Once again, I have always heard this verse but have had trouble remembering where to find it, so it has been semi-easy to memorize, which is good seeing as how I was at camp most of last week (which was awesome let me tell you!’). I still have to stop and really concentrate to recall this verse because I get it slightly mixed up with Romans 3:23, but hopefully the more I recite it the more quickly I will be able to recall it.
“For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Chrsit Jesus our Lord.”
What’s neat about this scripture is that it perfectly sums up the last two scriptures that we have been memorizing; John 3:16 and Romans 3:23. Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” while John 3:16 tells us that God sent His Son Jesus to give eternal life to all that except Him.
But when we single out this verse on its own, we can focus on two (really three) words of the scripture, “wages” and “free gift“. The definition of wages is more or less being paid for your services; or getting what you worked for; or getting what you deserve. So if the “wages of sin is death” then according to Romans 3:23 (For all have sinned…) we all deserve death. And not only death here on earth, but also death in eternity which is really just eternity away from God. That’s not really uplifting to think about.
But notice that Paul didn’t even stop to let you think about it, he didn’t put a comma or anything in the sentence before immediately saying “but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord”. Free and gift are both pretty self explanatory so I won’t bother with the definitions, but you need to uderstand that the free gift that God gave us is completely contradicting what we are supposed to receive for our wages. And God does not hesitate to give it to whoever will take it.
Most of us think of wages in a positve way (money, food, services, etc..) so it may be hard to think of wages in a negative way, but I assure you, there is one. Look back at the definitions that I gave; all of those can be turned around negatively. 1 You are being paid; ever heard the term “payback”? Yep. Being paid is not always a good thing. Getting what you worked for is pretty much the same as payment but it is more specific about the work you are doing. Is your work here on earth asking for the wages from this scripture? And then 3 is getting what we deserve. I think this one is looked at as both postive and negative pretty equally; you can deserve a vacation from hard work or deserve punishment from bad actions; in this case, we deserve punishment.
But God freely gave us His Son as an “out” of that punishment and all we have to do to obtain it for ourselves is take the gift from His hands and say “thank you”. And as a bonus, we not only get to get out of our punishment, but we also get to spend eternity with our Father in companionship! Thats like your parents ungrounding you a week early AND taking you to go get ice cream in the same day! Only way better!
Have you excepted God’s free gift? If you have excepted this amazing gift, what are you doing to show it?
Starting today, our memory verse for the week is 2 Corinthians 5:17 and we have until next Sunday (July 5) to memorize it. Its not too late to join in if you want to challenge yourself to memorize 10 new (or old) passages of scripture over the summer, the week of July 5th is a catch-up week so there will be no assigned scripture that week.
If you missed the past two posts, here are the links, Week #1 (John 3:16) and Week #2 (Romans 3:23)
Thank you all for reading! Have a blessed day!