Message: “The Wages of SIN…and…the GIFT of GOD” (Romans 6:23)
Sin is sweet. Sin is powerful. It is amazing that such a thing can be defeated. But CHRIST did it!
All that which pleases is but for a moment. No earthly pleasure is long lasting. Sin is pleasurable because it focuses on “self.” But sin always disappoints the Sinner – always. Just like there is a natural instinct that tells us when we are filled with food, there is also a conscience that speaks when sin is committed. But the sinner always disregards this “inner” voice.
Sin is committed during this life of Time. But true life is lived only in eternity, not here. All that which pleases is but for a moment. All that which troubles us is but for a moment. That which is Eternal is the most important”
There are three Truths we need to observe from here. We should not let the world and its pleasures keep us away from Christ. We should not be troubled by “trifles” (things that have no eternal values). We should not delay in making decisions to avoid sin in all its elements. (Joshua 24:15)….A corrupt character is propelled by sin towards death. The great gravity of death pulls the sinner toward its belly – no way of escape, the end is fixed. “Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.” (John 8:21). Sin is a very poor paymaster…the sooner all slaves of sin change their master the better.
But a character lived in Faith is propelled by Christ’s Righteousness towards Eternal Life. The great Gravity of God’s Love draws the righteous toward God’s Dwelling. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:3). We find in God an excellent Paymaster…He daily loads us with His benefits…and in the end Eternal Life.
The Bible says in Romans 6:23; “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We can see that the sinner earns his wages, but the righteous believer does not earn eternal life – it is a free gift from God; and its channel is Christ Jesus and His atoning work.
God reckons the believer in Christ to have died with Him. Just as Christ died for sin, the believer died to sin, to self, and to the world, and cannot therefore continue to live in that to which he has died. We are associated with Christ in His death, and so we are freed from the dominion of sin. This association extends to Christ’s risen life and consequently we become bond-slaves of His righteousness.
Sin no longer is our master, as we have died with Christ and risen with Him in Righteousness. We are now liberated and handed over to our new master, righteousness. Death is called the wages of sin, because it is its proper reward. “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins, it shall die.” (Exodus 18:4).
Death is as enduring as eternal life. They both will last forever. But eternal life is a gift that is conferred on those who receive it from Jesus Christ. This great channel of God’s great Gift is Jesus Christ, and no other human agent or leader of religion.
Finally, let us understand the provisions of God and the choices we make. Eternal life is as long as eternal death. The one will be rich, blessed, and everlasting; the other sad, gloomy, lingering, awful. The sinner would not have the compassion of the universe in his favor. They who are saved will be raised to heaven by the rich and sovereign grace of God.
It is good for us then to “Flee from the wrath to come.” (Luke 3:7). No man is so foolish as the one who wants to reap the proper wages of sin. And, none so blessed as the one who lays hold on eternal life.
About the writer
Nigerian-born Bishop Jacob Afolabi is Senior Pastor at the Christ Chapel Bible Church in Ottawa. He is the recipient of many community awards, including the 2017 Black History Ottawa Community Builder award, for his many years of community work. He is the founder of the Ottawa Pastors’ forum and has contributed inspiring articles in community newspapers and commentary on community radio stations, as well training a new generation of pastors. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.