Romans 3:23 is another one of those memory verses that take us down the “Roman Road”. You may not have heard of the Roman Road. It is an evangelistic tool usually used by the more, should I say it, fundamentalist branch of the Christian faith. Here is a link if you wanted to follow the Roman Road.
All have fallen short of the glory to God is the basis of our understanding of who we are, quickly followed by, God so loved the world. I do think, however, we need to have the Romans 3:23 verse in there before we have the John 3:16. Our abject sinfulness needs to be recognized before we can do any good at all.
Then Paul rattles off Romans 3:28 which was the basis for the Reformation which reminds us that we are saved by faith and not by any works at all. Especially not the works of the law. Let’s be clear that it does seem like Paul seems to be backtracking a little in these verses compared to how in the past couple chapters he has been a real champion of the gentiles. He begins by laying out the history of the people of Israel and how God has, not had, chosen them to be His people. They are the chosen people. It all makes the most sense that the people who have come from Abraham accept and understand who Jesus is because he has come along that line. The fact that we are saved by faith apart from any work of the law applies to not just the gentiles, but the Jew as well. Chapter 3 contains the basic Gospel message that we would do well to hear and understand.