The Wages of Sin… In Context
Romans 6:23 begins, “the wages of sin is death…” and then counters it with, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.”
Often, I’ve heard that first part of the verse thrown at people as a threat; completely void of its context. And context is everything. And the context for this verse is incredibly liberating, empowering, and truly good news.
If you read Romans 5 and 6, fully, you’ll find there’s zero mention of humanity making some sort of choice or decision. Why? Because the context is the complete works of Christ.
“…the wages of sin is death, but God’s free gift is eternal life in Jesus…”
This scripture is often taught as though Paul was giving us a choice; as though we can invite Jesus into our hearts and make Him the Lord of our lives, or we can go to hell, where we will experience eternal conscious torment, and there will be torture, and there will be flames.
But that’s not what Paul wrote. There is no such context.
What if “the wages of sin is death” is announcing the inherent consequences of sinful actions and what they will produce in this life, as opposed to saying if we sin, we deserve torment?
Remember, it says “death;” not “everlasting life while being tortured in fire,” it says “death.”
I challenge you to read Romans 5 and 6. Read what Paul was actually writing. See how he contrasts universal humanity “in Adam” with universal humanity “in Christ” as a result of the complete work of Jesus on behalf of all of humanity
What if there isn’t a judicial system in family?
Let me ask that again.
What if…there isn’t a judicial system…in FAMILY?
What if His name really is Abba, and He is a Father and Physician? What if He is not a judge and we are not in some courtroom accused of crimes and misdemeanors? What if He is not a Master, and we are not His subjects and servants? What if we – humanity – are his children, sons and daughters of the living God; sons and daughters of heaven and eternity and glory?
What if the atonement – what happened at the cross – was totally void of violence from the Father altogether? What if it really was a victory over the Satan, sin and death, and an unveiling of His heart; as well as Him healing us of the delusions we’ve created and been deceived by… all of which, manifested death in our lives and in the earth.
What if Jesus came to reverse the trajectory in order to bring on earth as it is in heaven.
What if we’ve been looking at this completely through the wrong lens.
The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God (for all of humanity) is eternal life in Christ.
That is a conclusive statement.
It is finished… behold, I make all things new! (See John 19:30 and Rev 21:5)
He’s better than you’ve been taught.
Michael McElyea is a husband and a father; a guy who left evangelical church leadership to go on a journey with Jesus; just a man trying to follow Jesus. He lives in MD with his family.
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