honor or approbation which God bestows. The point under discussion is the want of righteousness. Unbelievers, or mere legalists, do not approve themselves before God by the righteousness which is of the law. They come short of the approbation which is extended only to those who are justified by faith.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/romans-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

For all have sinned — In Adam, and in their own persons; by a sinful nature, sinful tempers, and sinful actions.

And are fallen short of the glory of God — The supreme end of man; short of his image on earth, and the enjoyment of him in heaven.


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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/romans-3.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

The glory of God; the approbation of God.


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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/romans-3.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

23.There is indeed no difference, etc. He urges on all, without exception, the necessity of seeking righteousness in Christ; as though he had said, “There is no other way of attaining righteousness; for some cannot be justified in this and others in that way; but all must alike be justified by faith, because all are sinners, and therefore have nothing for which they can glory before God.” But he takes as granted that every one, conscious of his sin, when he comes before the tribunal of God, is confounded and lost under a sense of his own shame; so that no sinner can bear the presence of God, as we see an example in the case of Adam. He again brings forward a reason taken from the opposite side; and hence we must notice what follows. Since we are all sinners, Paul concludes, that we are deficient in, or destitute of, the praise due to righteousness. There is then, according to what he teaches, no righteousness but what is perfect and absolute. Were there indeed such a thing as half righteousness, it would yet be necessary to deprive the sinner entirely of all glory: and hereby the figment of partial righteousness, as they call it, is sufficiently confuted; for if it were true that we are justified in part by works, and in part by grace, this argument of Paul would be of no force — that all are deprived of the glory of God because they are sinners. It is then certain, there is no righteousness where there is sin, until Christ removes the curse; and this very thing is what is said in Galatians 3:10, that all who are under the law are exposed to the curse, and that we are delivered from it through the kindness of Christ. The glory of God I take to mean the approbation of God, as in John 12:43, where it is said, that “they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God.” And thus he summons us from the applause of a human court to the tribunal of heaven. (118)


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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/romans-3.html. 1840-57.

Vv. 23. This absence of difference in the mode of justification rests on the equality of all in respect of the fact of sin. In the aorist ἥμαρτον, have committed sin, no account is taken of the question whether they have done so once or a hundred times. Once suffices to deprive us of the title of righteous, and thereby of the glory of God.καί, and in consequence.

The verb ὑστερεῖσθαι, to lack, expresses in general the idea of a deficit, which consists either in remaining below the normal level, or in being behind others. Paul therefore means that they all want more or less a normal state, which he calls the glory of God. By this term some have understood the favorable opinion which God has of the just man, His approbation or favor (Grot. Turret. Fritzsche). This meaning is far from natural; John 12:43 does not suffice to justify it. Others understand by this expression: glory in God"s sight, that which we should possess if we were righteous (Mel. Calv. Philippi). This meaning is not much more natural than that which appears sometimes in Luther: the act of glorying in God; or than that of OEcumenius and Chalmers: the destination of every man to glorify God. There are really only two senses possible. The first is that of the many commentators who understand the glory of God as the future and eternal glory (Beza, Morison, Reuss, etc.). But in this case we must give to the verb ὑστερεῖσθαι a very forced meaning: to lack the necessary qualifications for obtaining this glory. The second meaning, and the only one which we think admissible, is this the divine splendor which shines forth from God Himself, and which He communicates to all that live in union with Him (see Hofmann, Meyer). This meaning includes that of Rückert and Olshausen, who understand it too specially, no doubt, to mean the original image of God in man. The complement θεοῦ, of God, is at once a gen. possess. and a gen. auctor. God can communicate this glory, because He possesses it Himself, and it belongs to His nature. He had communicated a ray of it to man when He created him pure and happy; it was intended to shine more and more brightly in him as he rose from innocence to holiness. By sinning, man lost both what he had received of it and what he was yet to obtain. A dispossessed king, the crown has fallen from his head.

The consequence of this state of things is indicated, in close connection with the context, in Romans 3:24.


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Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/romans-3.html.

Scofield's Reference Notes

sinned

Sin, Summary: The literal meanings of the Heb. and (Greek - ἀλεκτοροφωνία sin," "sinner," etc)., disclose the true nature of sin in its manifold manifestations. Sin is transgression, an overstepping of the law, the divine boundary between good and evil Psalms 51:1; Luke 15:29, iniquity, an act inherently wrong, whether expressly forbidden or not; error, a departure from right; Psalms 51:9; Romans 3:23, missing the mark, a failure to meet the divine standard; trespass, the intrusion of self-will into the sphere of divine authority Ephesians 2:1, lawlessness, or spiritual anarchy 1 Timothy 1:9, unbelief, or an insult to the divine veracity John 16:9.

Sin originated with Satan Isaiah 14:12-14, entered the world through Adam Romans 5:12, was, and is, universal, Christ alone excepted; Romans 3:23; 1 Peter 2:22, incurs the penalties of spiritual and physical death; Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:19; Ezekiel 18:4; Ezekiel 18:20; Romans 6:23 and has no remedy but in the sacrificial death of Christ; Hebrews 9:26; Acts 4:12 availed of by faith Acts 13:38; Acts 13:39. Sin may be summarized as threefold: An act, the violation of, or want of obedience to the revealed will of God; a state, absence of righteousness; a nature, enmity toward God.


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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Romans 3:23". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/romans-3.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Ver. 23. All have sinned] The first man defiled the nature, and ever since the nature defileth the man. Adam was a parent, a public person, a parliament man, as it were; the whole country of mankind was in him, and fell with him.

Short of the glory of God] i.e. Of his image now obliterated, or of his kingdom, upon the golden pavement whereof no dirty dog must ever trample. It is an inheritance undefiled, 1 Peter 1:4.


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/romans-3.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Romans 3:23. And come short of the glory of God "They have failed of rendering him that glory which was so justly his due; and thereby have not only made themselves unworthy of the participation of glory and happiness with him, but stand exposed to his severe and dreadful displeasure."


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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/romans-3.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

23. [ ὑστεροῦνται should be rendered fall short, not, as E. V., “come short,” since this latter may be taken for the past tense, after the auxiliary “have.”]

τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ] Of the praise which comes from God, see reff. (so Grot., Thol., Reiche, Fritz., Meyer, Rückert, De Wette): not, ‘of praise in God’s sight’ (Luther, Calv., Estius, Köllner): nor, ‘of glory with God,’ as ch. Romans 5:2 (Œc(15), Beza, al.),—for the Apostle is not speaking here of future reward, but of present worthiness: nor, of the glorious image of God which we have lost through sin (Calov., al., Rückert, Olsh.), which is against both the usage of the word, and the context of the passage.


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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/romans-3.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Romans 3:23. ἥμαρτον] The sinning of every man is presented as a historical fact of the past, whereby the sinful state is produced. The perfect would designate it as a completed subsisting fact. Calvin, moreover, properly remarks that according to Paul there is nulla justitia “nisi perfecta et absoluta,” and “si verum esset, nos partim operibus justificari, partim Dei gratia, non valeret hoc Pauli argumentum.” Luther aptly observes: “They are altogether sinners, etc., is the main article and the central point of this Epistle and of the whole Scripture.”

καὶ ὑστερ.] They have sinned, and in consequence of this they lack, there is wanting to them, etc. This very present expression, as well as the present participle δικαιούμενοι, ought to have kept Hofmann from understanding πάντες of all believers; for in their case that ὑστερεῖσθαι no longer applies (Romans 5:1 f., Romans 8:1 al(820)), and they are not δικαιούμενοι but δικαιωθέντες; but, as becoming believers, they would not yet be πιστεύοντες.

τῆς δόξης τ. θεοῦ] The genitive with ὑστερεῖσθαι (Diod. Sic. xviii. 71; Joseph. Antt. xv. 6, 7) determines for the latter the sense of destitui. See Lobeck, a(821) Phryn. p. 237. Comp on 1 Corinthians 1:7. They lack the honour which God gives,(823) they are destitute of the being honoured by God, which would be the case, if the ἥμαρτον did not occur; in that case they would possess the good pleasure of God, and this, regarded as honour, which they would have to enjoy from God: the δόξα τοῦ θεοῦ. Comp Romans 2:29; John 12:43, compared with John 5:44. Köllner’s objection to this view, which first offers itself, of τ. θεοῦ as the genitive auctoris, which is also held by Piscator, Hammond, Grotius, Fritzsche, Reiche, de Wette, Tholuck, and others, following Chrysostom (comp Philippi), that it is not the fault of men if they should not have an honour, which proceeds from God, is of no weight; since it certainly is the fault of men, if they render it impossible for a holy God to give them the honour which proceeds from Him. Moreover, Köllner’s own explanation: honour before God (quite so also Calvin; and comp Philippi), which is said according to the analogy of human relations, in point of fact quite coincides with the above view, since in fact honour before God, or with God (Winzer), is nothing else than the honour that accrues to us from God’s judgment. Comp Calvin: “ita nos ab humani theatri plausu ad tribunal coeleste vocat.” Accordingly, the genitive is here all the less to be interpreted coram, since in no other passage (and especially not in δικαιοσ. θεοῦ, see on. Romans 1:17) is there any necessity for this interpretation. This last consideration may also be urged against the interpretation of others: gloriatio coram Deo; “non habent, unde coram Deo glorientur,” Estius. So Erasmus, Luther, Toletus, Wolf, Koppe, Rosenmüller, Reithmayr, and others. It is decisive against this view that in all passages where Paul wished to express gloriatio, he knew how to employ the proper word, καύχησις (Romans 3:27; 2 Corinthians 7:14; 2 Corinthians 8:24 al(828)). Others, again, following Oecumenius (Chrysostom and Theophylact express themselves too indefinitely, and Theodoret is altogether silent on the matter), explain the δόξα τ. θεοῦ to mean the glory of eternal life, in so far as God either has destined it for man (Glöckler), or confers it upon him (Böhme, comp Morison); or in so far as it consists in partaking the glory of God (Beza, comp Bengel and Baumgarten-Crusius). Mehring allows a choice between the two last definitions of the sense. But the following δικαιού΄ενοι proves that the δόξα τοῦ θεοῦ cannot in reality be anything essentially different from the δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ, and cannot be merely future. Utterly erroneous, finally, is the view of Chemnitz, Flacius, Sebastian Schmid, Calovius,(831) Hasaeus, Alting, Carpzov, Ernesti, recently revived by Rückert, Olshausen, and Mangold, that the δόξα τοῦ θεοῦ is the image of God;a godlike δοξα,” as Rückert puts it, and thus gets rid of the objection that δόξα is not synonymous with εἰκών. But how arbitrarily is the relation of the genitive thus defined, altogether without the precedent of a similar usage (2 Corinthians 11:2 is not a case in point)! That the idea of the image of God is not suggested by anything in the connection is self-evident, since, as the subsequent δικαιούμενοι κ. τ. λ(832) abundantly shows, it is the idea of the want of righteousness that is under discussion. Hofmann and Ewald have explained it in the same way as Rückert, though they take the genitive more accurately (a δόξα such as God Himself possesses). The latter(833) understands “the glory of God which man indeed has by creation, Psalms 8:8, but which by sin he may lose for time and eternity, and has now lost.” Compare Hofmann: “Whatsoever is of God has a share, after the manner of a creature, in the glory of God. If this therefore be not found in man, the reason is that he has forfeited the relation to God in which he was created.” But even apart from the fact that such a participation in the glory of God had been lost already through the fall (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:22), and not for the first time through the individual ἥμαρτον here meant, it is decisive against this exposition that the participation in the divine δόξα nowhere appears as an original blessing that has fallen into abeyance, but always as something to, be conferred only at the Parousia (Romans 5:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:12) as the συνδοξασθῆναι with Christ (Romans 8:17 f.; Colossians 3:4); as the glorious κληρονο΄ία of God (comp also 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4); and consequently as the new blessing of the future αἰών (1 Corinthians 2:9). That is also the proleptic ἐδόξασε in Romans 8:30, which however would be foreign to the present connection.


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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/romans-3.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Romans 3:23. ἥμαρτον, have sinned) that is, they have contracted the guilt of sin. Both the original act of sin in paradise is denoted, and the sinful disposition, as also the acts of transgression flowing from it. The past tenses often have an inchoative meaning along with the idea of continued action; such as ἐπίστευσα, ἤλπικα, ἠγάπηκα, ὑπήκουσα, ἓστηκα, I have believed, and still continue to believe; I have hoped, and still continue to hope; I have loved, and still continue to love; I have obeyed, and still continue to obey; I have established myself, and still establish myself.— καὶ ὑστεροῦνται, and come short) From the past tense, have sinned, flows this present, come short, and by this word the whole peculiar advantage [Romans 3:1] of the Jews, and all the boasting of all flesh, are taken away; the former is a thing done [past], and the latter is a thing now established; each of them [ ᾕμαρτον and ὑστεροῦνται] denotes deficiency; they do not attain, ch. Romans 9:31.— τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεο͂ υ, of the glory of God) The glory of the living God Himself is signified, which bestows life, ch. Romans 6:4; and to this, access was open to man if he had not sinned; but, as a sinner, he fell short of this end of his being; nor does he now attain to it, nor is he able, by any means, to endure that glory which would have [but for sin] shone forth in him, Hebrews 12:20, etc.: Psalms 68:2. Hence he has become subject to death; for glory and immortality are synonymous terms, and so, also, are death and corruption; but Paul does not more expressly mention death itself, until after the process of justification, and its going forth even to [its issue in] life, have been consummated; he then looks at death as it were from behind. ch. Romans 5:12. Therefore, the whole state of sin is most exquisitely pourtrayed thus, in this masterly passage: They come short of, or are far from the glory of God; that is, they have missed [aberrarunt a: erred from] the chief end of man; and in this very fact is implied [included], at the same time, every lesser aberration. But those who are justified recover the hope of that glory, along with most immediately realized glorying [viz., in Christ] in the meanwhile (of which [i.e. of boasting] in themselves, they had been deprived, Romans 3:27), and [recover] the kingdom in life. See, by all means, ch. Romans 5:2; Romans 5:11; Romans 5:17, Romans 8:30, at the end of the verse. Wherefore, the antithetic idea to they have sinned, is explained at Romans 3:24, and the following verses; and ch. 4 throughout, on justification; the antithetic idea to they have come short, is set forth in ch. 5, with which, comp. ch. Romans 8:17, and the following verses.


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/romans-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

For all have sinned: q.d. No wonder there is no difference, when both the one and the other have the guilt of Adam’s transgression imputed to them, and have original corruption inherent in them, from whence proceed very many actual transgressions.

And come short of the glory of God; i.e. of the glorious image of God, in which man was at first created; or, of communion with God, in which the glory of a rational creature doth consist; or rather, of the eternal glory, which they come short of, as men that run a race are weary, and fall short of the mark.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Romans 3:23". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/romans-3.html. 1685.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

23. πάντες γὰρτ. θ. resumes Romans 1:19 to Romans 3:20. ἥμαρτον is the ‘constructive’ or summary aorist, “which regards the whole action simply as having occurred, without distinguishing any steps in its progress” (Moulton, p. 109; cf. Burton, M. T. § 54), and so should be translated by the perfect ‘have sinned,’ and is naturally coordinate with the durative present, describing the actual state; see on Romans 2:12.

ὑστεροῦνται. The middle of this verb seems to imply, not merely to fall short of a goal (act.), but to be lacking in something of which the need is felt or at least obvious. Cf. Matthew 19:20 with 1 Corinthians 8:8 and 2 Corinthians 11:5 with Philippians 4:12; Hebrews 12:15 : ‘comes short of, A.V., ‘fall short of, R.V. both therefore seem inadequate translations. Perhaps ‘lack’ will do. Their lives and characters obviously show the lack of ‘the glory of GOD.’

τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ consequently = that exhibition of GOD in their own character, which is man’s proper work: implying the idea of Genesis 1:26-27; cf. 1 Corinthians 11:7; 2 Corinthians 3:18, and Irenaeus, “vivens homo gloria Dei,” and probably infra, Romans 5:2 and n. 1 Corinthians 6:20. See S. H. ad lo[109] GOD is not seen in them as He ought to be seen. The same thought is expressed by the verb in Romans 1:21. See n. on Romans 2:7.


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"Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/romans-3.html. 1896.

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

23. “For all sinned and came short of the glory of God.” “All have sinned” (E. V.) is a wrong translation, involving personality and condemning the infants. The Greek is the imperfect tense, only implying that all sinned seminally, which is true. There was but one creation, i. e., Adam; Eve being no exception, but an evolution from Adam’s rib. Hence when Adam sinned, the race sinned, and all fell together, all being in Adam seminally. Hence all the infants sinned seminally and received a corrupt nature, though they did not sin personally. Consequently they did not personally fall under condemnation. All infants are born depraved, i. e., with a sinful nature, though not actual sinners, but Christians by the redemption of Christ. They should be converted before they forfeit infantile justification by actual transgression, and then sanctified before they backslide. “Fall short” is in the present tense, stating a sad, though universally observable fact, resulting from the fall. This “falling short of the glory of God” appertains to all till this mortal shall put on immortality.


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Godbey, William. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/romans-3.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘For all have sinned, and are falling short of the glory of God,’

The reason why this righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ is necessary is now given. It is because, as had been demonstrated in Romans 1:18 to Romans 3:20, all have sinned and are continually revealing it by falling short of the glory of God. Note the change of tense. All ‘have sinned’ (compare Romans 5:12), thus being in a state of sin, and they are now continually falling short of His glory. Here the ‘all’ is universal. It covers all men and women. The equating of sin with falling short of the glory of God brings out the root nature of sin. It is to come short of what God intended, and still intends, that we should be. It is to come short of absolute perfection, to come short of divine purity. It is to come short of God’s moral glory. It is to fail to be God-like. Any man who claims that he has not sinned must recognise that he is talking about achieving complete God-likeness. For the glory of God is His glory as revealed in the beauty of holiness (1 Chronicles 16:29; Psalms 29:2). We may consider in relation to this verse Isaiah 43:7, ‘I have created him for my glory’, in other words so that through his perfection God might be glorified.

We may see examples of this in Isaiah 6:1-7 where Isaiah experienced the glory of the LORD and cried out, ‘woe is me, for I am totally undone, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I come from a people of unclean lips, for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts’. And again in Job 42:5-6 where the sight of the glory of the LORD made Job aware of his utter sinfulness, so that he cried out, ‘I abhor myself, and repent in sackcloth and ashes’. Compare also, ‘let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD Who exercises covenant love, justice and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the LORD’ (Jeremiah 9:24). See also Psalms 90:16-17. So the glory of God is found in His love, justice and righteousness.

These ideas may be related to the Jewish tradition that in the Garden Adam shone with the glory of God, something which he lost when he sinned, thus indicating that all fall short of man’s original innocence, an idea to which all Jews would have given consent. But it is questionable whether Paul has this in mind here.

Others see doxa tou theou as signifying ‘the praise of God’ (compare John 12:43) or ‘the approbation of God’. The idea then is that they are falling short of being what God can praise (compare 1 Corinthians 4:5), which really contains the same idea as above.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/romans-3.html. 2013.

Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans

(For there is no difference; For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.)

The Apostle introduces this parenthesis to preclude the supposition that the receiving of the righteousness of God is not indispensably necessary to every individual of the human race in order to his salvation, and lest it should be imagined that there is any difference in the way in which, or on account of which, it is received. As there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles with respect to their character as sinners, so there is no difference with respect to them as to the receiving of God’s righteousness — no difference either as to sin or salvation — all of them are guilty, and salvation through faith is published to them all. ‘For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him,’ Romans 10:12. Before men receive this righteousness, they are all under the curse of the broken law, and in a state of condemnation. Whatever distinction there may be among them otherwise, whether moral in their conduct, good and useful members of society, discharging respectably and decently the external duties of that situation in which they are placed, or having a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge, and going about to establish their own righteousness, — or whether they be immoral in their lives, entirely abandoned to every vice, — they all stand equally in need of this righteousness — it is equally preached to them all — it is in the same manner bestowed upon all who believe. The reason of this is, that all have sinned — all, without one exception, as had been proved, are ‘under sin.’

The Apostle adds, as a consequence of this, that they have come short of the glory of God. They have come short, as in running a race, having now lost all strength ( Romans 5:6) and ability in themselves to glorify God, and attain to the possession and enjoyment of His glory. In the second chapter, the Apostle, in announcing the terms of the law, had declared that the way to obtain eternal life was in seeking for glory by patient continuance in well-doing, and that to those who work good, honor and peace would be awarded. In other words, ‘if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments; ‘but he had afterwards proved that in this way it was altogether unattainable, since by the deeds of the law no flesh shall be justified. In this place he more briefly repeats the same truth, that all men, without exception, being sinners, have come short of this glory, while he is pointing out the way in which, through the atonement of the Savior, and faith in that atonement, believers may now ‘rejoice in hope of the glory of God.’ All men, on the ground of their obedience to law, come short of glorifying God, for to glorify God is the whole of the law, — even the second table is to be obeyed to glorify God, who requires it. If they come short of obeying the law, they have, as sinners, come short of that glory, and honor, and immortality, in His presence, which can only be obtained through the ‘salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory,’ Timothy 2:10.


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Bibliography
Haldane, Robert. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hal/romans-3.html. 1835.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23. All have sinned—The all is all mankind, past, present, and future; the have sinned is, in the Greek, an instance of the apostle’s aoristic tenses, in which past, present, and future are comprehended. (See notes on Romans 4:12; Romans 8:29; Romans 9:22.) The tense is equivalent to a perpetual present, “an eternal now,” and so the phrase is tantamount to all men sin. It thus accords in sense with come short, which in the Greek is actually in the grammatical present. And the fact that both verbs express a perpetual fact explains, decisively, we think, the following phrase, about which commentators so much differ—the glory. The phrase come short is borrowed from a racer’s failure to attain the goal. The goal is the heavenly glorification. All men sin, and, apart from Christ, fail of the blessed goal, the final glory of God.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/romans-3.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

All must come to God by faith in Jesus Christ because all have sinned and fallen short of (i.e, lack) God"s glory (cf. Mark 10:21). The glory of God refers to the outward manifestation of what God is. It includes especially the majesty of His powerful person and the sublimity of His supremely elevated position. [Note: Mickelsen, p1192; Harrison, p41.] Sin separates people from fellowship with a holy God. We lack both the character of God and the fellowship of God because of sin.


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/romans-3.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Romans 3:23. For all sinned; this is the historical fact, they became sinners. For this reason there is no distinction. ‘Have sinned,’ is not altogether objectionable, since it implies a relation to what precedes.

Fall short. As the result of their having become sinners.

Glory of God. This is variously explained as, glory before God, glory like God (in His image, showing His glory), glory from God. The last is preferable; His approval is meant (although it is true this glory from Him alone can stand before Him), since the next verse closely joins the thought of justification. Civilization, refinement, intelligence, and external morality, have not made these words less universal in their application.


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Bibliography
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/romans-3.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Romans 3:23. ἥμαρτον must be rendered in English “have sinned”; see Burton, Moods and Tenses, § 54. ὑστεροῦνται expresses the consequence = and so come short of the glory of God. To emphasise the middle, and render “they come short, and feel that they do so,” though suggested by the comparison of Matthew 19:20 with Luke 15:14 (Gifford), is not borne out by the use of the N.T. as a whole. The most one could say is that sibi is latent in the middle: to their loss (not necessarily to their sensible or conscious loss) they come short. The present tense implies that but for sin men might be in enjoyment of “ δόξα τοῦ θεοῦ”. Clearly this cannot be the same as the future heavenly glory of God spoken of in Romans 5:2 : as in John 5:44; John 12:43, it must be the approbation or praise of God. This sense of δόξα is easily derived from that of “reputation,” resting on the praise or approval of others. Of course the approbation which God would give to the sinless, and of which sinners fall short, would be identical with justification.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/romans-3.html. 1897-1910.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;

"For" -the reason why it is to "all that believe".

"Fall short of the glory of God"-"and all fall short of God"s glorious ideal" (TCNT)


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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/romans-3.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

have. Omit.

Sinned. Greek. hamartano. App-128. In the first Adam as the federal head of the old creation.

come short. Greek. hustereo. Only here in Romans. Occurs sixteen times, always in the sense of failing, or lacking. Compare Matthew 19:20 (first occ). Mark 10:21. John 2:3. Hebrews 12:15.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/romans-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

For all have sinned - `For all sinned' [ heemarton (Greek #264). The aorist is here used, as the thing affirmed is regarded, in respect of the whole race, as already an accomplished fact].

And [do] come short of the glory of God - that is, 'of the praise' or 'approval' of God: as the same word [ doxa (Greek #1391)] is used in John 12:43, etc., and as the best interpreters take it here. Though men differ greatly in the nature and extent of their sinfulness, there is absolutely no difference between the best and the worst of men, in the fact, that "all have sinned," and so underlie the wrath of God.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/romans-3.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(23) All have sinned and come short.—Strictly, all sinned; the Apostle looking back upon an act done in past time under the old legal dispensation, without immediate reference to the present: he then goes on to say that the result of that act (as distinct from the act itself) continues on into the present. The result is that mankind, in a body, as he now sees them, and before they come within the range of the new Christian system, fall short of, miss, or fail to obtain, the glory of God.

Glory of God.—What is this glory? Probably not here, as in Romans 8:18; Romans 8:21, the glory which will be inaugurated for the saints at the Parusià, or Second Coming of the Messiah—for that is something future—but, rather, something which is capable of being conferred in the present, viz., the glory which comes from the favour and approval of God. This favour and approval Jew and Gentile alike had hitherto failed to obtain, but it was now thrown open to all who became members of the Messianic kingdom. (Comp. for the sense, Romans 2:29, and for the use of the word, as well as the sense, John 12:43, “they loved the praise [glory] of men more than the praise [glory] of God.”)


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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/romans-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
all have
9,19; 1:28-32; 2:1-16; 11:32; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Galatians 3:22; 1 John 1:8-10
come
Hebrews 4:1
of
5:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; 1 Peter 4:13; 5:1,10

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/romans-3.html.

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

For all have sinned. This is the reason why there is no difference as to the condition of men. All are sinners. The apostle uses the aorist ἣμαρτον, sinned, and not the perfect, have sinned. Rückert says this is an inaccuracy; Bengel explains it by assuming that the original act in paradise, and the sinful disposition, and also the acts of transgression flowing from it, are all denoted. Olshausen says that the reference is mainly to original sin; for where there are no peccata actualia, there is still need of redemption. Dr. Wordsworth, Canon of Westminster, gives the same explanation: "All men sinned in Adam, all fell in him." Meyer says, "The sinning of each man is presented as an historical fact of the past." The idea that all men now stand in the posture of sinners before God might be expressed either by saying, All have sinned (and are sinners), or all sinned. The latter is the form adopted by the apostle. And come short, ὑστεροῦνται, in the present tense. The sinning is represented as past; the present and abiding consequence of sin is the want of the glory of God. By δόξα τοῦ θεοῦ is most naturally understood the approbation of God, the δόξα which comes from God; comp. John 12:43, "They loved the praise of men rather than the praise ( δόξαν) of God." Calvin explains it as the glory quae coram Deo locum habet, glory before God, i.e., in estimation, as he explains δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ to be righteousness in his sight, what he regards as such. This is against the natural force of the genitive. Others understand δόξα in the sense of glorying, non habet, unds coram Deo glorientur, Estius; so also Luther, Tholuck, (who refers to John 5:44, δόξαν παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ,) and others. This idea would be expressed by the word καύχησις, Romans 3:27, or καύχημα, Romans 4:2; 1 Corinthians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 9:16 etc. Others again say that the glory of God here means that glory which God promises to the righteous, as in Romans 3:22. So Beza, who says, " δόξα est meta ad quam contendimus, id est, vita aeterna, quae in gloria Dei participatione consistit." Rückert and Olshausen say it means the image of God; "Men are sinners, and are destitute of the image of God." But this is not the sense of the words; "the glory of God" does not mean a glory like to that of God. The first interpretation, which is the simplest, is perfectly suited to the context. All men are sinners and under the disapprobation of God. In this respect there is no difference between them; and therefore all need a righteousness not their own, in order to their justification before God.


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Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/romans-3.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

All men have sinned. Beza points out the symbolism in the Greek is of one whose strength fails him, and who falls behind in a race. The Jew was as far away from God's saving presence as was the Gentile.


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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/romans-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

: for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;

The expression "no distinction" in verse22laid the foundation for the point in this verse-all have sinned and come short of God's glory (compare 2 Chronicles 6:36). Paul realized that all need to come to Christ because of sin, and all can come because justification is available for all. All are stained by sin and all can be cleansed from sin.

Though many frequently say, "I am just as good as the other people at church," a better statement would be, "I am just as bad as all the other people at church" because all have sinned. The proof of this allegation "is clear and convincing. There is no appeal and no reversal of the verdict" (CBL, Romans , p61).

In looking at this verse, a distinction must be noticed. When Paul said that all have sinned, he used a past tense verb. This is even rendered in the past tense (sinned). In the next expression, Paul spoke of those who "fall short" (hustereo). This expression is from a present tense verb that has the sense of failure. The difference in tenses tells us that accountable people do not live perfect lives. Before conversion and even after conversion, the best people still transgress God's law. No Christian has or will fully overcome sin since Paul said Christians continually fall short.

There are several different words for "sin" in the New Testament, and a brief study of key words for them will be given here. The first word is the term used in this verse (hamartano), a verb usually translated "sin/sinned" in the New Testament. In other places this word is used as a noun (hamartia and hamarema), and this usage is also typically rendered sin in the ASV and KJV. Whether employed as a noun or a verb, Greeks employed this term to describe warriors who cast spears but missed the targets. It was used of people who forgot to turn on a road or "missed their turn." Poets who chose a subject that could not be treated poetically were described with this word as were artists who tried to go beyond their artistic limits. In the most basic terms, this word meant to miss the Mark , and it was the ideal word for New Testament writers to use when speaking about breaking God's laws.

Because this word was so broad, it has been called the "umbrella" word for sin in the New Testament. Wuest (Studies in the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament, pp95-96) says it means "failing to attain an end, gives it the idea of missing the divinely appointed goal, a deviation from what is pleasing to God, doing what is opposed to God's will, perversion of what is upright, a misdeed. Thus the word hamartia means a missing of the conformable to and fixed by God. It is interesting to note that in Romans the word dikaiosune which means ‘conformity to the standard' appears as the opposite of hamartia, a missing of the standard set by God ()." Because each person misses at least one of God's goals (it does not need to be "something big"), all are guilty of sin ( Romans 3:23). The price for this sin is "death" ( Romans 6:23, a verse which uses the word hamartia). Additional passages related to this point include Romans 5:21 (sin reigns/rules over mankind). Sin is so overwhelming people serve it ( Romans 6:17; Romans 6:20); and it is deceitful ( Hebrews 3:13). Someone once said if we want to see what a New Testament word is trying to describe, see what kind of company it keeps. Sin rubs shoulders with words like death, master, and our serving it. This term views sin from the standpoint of "controlling power" (Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, 3:33), whereas other terms such as paraptoma (see the commentary below for this word) view wrongdoing from the viewpoint of "a specific sinful act" (ibid) in the writings of Paul.

A second word for wrongdoing (parakoe) is used only three times in the New Testament ( Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 10:6; Hebrews 2:2), and it denotes a "false step" or a "misstep." It might be compared to someone stumbling over an object as they begin to walk or are already on their way. In life, stumbling may be accidental. This term, however, "expresses above all a refusal to listen, turning a deaf ear" (Spicq, 3:29). Wuest (Studies in the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament, p96) says it "means ‘a failing to hear, a hearing amiss,' the idea of active disobedience which follows on this inattentive or careless hearing, being superinduced upon the word." "The lack of an earnest and honest attempt to know God's will in any instance, is sin. This carelessness or inattentiveness with respect to the will of God, has its roots in the desire to have one's own way, and to cover up that desire and the consequent wrongdoing by the excuse that one did not know His will in the particular instance" (ibid).

Definitions such as these can be easily related to modern life. As this word was being studied, I phoned the manager of a large property management company. She said her company managed550 different pieces of rental properties, and five percent of the tenants were "problem people." Rules were given to the tenants (just as God has given in His word), but five percent of the renters refused to hear the rules. They were told "no pets," but they didn't follow this rule. Rent was scheduled to be collected on a certain day of each month, but some of the tenants do not hear that part of the lease. Such behavior is exactly consistent with what this term describes.

Even in the time of Noah there were people who had this mindset. In one of the places where this term is found ( 2 Corinthians 10:6), God promises to punish "all" disobedience (parakoe). In this reference the word applies to people who are religious. Whether saved or unsaved, a failure to listen to and follow all of God's word will result in punishment. It is not, therefore, enough to be somewhat obedient, or mostly obedient, to God's will. Heaven is not interested in people who will obey70% of God's instructions, 90% of what the Bible says, or even99% of God's directives. God wants and requires100% compliance with His word. For an additional comment on this term, especially how it compliments another term for sin, see the commentary below on parabasis.

Those who read the New Testament will encounter another common word for sin-"ungodliness." This term occurs as a noun (asebeia), as a verb (asebeo) in only two places ( 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 1:15), and (a few times) as an adjective (asebes). It can be compared to many English words that are changed into something negative when "un" is added to their prefix. For instance, certified can be quickly changed to uncertified, caring into uncaring, and crushed into uncrushed by adding the prefix un. Greeks did a similar thing but their addition to words was the letter "a." In this instance they took a word (sebeia) that meant religious awe, fear, honor, worship, etc, added a negative prefix, and changed the word into an opposite term denoting impiety, godlessness, wickedness (asebeia). Outside the New Testament this term was used of people who failed to show proper respect to Roman emperors. When applied to the spiritual realm, those who are guilty of asebeia do the opposite of what God wants. A study of this term shows that this type of lifestyle will result in punishment ( Romans 1:18). Such behavior is in the same category as worldly lusts ( Titus 2:12). All who live in this manner will be punished ( Jude 1:15). Those who choose this way of life should learn from past examples of ungodliness ( 2 Peter 2:6). We can be thankful that God can save us from all ungodliness ( Romans 4:5). Our salvation is possible because Jesus died for the ungodly ( Romans 5:6). Jesus died for all, but if the ungodly do not respond, they will be punished (see how this word is also used in 2 Peter 2:5 and 2 Peter 3:7).

Just like the term in the preceding paragraph, the Greeks negated another word, anomia, that was also used by New Testament writers. Greeks took their word for law (nomos), added the negative prefix ("a"), and the result was a word that meant "lawless." New Testament writers typically used this word as a noun (anomia) and an adjective (anomos). In the New Testament it has great significance. According to the CBL (GED, ), this term "is probably the strongest word for sin that exists." One of the places where this word is found is Matthew 7:23. Many people who were very religious in life will appear before the Lord on the Day of Judgment and hear they were lawless (people who acted as if there were no laws). These people may have been good citizens and lived exemplary lives, but their spiritual existence, though filled with works done in the name of the Lord, will be declared lawless. The reason? These people acted in a way other than what God described in His word ( Matthew 7:21 b). If we make up our own religious rules-whether a few of them or many-we are not following the laws of God and are thus a law unto ourselves (lawless). Translators of the NKJV and NASB actually use the word lawlessness in Matthew 7:23. By using this term in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus forever demonstrated that man cannot decide how he will worship God. We cannot "find a church that we like," locate "a worship service that makes us feel good," or something similar. We must do things exactly as God has said or we will, at the end of time, be declared lawless.

Other places anomia can be found include Matthew 13:41; Matthew 23:28; Romans 4:7; Hebrews 1:9. In its adjective form (anomos) this term is applied to the "transgressors" who died beside Jesus ( Mark 15:28; Luke 22:37). Peter applied it to those who put Jesus to death ( Acts 2:23). In the KJV this term is usually rendered iniquity/iniquities. Wuest (Studies in the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament, 3:97) notes how this term can be found in Classical Writings. There it is "joined with anarchia, which is defined as ‘the state of a people without government, without lawful government, lawlessness, anarchy." When people are without a government, there is lawlessness. When religious people fail to abide by the Scriptures and only the Scriptures, they too will be lawless, and the punishment for this choice is eternal death. A further thought on this point can be found in 2 Corinthians 6:14 (here the word is used as a noun). When writing to the Corinthians Paul said "righteousness" can have no fellowship with "unrighteousness" (same word). Today it is not uncommon for congregations of God's people to join themselves with other religious groups-groups that do not strictly follow the New Testament. This is done to supposedly promote "unity and love," but God says His church has no right fellowshipping these kinds of groups. There can be no unity between the lawful and the unlawful. God is love, but not even He allows Himself to be joined with the lawless. We must not become united with those who are not in complete harmony with the Scriptures.

Yet another term used by New Testament writers, parabasis, meant "to break the law." This definition is especially visible in Romans 4:15 (if there is no law, there can be no transgression). We cannot break what does not exist. Laws do exist-in both the spiritual and secular realms-and these can be broken (parabasis). Jesus encountered Pharisees and Scribes who accused him of breaking (same word but used as a verb-parabaino) religious traditions ( Matthew 15:2). Jesus responded to their criticism by asking why they broke (same word) God's commands ( Matthew 15:3).

Today there are many who are worried about the breaking of religious traditions and customs but far less concerned about breaking God's laws. When Paul used this term in Romans 2:23, he showed that breaking God's law actually brings dishonor to God. Many believe that breaking God's laws, if done in ignorance, can be excused (overlooked). God said this is untrue (see 1 Timothy 2:14 where this term is rendered transgression). Eve was beguiled (tricked), but it was not an excuse. She broke one of God's laws and paid the price for her disobedience. This is also the term found in 2 John 1:9. This sin can be thought of as a "sin of commission" (Spicq, 3:29) and another-parakoe, discussed above, is a "sin of omission" (ibid).

A word very similar to parabasis is paraptoma; this word is used in two different ways in the New Testament. Thayer (p485) says this describes "a lapse or deviation from truth and uprightness." It is thus very close to the meaning of parabasis, and "may therefore be regarded as synonymous with parabasis, which designates sin as a transgression of a known rule of life, and as involving guilt…Still the word is not quite as strong as parabasis" (Wuest, Studies in the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament, p98).

While this term has a definite sense of sin, it can also have a lesser sense of wrong, something like a slip, blunder, stepping incorrectly. Trench (p246) said Biblical writers sometimes (emphasis mine, BP) used this term "to designate sins not of the deepest dye and the worst enormity." This sense seems to come through in places like the Sermon on the Mount ( Matthew 6:14 -forgive men their trespasses). Jesus also used this same term in Mark 11:26. In these two passages did Jesus have in mind something as serious as federal crimes or the "smaller" things of life (gossip, lies, hateful remarks, a lack of courtesy, etc.)? All sin is sin, but not all sin is equal. To illustrate this we can confidently affirm that all money is money, but not all money is equal. For an Old Testament illustration of how not all sin is "equal," see Deuteronomy 21:22 (all sin deserved punishment, but not all punishments were equal). Other verses which use this term but the intensity of the wrong seems somewhat "less" include James 5:16 and Galatians 6:1. Perhaps this word and this secondary sense was used by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount to mean we must pay attention to the "smaller sins"-the kinds of sins which are very common and are thus ones that trouble us the most often.

An infrequent term for sin (found only twice in the New Testament) is hettema, a noun that implies a defect. Of the two places this term is found ( Romans 11:12 -loss/dimishing and 1 Corinthians 6:7 -defect), the most important passage is 1 Corinthians 6:7. Here translators tried to capture the thought with various renderings: utterly a fault (KJV); utter failure (NKJV); completely defeated (NIV); defeat (NASB, RSV); real defeat (Living Bible and New Living Translation).

In life, many believe that sin, in one form another, will be beneficial or helpful (compare Mark 12:1-9). At some point all eventually learn and admit that sin leads to defeat (hettema). Sin results in such complete defeat the Bible tells us to abstain from it ( 1 Thessalonians 5:22), flee from it ( 1 Corinthians 6:18), give no occasion for stumbling ( 1 Corinthians 10:32), put the old life away ( Romans 6:6; Colossians 3:5), crucify the flesh ( Galatians 5:24), let not sin be named among us ( Ephesians 5:3), purge out the old leaven ( 1 Corinthians 5:7), do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh ( Galatians 5:16), depart from unrighteousness ( 2 Timothy 2:19), deny ungodliness ( Titus 2:12), lay sin aside ( Hebrews 12:1) and put away wickedness ( James 1:21).

A final term to be considered describes sin from the perspective of ignorance. This term is used as a verb (agnoeo) and a noun (agnoema, agnoia, and agnosia). As a verb it is applied to Jesus' disciples ( Mark 9:32 -this is the first time this term occurs in the New Testament). Paul applied it to people involved in incorrect worship ( Acts 17:23) as well as the Jew's ignorance of the gospel ( Romans 10:3) and the Corinthian's ignorance of spiritual gifts ( 1 Corinthians 12:1). It is even applied to our understanding Satan ( 2 Corinthians 2:11) and Jesus' second coming ( 1 Thessalonians 4:13). Paul applied it to his life before conversion ( 1 Timothy 1:13), and this reference shows that ignorance of God's will is not an excuse. As a noun the term occurs only a few times in the New Testament. The word agnoema (one of the noun forms of this word) is found only in Hebrews 9:7 where the writer applied it to the "errors" of those who lived under the Old Testament. A second noun form of this word is found only in Acts 3:17; Acts 17:30; Ephesians 4:18; and 1 Peter 1:14. The third (agnosia) occurs only in 1 Corinthians 15:34 and 1 Peter 2:15.


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Bibliography
Price, Brad "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Living By Faith: Commentary on Romans". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bpc/romans-3.html.

Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

Romans 3:23

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23

What is it to "come short of the glory of God?" It is to act without a view to his glory. Now everything that we have ever done, which has not been done with a single eye to God"s glory, has the brand of sin stamped on it. But who in an unregenerate state, who, as the fallen son of a fallen parent, ever had an eye to the glory of God? Did such a thing ever enter into man"s natural heart as to speak to God"s glory, act to his glory, consult his glory, and live to his glory? Before ever such a thought, such a desire can cross our breast, we must have seen Him who is invisible; we must have had a view by faith of the glory of the Three-One God; we must have had a single eye given us by the Holy Spirit to see that glory outshining all creature good.

Every movement, then, of the selfish heart, every desire to gratify, please and exalt self, is a coming short of the glory of God. This stamps all natural men"s religious services with the brand of sin. It leaves the religious in the same dreadful state as the irreligious; it hews down the professing world with the same sword that cuts down the profane world. When men in a state of nature are what is called "religious," is their religion"s end and aim the glory of God, the glory of free grace, the glory of the Mediator between God and Prayer of Manasseh , the glory of the Holy Spirit, the only Teacher of God"s people? Take it in its best, its brightest shape, is it not another form of selfishness, to exalt their own righteousness, and climb to heaven by the ladder of their own doings?

And is not this a coming short of the glory of God? But besides that, the very glory of God requires that every one accepted in his sight should be without spot, speck, stain or blemish. A pure God cannot accept, cannot look upon, cannot be pleased with impurity; and just in proportion to the infinite purity and ineffable holiness of Jehovah, must all impurity, all carnality, all unholiness, and the slightest deviation from absolute perfection be hateful and horrible in his sight.

Now this all the "election of grace" are brought more or less to feel. It is the solemn and indispensable preparation of the heart for mercy; it is the introduction by the hand of the Spirit into the antechamber of the King of kings. It is the bringing of the soul to that spot, that only spot, where grace is felt, received, and known. It Isaiah , therefore, utterly indispensable for the election of grace, for all the ransomed and quickened family of God, to have this felt in their conscience, that they "have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."


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Bibliography
Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jcp/romans-3.html.

All men need this righteousness ( Romans 3:23)

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

What is God's measurement? Or, if I might change the word to make you see what we are talking about, what is His righteousness? We have all sinned and fallen short of the righteousness of God. You can't come into the presence of the blazing glory and omnipotent righteousness of God. Nobody can, except we come His way—in Jesus Christ. We all need this righteousness.

This is God's yardstick.

As I said earlier when we were dealing with the character and the conduct of Prayer of Manasseh , there is none righteous. This is what God sees.

"But, Mr. Mitchell, I'm as good as everybody else," someone says. "I'm as good as that preacher. I'm as good as those religious folk down the street."

Well, you may be and you may not be; that's not the question. Certainly you are not going to come before God and say, "I'm as good as my neighbor," are you? The moment you catch a glimpse of the eternal glory of God, my friend, you will be glad to get out of His presence. I say this reverently.

All of us need this righteousness. If you don't believe that, let me give you some of God's conclusions concerning you and me. I'm talking now about the merits of Christ.

"All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." "The Scripture hath shut up all men under sin." That's Galatians 3:22. "God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all" ( Romans 11:32).

All have become destitute of righteousness. There is not one who has attained the glory of God. There is not one who could measure up to the righteousness and the holiness of God.

My friend, the gospel is a display of the righteousness and glory of God. Remember2Corinthians says, "The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving." Why? "That they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." No, all of us need this righteousness.

Which leads me now to another wonderful truth:


Copyright Statement

Bibliography
Mitchell, John G. D.D. "Commentary on Romans 3:23". "Mitchell's Commentary on Selected New Testament Books". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jgm/romans-3.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, July 4th, 2020
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13
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