I’m sitting here on a night I couldn’t sleep thinking about all the possible things I could have done wrong and suddenly it hit me. Romans 6:23 is a verse nearly every Christian (and even non-Christian) know to well. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” It was the first part that stood out to me.
The first half of the verse talks about death coming from sin. Let’s face it, death is all around us. We can see the effects of sin just by turning on the news. These are the obvious signs of death that come from sin. But what about the not so obvious? It’s easy to look at the TV and say “see, we’ve turned away from God, followed sin, and now look at the world.” Let’s look closer.
When sin is active in our lives, it causes death to something. Sin for example may not physically kill you, but it can kill your joy. It can kill your relationships. It can kill your hope. I can keep going, but I am sure you get the point. I am also quite sure that theologians have written about this before. There are countless books about sin, overcoming it, and speaking life to things. It shouldn’t take a book to convict you. God’s own word should do that. Sometimes late at night when you can’t sleep. I believe that those moments are sometimes God calling you out. You are less likely to be distracted by things when the rest of the world is asleep.
Let’s go back to that word convict. I think people have it confused with guilt. I am going to go so far as to say guilt does not come from God. Guilt comes from the enemy. God wants us to be convicted because we realize that the sin in our lives interferes with our relationship with Him and the great things he has for us. This is not guilt. This is the realization that there is something better than the way I was doing it before. Sure, guilt will still creep up on you. It has on me. But the life we gain when we realize what sin has been robbing us from is so much better!
What has sin been robbing you from? Maybe it’s a friendship. Maybe it’s an opportunity for career advancement. Or maybe, it’s robbing you from God using you to further His kingdom. Many of us feel inadequate because of our sin, so we tend to not do things thinking “I can’t do this, I keep doing this sin”. Thus, sin has caused the death of your ministry.
Rejoice! There is a second part of the verse. “But the FREE gift of GOD is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Sure, this is talking about life beyond this life. But life is the key word here. Through Christ, there is life. Life eternally and life earthly. He brings life where there was none before. He can bring life to a relationship or circumstance when He becomes the center of it.
If you’re reading this and you’re thinking “yeah, that’s obvious”, then congratulations, I am glad you have it all figured out. For the rest of us, if you are struggling with something or you feel guilty or dirty or less than worthy, then rejoice, because our God has overcome sin AND Death! When our focus is on Him, our desires become aligned with Him. Through this alignment, the things which sin caused death to begin to come alive.