Wages vs. Gift
Just one verse today and it is familiar to many of us: Romans 6:23: “23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is one of the verses on the “Roman’s Road”, a series of verses that helps to define our sin and the way to salvation in Jesus Christ. What I want to focus on this morning is the contrast between the words “wages” and “gift”. Paul writes “the wages of sin is death”. Our sin “earns” a wage. Our sin has a natural consequence and outcome. It is a little awkward to think that something that is earned is actually a negative but that is what is true regarding sin. When we work 45 hours in a week we feel like we “deserve” a paycheck for that. Paul is reminding us that our sin “deserves” something as well…the wage of death. But there is something amazing offered, a “gift”. God offers the gift of eternal life. Note that eternal life is not a “wage”. It is not earned. It is a glorious gift that is given to us by God. Also notice that this gift is “in Christ Jesus our Lord”. [I’m often amazed at how some people still refuse to accept that eternal life comes only through Jesus Christ given how many times this is repeated in the New Testament]. The most important question in life is “Are you getting what you deserve or are you being gifted eternal life?” You must receive a gift. God is graciously offering you a gift of eternal life. Have you received it? Will you share this good news with others? I’m very glad that God doesn’t give me what I deserve…how about you?