“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23 ESV
None of us likes to talk about sin. The results of sin are usually not the topic of choice at get togethers with friends or co-workers. However, there is a reality of sin. Sin is always tied to selfishness or selfless gone astray. Sin has a consequence. Sin always hurts someone . . . either ourselves or others.
From our perspective, sin is violating a standard or law. From God’s perspective, it is that part of each of us . . . no how much effort we put in or how hard we try . . . there is an eternal and Devine standard that we cannot meet. The prophet Jerimiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9 ESV). Paul reminded the followers in Rome, “There are none righteous . . . no, not even one.” (Rom 3:23)
Although sin has a payment, God had a plan. Sin’s consequence has been cancelled by God’s compassion. Paul tells us that the result of “sin is death”, but the “free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
His Gift is Generous. We should be required to pay the “wages of sin”, but instead we have a “free gift of God”. God’s generosity toward us had a considerable cost for Him. John writes, ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17 ESV). God’s love led Him to give so that we might gain. What generosity . . . What grace.
His Gift Is Gracious. No matter how hard we try, we could never dig ourselves out of sin’s deep hole. The psalmist wrote, “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” (Ps 40:2 ESV) God saw our mess and gave us mercy. This awesome gift is based on His amazing grace. Paul makes it clear to us, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Eph 2:4-5 ESV). In our lostness we are loved. What generosity . . . What grace . . . What a glory.
His Gift Is Glorious. The provision of God’s extended grace is the promise of God’s eternal glory. John writes, “Dear friends, we are God’s children, but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as He is pure.” (1 John 3:2-3 NLT)
God is so generous that He gave His Son so we could be His children. His grace is an extension of His generous gift. And, He has redeemed us as His own for our good and His glory.
I like the way The Message sums up Paul’s teaching, “Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity He put us in right standing with Himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where He always wanted us to be. And, He did it by means of Jesus Christ.” (Rom 3:23-24 MSG)
God did it . . . for us!