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Romans 6:23
Friday, January 27 2012

You've Earned It...

Where you go from here is entirely up to you:

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 6:23 NAB

As we wrap up this chapter of Romans, we see yet another warning about the negative effects of sin.  Actually, this is one of the more popular verses on the subject, and it is often used by "fire and brimstone" preachers standing at the front of revival tents.  With such a powerful message in so few words, it is easy to understand why.

As for the message itself, why did I title this "You've Earned It?"  Because as Paul tells us, "...the wages of sin is death."  Too many people are convinced that they are going to earn their way into heaven.  They believe that being a good person, most of the time anyway, is enough to earn a spot in heaven.  I have bad news for them - the only thing we are really earning is death.

So, if you are all proud of yourself for the great things you have done, and you are coming to collect payment on those good deeds, just stand over here, off to the side.  Someone will be right with you.

***Jeopardy Theme Music***

Anyway, if we see the two messages that come through loud and clear in this verse, the first thing that we see is that our sinful lives will only lead us to death; it is something that we have earned.  However, through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, we are given the gift of eternal life.  We did not earn it.  We cannot stash money away in a savings account to buy it one day.  It is truly, purely, awesomely a gift from God.

We need to do everything we can to turn away from sin, but simply doing that is not a sure ticket to heaven.  We can live a moral life but still fall short of eternal life.  If we want to reach heaven, we need to turn to Jesus Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  By His gracious gift on that old, rugged cross, every one of us can find hope - the hope for eternal life with God in heaven.

 

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