What Does “For the wages of sin is death” Mean According To The Bible
Perhaps we can be confused, and even horrified to read the bible and see the phrase ” the wages of sin is death ” when we know from experience that we are sinners. But what meaning did you want to give to the word death at that time? Will our death for sin be physical ?; here we clarify your doubts about that.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
The wages of sin is death
The Bible verse Romans 6:23 is possibly the most accurate presentation of the Gospel in all of Scripture: it leads us to understand our sinful nature while promising eternal life in Christ. But what can we analyze from here?
The Bible Verse in Context
First of all, any verse in the Bible must be read in context, in the perspective of what is written around it. In this case, we are reading Paul’s words to the church in Rome, and in chapter 6 he is addressing the contrasts between sin and grace, death and life.
In this portion of Scripture, Paul is defining how when we find eternal life in Christ, we simultaneously become dead to sin. Just as Christ died and rose again, we have the hope of a resurrected future, a perfect state of life.
Because of God’s great grace, our sins are covered, and we no longer need to live in sin. This is our hope in Jesus, and this is the hope that Paul proclaims to the church in Rome.
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“The wages of sin”
First of all, why is it called pay? A pay or salary is something we work on, something we actively seek, whether we realize it or not.
When we go to work and expect to get paid for that job, we are earning our salary. In the same way, at the end of the day, we will be paid for our sin with death.
Generally speaking, no one is actively trying to commit the greatest sin possible to receive the payment of death, or to see how much can be covered by grace, right? Let’s hope not!
So why do you use the term “pay”? When we work for money, we expect to be paid what we deserve, what we have earned. Through the work of sin within us, we have earned and deserved physical and spiritual death.
That’s a depressing thought, and it should shake us to the core. We spend a lot of time worrying about getting what we deserve in life, and it can leave us feeling entitled, thinking that we deserve more and that we deserve better.
But what we deserve is neither good nor better; what we deserve is death. However, Christ died on the cross to give us that undeserved salvation, thanks to his sacrifice we can be free from sin and be born again in it.
What does death mean in this case?
The verse does not speak of physical death but rather contrasts spiritual death with eternal life. Those whose job it is to deliberately sin will receive a pay of spiritual death, which means separation from God.
Although this is a terrible situation, the verse immediately includes an answer to this problem; Through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, the gift of eternal life is given.
In other words, if we do not have faith in Christ, we are slaves to sin, and as a consequence, we are separated from the presence of God. Death is often experienced both in the present and for eternity.
The sins of the moment may seem funny or liberating, but ultimately they do not result in what we want. The solution is faith in Christ.
God’s gift is eternal life
Paul says that the salary we deserve is death. It is only by the grace of God through the death and resurrection of Christ that we can expect anything but death. Through Christ, we are given a gift of eternal life. The only way to escape our sin is through it, and because it is a gift, it is incredibly simple to receive:
- “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10: 9).
Paul makes a sharp contrast between what we deserve and what we have been given. What we deserve, and what we have earned, are sin and death. A gift is not something we earn but is given to us out of love and grace, especially when we don’t deserve it.
We only receive life, hope, and peace in Christ through a gift that God’s grace freely gives us. Jesus paid the death penalty for sin on the cross in our place. This should change our attitude from complaining of what we deserve to one of gratitude, because of what we have been given we could never be worthy.
Thanks to Jesus, we can know what love looks like. We can understand what grace means and what eternal life is like. We have the right to live a better life than we could ever hope to deserve, a life that is abundant regardless of the circumstances and full of grace and gratitude.
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How can we avoid the “wages of sin” and escape spiritual death?
First, we must put our faith in Christ. Only He can save us (John 14:16). Then, by our trust in Him and our love for Him (in response to His love for us; 1 John 4:19), obey Him (John 14:15; John 15: 1-11). Our obedience leads us to a more vibrant experience of true life (John 10:10).
As followers of Christ, we are free to live in obedience to God and submit to the process of sanctification. As part of that sanctification, we begin to experience eternal life even while on this earth (John 10:10; John 15:11). And, in the future, we will spend eternity with God.
God tells us through his word that the wages of sin is death, but he also tells us that if we believe in Jesus we can escape this consequence, and also obtain an undeserved gift such as salvation. We don’t need to do anything because it is a gift that Christ paid for through his sacrifice on the cross.