Wages of Sin and Gods Gift
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is revolutionary. It changes
peoples lives for the good, and it delivers them from the wrath of God.
We were slaves to sin. None of us was born in righteousness. We were
born slaves in a miserable condition in which we could never deliver ourselves.
The individual who has put his trust in Christ has died to sin, and
been made alive to God in Christ (Rom. 6:1-23).
One of the greatest summaries of the good news in Jesus Christ is
found in Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal
life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
C. H. Spurgeon said of this verse, It is a Christian proverb, a
golden sentence, a divine statement of truth worthy to be written across the sky.
If we got the payment we deserved we would get
death; but God out of His grace has given us eternal life.
The wages of sin is
This is a consistent message in the Bible. The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel
says, The soul that sins will surely die (Ezek. 18:4; cf. Rom. 1:32; 5:12;
6:16, 21; 8:6, 13; Gal. 6:8; Gen. 2:16-17; Rev. 20:14-15).
Sin has its payday, and its wages is death. The wage that Satan doles
out is death. The future punishment of the sinner is called the second death.
The word wages (opsonia) in the original language
is a word from cooked meat, or provisions. It means,
provision money, or supplies paid to an army. The soldiers earned their wages
and were paid in daily provisions of food. Sin pays wages in full, without any deductions.
If we got what we deserved we would get death. The death is eternal
separation from God in hell (Lk. 16:24-25). These are the wages that are earned and
deserved because of sin (Rom. 5:17; 7:13).
Ultimately death involves separation of mans spirit from his
body, and the separation from God. It is an eternal separation for all who reject Christ.
The death penalty is the result of sin. Death is the out come of sin. Had there been no
sin there would have been no death (Rom. 6:16, 21, 23; Gen. 2:16-17; Ezek. 18:4).
The single exception in history is Jesus Christ who never experienced
personal sin (1 Pet. 2:21-24). He was absolutely perfect and therefore the only one who
could possibly die for sin as our substitute. We will die because we are sinners and
justly so. However, the sinless one became man and died as our substitute (2 Cor. 5:21;
Heb. 9:28). He paid our debt in full.
When we respond by faith to the saving work of Christ He completely
reverses the consequences. The believer is now . . . set free from sin and its
eternal consequences. The end of sin is death. The end of salvation by faith is eternal
But the free gift of
God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord
The free gift (charisma), grace gift,
is an undeserved gift, of something given to a man unearned and unmerited. It is something
given to sinful man from Gods grace. It is something we could never have achieved,
or attained to by our own efforts. It is unearnable. It is the opposite of
The free gift God gives us is eternal life
(Jn. 3:16, 36). Eternal life is a gift that cannot be earned (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).
The Law worked sin, and the result of sin is death; grace results in
righteousness and eternal life.
Death and life in this context are in contrast to one another, and
both are eternal. Gods final judgment on sin will be meted out at the last day.
Eternal life is the life of Gods children in heaven. Eternal death is called the
second death in Revelation, and is accompanied by eternal punishment (Rev.
Do you work for a gift? No. Do you pay for your own gift? No. Is it
something you deserve or merit? No. All you can do to take possession of a gift is to
receive it. Gods gift to you is free. He paid a high price for it when He sent His
Son to go to the cross and die as your substitute (Rom. 5:6, 8; 2 Cor. 5:21). The gift of
God is not cheap. It is the most precious and expensive gift in the whole universe. This
is how much God loves you.
In Christ Jesus our
The gift comes to us through a personal trust in Jesus Christ. God
gives it to us freely; all we do is receive it. But as many as received him, to them
gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were
born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God
And this is life eternal, that they might know You the only
true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent (Jn. 17:3). Are you in Jesus Christ?
Have you received the "free gift" of eternal life? Are you trusting in Jesus
Christ alone for eternal life?
Jesus Christ paid the price of our redemption (1 Cor. 6:20). He who
paid the price of our ransom is one and the same person who justifies us freely. This gift
of eternal life is granted through Jesus Christ and He also dispenses it.
Sin pays wagesdeath! God also pays
wagesholiness and everlasting life. In the old life, we produce
works that produced death. In the new life in Christ, we produce fruit that glorifies God and brings joy to
Romans 6:23 can also be a warning for the saved
because Romans was written to believers. The apostle John said, "There
is a sin unto death" (1 Jn. 5:17). The apostle Paul admonished, "For this reason many among you are weak and
sick, and a number sleep" (1 Cor. 11:30). Samson set a bad example
because he would not yield
himself to God, but preferred to yield to the lusts of the flesh, and the result was death
(Judges 16). If the believer refuses to surrender his body to the Lord,
and chooses to use its members for sinful purposes, then he is in
danger of being disciplined by the Father. Chastisement could include
death (Heb. 12:5-11).
The believer has been set free from sin (Rom. 6:18, 22), and is no
longer a slave to it (vv. 6, 20), but is now a slave to righteousness (vv. 16, 18-19). We
now have eternal life (v. 23). The believer has been crucified with
Christ and is risen from the dead. It is our responsibility to reckon on
this fact and yield our bodies to the Lord.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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