Select Page
Read Introduction to Romans


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



The word “for” explains the “no difference” of verse 22.

all [panoramic or global view of man] have sinned [at a point in the past—aorist indicative]

This is the reason men cannot stand before God on their own merit. There is no person who never sinned except Jesus. For the third time in two verses we have the word “all.” “All” continues the emphasis of Romans 3:4, 9, 12, 19, 20.

The Greek indicates that this sin occurred at the fall of Adam (aorist, passive, indicative). From that point forward man’s status before God is that he comes short of the standard of who God is.

The word “sinned” means to miss the mark. Man cannot measure up to God’s righteousness. The word “sinned” (constative aorist) is a reference to the one sin of Adam. We all sinned in Adam. Adam’s sin was imputed or accounted to us. This phrase gathers all members of the human race into one group—sinners with sin inherited from Adam.

and fall [keep on falling] short [not to reach] of the glory [who and what God is] of God [flunk God’s standard of perfect righteousness],

Not only did all sin but they also fell short of God’s standard. No one can measure up to the absolute perfection of God’s righteousness. The glory of God is the standard that God Himself must follow. He cannot be inconsistent with what He is; that would be duplicity on His part.

The “glory of God” is everything that God represents and for which He stands. His glory is the aggregate of who and what He is. That is why there is universal unobtainability of God’s righteousness. The Bible defines sin in relation to who and what God is. The best of mankind falls short of the standard of who God is. God is absolute, without variation, and immutably perfect. Sin is the failure to measure up to God’s righteousness. Therefore, there is nothing we can do to measure up to what God requires. This is God’s panoramic view of humanity.


All men are equally incapable of and bankrupt in coming to God by human achievement.


The only means of salvation is faith through grace. God must make the provision or man’s sinfulness would prohibit him from becoming a believer. Our case is hopeless apart from the intervening grace of God.

God demands perfection of Himself and of us. If He were to accept anything less, heaven would fill with characters contradictory to Himself. Heaven could no longer be heaven in that case.