“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6.23.
Chapter six and the next two chapters are closely related to each other and should ideally be studied together.
Romans is not an easy book to study. This is true even for believers. Starting from chapter six, it will become even more apparent that the book was primarily written for believers so that they may truly understand, not only in their mind but more importantly truly know in their heart, what salvation God has given through Jesus Christ.
Understandably, this will make the book even more difficult to understand for friends who have not believed and received the new life.
Nevertheless, an initial goal of studying the book of Romans is not to fully understand this magnificent book, but to receive help from the Holy Spirit through this book so that we may at least start to turn our heart to gospel.
To do this, we have to once again contemplate the subject of sin.
In chapter six, Paul depicts sin as a powerful tyrant that cannot be defeated by human effort alone. Anyone who knows the true nature of sin will acknowledge that Paul is right. Unfortunately, this is not a commonly understood nor accepted view.
Under the great deception of Satan, man has an increasingly strong illusion that he is the master of himself, or at least reasonably aspires to be the master of his domain. This is particularly epitomized in the modern humanism thinking.
But the reality is that man is a pitiful slave of sin which is an agent of Satan. Sin is a power. Sin is a tyrant. The sinful man’s understanding (misunderstanding) is often that sin is forbidden enjoyment and secret satisfaction, which is, although admittedly wrong according to morals, good to the man himself and may even benefit him. The pervasiveness of this illusion, even at an unconscious level, proves the deceptiveness of sin and Satan.
What a master sin is! We know that every master has control over his slaves and pays wages to the slaves. So does sin. Being a powerful tyrant, sin surely has control over those who are subject to it. But sin also pays out its wages to its slaves abundantly and unwaveringly.
What is the wages that Sin pays to its slaves? “The wages of sin is death,” Paul writes in this chapter. And sin has never failed to pay this wage to its slaves. Not even once. Everyman who has lived on the earth and died is a testament to this fact by virtual of his eventual death, which is the due wages he received from his Master Satan.
But one Man has overcome this powerful tyrant by dying an entirely different death, a death which is not a result of sin but a result of obedience. He is sinless and is therefore not subject to the power of death, but He chose to die willingly in order to destroy death so that we may be saved. As evidence, He was not bound by the death (as he would have been had He died in sin) but instead overcame sin through resurrection.
Instead of succumbing to death perpetually, through death he went down to the house of Satan, subdued the master and bound the strong man.
This Man then rightfully became the new Master. And his name is Jesus, the Christ.
What a different master He is! He draws you with love and gives you gift which is eternal life. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” Romans 6.23. If His gift is eternal life, wait to find what His wages shall be!
It is now your choice to choose between these two masters. Sin has been your master and he wants to be in that position firmly and eternally. But sin does not tell you the truth of what he intends to do with you. Instead he tells you that you are your own master, so that you would be more willingly to do it for him.
Satan, the father of sin, is a liar by his nature. He wants you to believe that you can be the master of you own. But that is Satan’s masterpiece of all lies. He tells that lie in the most deceitful way by appealing to you own pride and by making it as if he cares about you. Do you recall what Satan said to Eve in the Garden of Eden? Didn’t he appear to be most sympathetic of Eve and wanted her to be master of her own?
My friend, you will be either serving the king of lies and receive death as your wages, or serving the King of truth and receive eternal life as a gift. You really don’t have another choice.
In whose service are you employed today?