In the last session we looked at the contrast between wages earned and gift offered that Paul so perfectly paints a picture of in Romans 6:23. As we see in the second part of the verse there is a gift offered that has the opposite effect of the wages earned described in the first part. Let’s take a look then and see what that gift is and who offers it. As we again read “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” in the second part of the verse, we realize that the gift and the giver are identified for us.
First, what is the gift? The answer is simple. Eternal life. This is the second contrast we see in the verse. The wages earned result in eternal death but the gift offered is eternal life. As we discussed earlier, the eternal death described in the first part of the verse is physical and spiritual death. This spiritual death is eternal separation from our very Creator and the Holy and Almighty God of the universe. This also results in a death that will ultimately include eternal torment in a place prepared for the devil and his angels. But the gift offered is the exact opposite of eternal death. The eternal life offered here is an everlasting intimate relationship with Jesus that begins the very moment one accepts the offer and will last for all eternity. It also results in eternal joy in a place that He has prepared for those of us who have received this gift. No separation, no pain, no suffering, no sin, nothing but joy as we live forever in His presence. I can’t think of anything better than that and by just saying “I accept” to the offer that has been extended to all men.
Now that we know what ‘the gift’ is, let’s take a look at the giver of this wonderful gift. In the verse the giver is identified as God Himself. The very One who created man but has pronounced judgment on his sinful condition, is that very same One who has offered us a gift that will nullify that judgment and allow us to again have a relationship with Him. What an amazing thought! That God would create man and everything he needs to live life abundantly, would allow him to be the master of all He had created, place trust in him to manage it properly, have an intimate relationship with Him and yet still love him even after he allows pride to cause him to sin. That He would provide a means for man to regain that relationship by offering him a gift instead of requiring him to be satisfied with what he has earned. Only God in His mercy and grace could do such a thing! Thanks be to God for His loving kindness towards us.
Now that we have identified the gift that God has offered to us, we will take a look at what has really made this gift possible. In our next session we will consider the last few words of the verse and see if we can understand what makes all of this so remarkable. So stay tuned.
“For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23