The Wages of Sin or the Gift of God “Choose”!
Joshua is giving his last address to Israel. He begins his address with these words: “Thus says the lord”. During his address the people is given a choice to make: “So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? Joshua then makes a profound statement-“But as for me and my house (family), we will serve the Lord.” The choice is never between serving God and personal freedom. The choice is always between God and other masters—whether pagan gods, our sinful passions, or wealth, success, and power. We as God’s people have to make that choice every day.
As we leave Joshua that’s in the Old Testament over to the New Testament, we stop at the book of Romans chapter 6. As it pertains to our text, we can sum up that entire chapter by saying; life is made up of daily choices. But there are also basic, life–shaping choices each of us makes. Paul asks us to consider and make one of those life–shaping choices now. We can follow our sinful human desires and live a life marked by the deadness that characterizes the unsaved. Or we can choose to commit ourselves to God, determining that we will reject sin and make His will our goal in life. Many of us use this excuse when we yield to temptation, “I’m only human”. It’s ironic that we can come up with so many excuses to explain our wrong doing, and haven’t realized that a choice have been made, as a matter of fact, a choice was made to give an excuse.
As His people we must make our choices based on our position in Christ. We are new creatures or creation in Christ. The Bible says that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature or creation, old things are passed away; behold all things have become new. The Bible also says; for you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Our position is a position of holiness, being taken out of darkness and brought into His marvelous light. Our position is not based on any works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. Even in our position we have to choose how we are going to live. The choice that we make is so important that the only two pictures that’s really in view is the wages of sin or the gift of God.
Romans 6:23; For ethe wages of sin is death, but fthe 8gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1. The wages of sin: a wage is what you give someone for their labor or work. Do you believe that it is just and right to pay a man for his work? If that’s the case then sin deserves to be paid.
a). Sin – is missing the mark, it’s rebellion against God, its disobedience, it’s doing the wrong thing. Sin is not represented in the Bible as the absence of good, or as an illusion that stems from our human limitations. Sin is portrayed as a real and positive evil. Sin is more than unwise, inexpedient, calamitous behavior that produces sorrow and distress. It is rebellion against God’s law—the standard of righteousness (Ps. 119:160).
2. The wages of sin is death
The wages of sin is death. Sin deserves death for two very clear reasons.
a. Sin is acting against God, acting against His very nature. Sin strikes out against God, attempts to tear down God's nature...
b. Sin is rebellion against God. It is rejecting God, ignoring God, disobeying God, denying God, and refusing to live for God.
The point is this. True justice demands that sin receive its payment or its wages. Since sin is so opposed to God's nature and is actually rebellion against God, it deserves to die...
Death is the wage for sin – what is death- what do we mean when we say death. Death (thanatos): the basic meaning of death is separation. Death never means extinction, annihilation, non-existence, or inactivity. "Death is the separation of a person from the purpose or use for which he was intended.
The Bible speaks of three deaths.
1. Physical death: the separation of a man's spirit or life from the body. This is what men commonly call death. It is when a person ceases to exist on this earth and is buried (1 Cor. 15:21-22; Hebrews 9:27).
"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:21-22).
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
2. Spiritual death: the separation of man's spirit from God while he is still living and walking upon earth. This death is the natural state of a man on earth without Christ. Man is seen as still in his sins and dead to God (Ephes. 2:1; Ephes. 4:18; 1 John 5:12).
Spiritual death speaks of a person who is dead while he still lives (1 Tim. 5:6). He is a natural man living in this present world, but he is said to be dead to the Lord Jesus Christ and to God and to spiritual matters.
a. A person who wastes his life in riotous living is spiritually dead.
"It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found" (Luke 15:32).
c. A person who does not have the spirit of Christ is said to be spiritually dead.
"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (Romans 8:9).
f. A person who sleeps in sin is spiritually dead.
"Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light" (Ephes. 5:14).
2. Eternal death: the separation of man from God's presence forever. This is the second death, an eternal state of being dead to God (1 Cor. 6:9-10; 2 Thes. 1:9). It is spiritual death, separation from God, that is prolonged beyond the death of the body. It is called the "second death" or eternal death.
a). The RICH MAN AND LAZURUS – Luke 16:22-23
b).THE FINAL JUDGEMENT – Rev. 20:15
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:6).
"Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power"
The Gift of God – this is a grace gift and no degree of work in the world can obtain it. The Bible says that by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast.
Everlasting Life – (eternal life) – this life doesn’t begin after death, it begins when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. We can enjoy life now, we can have abundant life. A life filled with love, joy and peace here on earth and eternal life with God forever.
One Friday a man made a choice while hanging on an old rugged cross; He chose to become sin for us so we can become the righteousness of God in Him. He died, He said Father into your hands I commit my spirit and gave the Ghost. He died that day and was buried and rose on the third day and is now sitting on the right hand of God as mediator making intercession for us. One day He is coming back again.
We need to make our choices carefully, especially those that affect our moral and spiritual lives. God has determined the limits of acceptable behavior, but he gives us the freedom to accept or defy those limits. He gives us the privilege of accepting him freely or rejecting him. And while wisdom would dictate that we exercise our privilege—not our right—the choice is ours. What will it be for us: escape by grace into life or entanglement by self-will in spiritual death?
My brothers and sisters, will you make a choice today, not to walk in the deadness of sin, but to walk in the gift that God has given you, which is everlasting life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Will you make a bold and profound statement; “for me and my house we will serve the Lord”!