God’s voice rang clear in the Word this morning:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NLT)
We proclaim it as a word of warning and promise from God’s lips to the ears of those who have not opened their hearts to Christ — and that it is.
But don’t miss the fact that the author actually is speaking to Christians — those who God’s grace has set free from the law (v.15), whose old sinful selves were crucified with Christ (v.6), who have been set free from the power of sin and will share his new life (vv.7-8).
Why does a Christian need to be reminded that “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord”?
Because “whatever you choose to obey becomes your master.” Paul is explaining to Jesus-followers that “you can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive his approval.” (v.16)
Paul says this is easy to understand: “Before, you let yourselves be slaves of impurity and lawlessness. Now you must choose to be slaves of righteousness so that you will become holy.”
And he is saying that to people who already are “free from the power of sin” and “do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.” (v.22) He is warning them that they must not allow themselves to once again become slaves of impurity and lawlessness (v.19) and do the things that end in eternal doom (v.21)
Salvation is a gift that Jesus has given you, keeps giving you, and will one day give you. Your part at first was to choose to accept that gift, and now your part is to keep choosing to accept it.
You are free from the power of sin! As slaves of God, do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. (v.22) Consider yourself dead to sin and live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus! (v.11)
Because the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.