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Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
As Christians it is always good to be reminded of the “basic” truths. It is always good to be reminded of the things we take for granted, because we honestly should not take them for granted.
Romans 6:23 provides us with some foundational truth statements.
Romans 6:23 reminds us that we have not earned eternal life. The only thing that we have earned for ourselves before God is death. The wages for sin is death. Death is the wage we have earned, because we have all sinned (Romans 3:23). We deserve death not life.
Romans 6:23 reminds us that eternal life can never be earned. It is the free gift of God. I like the ESV’s wording here. “…the free gift of God…” The Greek word translated “free gift” is charisma. Eternal life is the “grace gift of God.” Eternal life is the gift from God that we have not earned, do not deserve, but God is pleased to freely give to us. Actually, the only way to have eternal life is to receive it as a gift. As Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Romans 6:23 reminds us that eternal life is given in Christ Jesus our Lord. This gift from God is free to us, but it is very costly for God. God gave His only Son, Jesus, to die in our place for our sins. Jesus paid the price to purchase the free gift of eternal life, and He now offers it to us freely. It is His to give, because He paid for it with His life. He offers eternal life as a gift, not an incentive, points program, or rewards package. It is a free gift to all who trust in Jesus. As John 1:12 says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…”
Finally, Romans 6:23 reminds us that the free gift of eternal life is found ONLY in Jesus. No one else can offer this gift, because no one else can pay for it. Only Jesus has paid the price for our sins in His death, and it is only through trusting in Jesus that we receive the gift of eternal life. As John 14:6 says, “Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
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