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CMF eZine


The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.

Romans 6:23 - Wage or Gift Bookmark

We usually apply Romans 6:23 to the lost, and certainly it does apply; but it also has a warning for the saved.  (After all, it was written to Christians.)  “There is a sin unto death” (1 John 5:17).  “For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep” (1 Cor. 11:30, NASB).  Samson, for example, would not yield himself to God, but preferred to yield to the lusts of the flesh, and the result was death (Jud. 16).  If the believer refuses to surrender his body to the Lord, but uses its members for sinful purposes, then he is in danger of being disciplined by the Father, and this could mean death. (Wiersbe, Warren W.: The Bible Exposition Commentary.)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)
For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NET)

The word used here for wages is ο?ψω?νια (opso??nia ).  It was used originally to describe those things that were purchased to be eaten with bread (vegetables, meat, fish, etc.) and was the way that Roman soldiers were paid their wages.  It is used here to convey that which is earned or deserved.  Death then is the proper dessert or just reward for sin!  Remembering back to chapter one where the wrath of God is being revealed against all unrighteousness and all ungodliness, it is then easy to see that not one pain is inflicted upon a sinner that is undeserved but rather ALL has been earned.

Eze 18:4 For all people are Mine to judge—both parents and children alike.  And this is My rule: The person who sins is the one who will die. (NLT)

To the contrast of wages we have a free gift given because of Christ's mercy.  Each gift is of the same length (eternal - everlasting).  One will be awful the other glorious.  There will be no innocent martyrs in hell.  Those blessed with eternal life with Christ Jesus will all enjoy this blessing without merit but rather because of Christ's rich and sovereign Grace (χαρισμα του Θεου - the gracious gift of God).

Thus we see this wonderful doctrine of the Gospel unfold.  But it is useless to those who refuse to die to sin and rise with Christ, in the likeness of his resurrection, and enter into the newness of life He provides.  Look around your home, your neighborhood, you nation and see the untold millions who believe the whole Gospel and yet are living in sin! Don’t forget to look in the mirror!

We usually apply Romans 6:23 to the lost, and certainly it does apply; but it also has a warning for the saved.  (After all, it was written to Christians.)  “There is a sin unto death” (1 John 5:17).  “For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep” (1 Cor. 11:30, NASB).  Samson, for example, would not yield himself to God, but preferred to yield to the lusts of the flesh, and the result was death (Jud. 16).  If the believer refuses to surrender his body to the Lord, but uses its members for sinful purposes, then he is in danger of being disciplined by the Father, and this could mean death. (Wiersbe, Warren W.: The Bible Exposition Commentary.)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (NLT)
For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NET)

The word used here for wages is ο?ψω?νια (opso??nia ).  It was used originally to describe those things that were purchased to be eaten with bread (vegetables, meat, fish, etc.) and was the way that Roman soldiers were paid their wages.  It is used here to convey that which is earned or deserved.  Death then is the proper dessert or just reward for sin!  Remembering back to chapter one where the wrath of God is being revealed against all unrighteousness and all ungodliness, it is then easy to see that not one pain is inflicted upon a sinner that is undeserved but rather ALL has been earned.

Eze 18:4 For all people are Mine to judge—both parents and children alike.  And this is My rule: The person who sins is the one who will die. (NLT)

To the contrast of wages we have a free gift given because of Christ's mercy.  Each gift is of the same length (eternal - everlasting).  One will be awful the other glorious.  There will be no innocent martyrs in hell.  Those blessed with eternal life with Christ Jesus will all enjoy this blessing without merit but rather because of Christ's rich and sovereign Grace (χαρισμα του Θεου - the gracious gift of God).

Thus we see this wonderful doctrine of the Gospel unfold.  But it is useless to those who refuse to die to sin and rise with Christ, in the likeness of his resurrection, and enter into the newness of life He provides.  Look around your home, your neighborhood, you nation and see the untold millions who believe the whole Gospel and yet are living in sin! Don’t forget to look in the mirror!



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