“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (read verses 1-23)
That we are all guilty before God and stand guilty and condemned under the law of God is made clear in Romans 3:9-20.
That God provided a way for sinners to be justified and counted righteous by God through faith in Christ Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the world is revealed and explained in Romans 3:21-28 and the following two chapters of Paul’s letter.
In the sixth chapter, the Apostle Paul addresses the errors of those who think they can continue in sin and still possess the benefits of God’s grace in Christ Jesus.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (v.1-2). We were saved for a life with purpose (cf. 2 Cor. 5:15). We were joined, in our baptisms, to Christ in His death and resurrection in order that Christ’s death on the cross would be our death and punishment for sin and that Christ’s resurrection, after He paid the price for our sins, would be our resurrection to new life in fellowship with and service to our God and Savior (v.3ff.).
“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (v. 15-16).
If we willingly give ourselves back into sin — yielding ourselves to the temptations of the devil, the allurements of the world and the sinful desires of our flesh, we again become slaves of sin and reap the results, the wages of sin, which are spiritual death and eternal death and damnation! Cf. Gen. 2:16-17; Heb. 10:26-31; 2 Pet. 2:20-22; Rom. 6:20-23.
If we turn away from Christ and back into sin, seeking to turn God’s grace into a license to live in rebellion and enmity against God, we justly earn the penalty for our sins, which is death and the eternal wrath of God.
But if, by the grace of God, we continue trusting in Christ Jesus and His sacrifice for our sins, we are set free from the condemnation of the law and from our former servitude to sin, and God’s gracious gift to us is forgiveness for all our sins and eternal life for Jesus’ sake.
If, by the grace of God, we trust in Christ our Savior and walk in fellowship with God through faith in Christ (cf. 1 John 1:5 — 2:2), we possess and receive the gracious gifts of God which Jesus won for us — forgiveness of sins and everlasting life in fellowship with our God and Maker.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23; cf. Deut. 30:15-20).
Dearest LORD Jesus, grant we not turn away from You and back into sin but hold fast to You and the new life You have given us by means of Your death upon the cross for our sins and Your triumphant resurrection on the third day. Amen.
[Scripture quotations are from the King James Version.]