Posted October 07, 2014
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This well known verse in Romans contrasts two powerful realities at work:
On one hand, sin is personified as a boss or master of sorts who pays his employees their rightful wage which is death. The Bible teaches that those sinning are merely earning what they deserve. Who are those employed by sin? Earlier in Romans 3:23, we learned that all have sinned and have fallen short of God’s glory. If this is true, then all of us are under a death sentence.
On the other there is God, who unlike sin, gives us what we don’t deserve: eternal life. Note that it’s not a wage! We don’t earn salvation, but it’s a free gift… This runs against our “DIY” mentality as a culture. We like to think of ourselves as strong enough, spiritual enough, good enough to deserve what God is giving, but even our self-righteous attempts fall short. Salvation is never an earned gift, but it is a free gift. We can’t boast about the necessary steps we took to show ourselves as more worthy of our salvation, but rather can only boast in God’s unmerited favor in giving us what we did not deserve. This is the anthem of grace that anyone who is a Christian will be singing throughout eternity.
This eternal life isn’t some vague & mystical “Star Wars-like force”, but one mediated through a real Person, namely Christ Jesus our Lord. Apart from Christ’s perfect life, substitutionary death, and resurrection, slaves to sin would have no hope. John Stott commented, “The only ground on which this gift is bestowed is the atoning death of Christ, and the only condition of receiving it is that we are in Christ Jesus our Lord, that is personally united to him by faith.”
May we be reminded of sin’s wages but God’s gracious gift to us in Christ, and in turn worship Him! He’s too kind to the undeserving.
Song by David Anderson.
Produced and Mixed by Latifah Phillips.
Artwork by Chris Wright.