Romans 6:23

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, May 18, 2015 0 comments
by Katie Erickson 

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

After many weeks of covering lengthy passages in the book of Romans, it seems surprising to only have one verse this week! But, as you’ll soon find out, this verse is exceedingly important, and there is a bunch of theology packed in here.

This verse has 3 basic contrasts in it, to summarize and emphasize the points that Paul has been making up to this point in his letter. Paul uses a lot of stark contrasts throughout his letter to the Romans, but they are especially evident in this verse.

Contrast #1: Who is your master - sin or God?

As I wrote about last week and the week before, every person has a choice to make as to what or who they’re slaved to. We are all slaves to something, whether to sin or righteousness and the ways of God. We all have a master in our lives, even if we don’t feel like we’re in slavery.

Contrast #2: What is the outcome of that slavery - death or eternal life?

If you choose to be a slave to sin, you will receive death. If you choose to be a slave to God, you will receive life. That sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Why would anybody choose death over life?

If sin weren’t appealing, we would never do it. It would be pointless for Satan to tempt us with things that we don’t like. He knows us well enough to know what we desire and what will turn us away from following God. For example, I’m not a sports fan - I don’t root for any team or follow the happenings of any sport. Satan knows that I won’t get distracted by big important sporting events, so he’d never try and use that to get me to spend my time focused on things other than God. Satan will instead tempt me with things he knows I’ll enjoy or things I would desire, such as (lately) the latest and greatest cell phone, or getting me to contemplate buying an electric car that’s out of my price range. (Yep, I’m a geek.)

Whether we choose to either follow in the world’s sinful ways or in God’s righteous ways, we need to know the outcome. Will we choose death, or will we choose life?

Contrast #3: How do you reach that outcome - did you earn it, or receive it as a gift?

We earn the outcome of death by committing sins in our lives. It’s as simple as that. It’s like the concept of sowing and reaping - when you sow sinful actions, you reap death as a result. All of us have earned the penalty of death by our actions, many times over.

None of us can earn life as a result of our actions. We all sin (see Romans 3:23). The only way we can get eternal life is to receive it as a gift from God, as a result of His grace.

When you go to work every day, you earn your wage by putting in the time and doing the tasks that are asked of you. In contrast to that, when you have a birthday, you receive gifts that you didn’t have to earn. We don’t “earn” birthday gifts by doing anything but simply getting a year older, but the people around us want to give us a gift to celebrate our life. It’s the same way with God. He gives us the wonderful gift of salvation and eternal life, simply because He loves us! All we need to do to receive that free gift is to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is fully God, but He chose to come to this earth as a human, to die an extremely painful death, and then to be raised again - all so that He could pay the penalty and be able to give us a free gift!

To recap, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We earn the wage of death by committing sins and separating ourselves from God. We are given the free gift of eternal life from God through Jesus Christ, if we choose to accept it and make ourselves slaves to righteousness, rather than slaves to the sinfulness of this world.

Have you accepted God’s free gift yet in your life? If not, please contact us at Worldview Warriors; we would love to chat with you!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.