What Does it Mean ‘The Wages of Sin Is Death’?
We cannot without a doubt do something about our sin to prevent death due to the fact we’re sinners by nature. Even doing good or religious matters can’t save us. But fortuitously, that isn’t the end. For if we choose it, eternal life is in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Our world seems to be complete of gray regions, but the Bible contains distinctions and juxtapositions that supply us a right framework for fact. For example, Scripture is clear that we are either righteous or unrighteous before God, that our last destination will either be Heaven or Hell and that we’re both children of the light or the darkness.
Probably the most usual contrast in Scripture is between life and death. A person is either death or alive. Contrary to the numerous sci-fi and apocalyptic movies, there is no in-among. It is the equal for our spiritual condition, too: We are either dead in our “trespasses and sins” or alive “collectively with Christ” (Ephesians 2:1-5, ESV).
This ends in a famous verse in Scripture that carries some important contrasting ideas:
For the wages of sin is death, but the free present of God is everlasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23, ESV).
This verse is part of the “Roman’s Road” (a set of evangelistic verses in Scripture). In this article, we will focus specifically on the first part after which come back and provide an explanation for the rest if you want to absolutely understand it, that meaning and implications. Because, when studied in its entirety, this one of a few “gospel in a nutshell” type Scriptures.
Let’s dig into what Paul meant when he wrote that the “wages of sin is death.”
In the Book of Romans, Paul is writing to trustworthy followers of Jesus in Rome that he cared for, prayed for, and longed to be with because of their encouraging and exemplary faith (Romans 1:7-15). Because in their faith, he seems to dive into the “deep end” of doctrines in this letter and answer some esoteric or complicated questions.
Before our verse in question, Paul explains that our belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (verified by baptism) is what frees us from our bondage to and penalty for our sins. In different word, due to the fact Jesus died, we ought not to die, and because Jesus lived again, we will live again as well.
Then Paul lays out other juxtaposition with freedom and slavery to provide an explanation for that once we are “slaves of sin” we’re “free from righteousness” and vice versa.
This leads us to Romans 6:23 where Paul writes that the rewards or “wages” of our sin and unrighteousness is usually “death.” Since the word sin literally mean to “omit the mark” of God’s desires (Romans 3:23), then whatever outcomes come together with falling short are deserved and suitable. Our sinfulness obviously effects in loss of life and death in three particular waves: emotional, bodily, and spiritual. Let’s bear in mind every of those.
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Sin Brings Physical Death
God instructed Adam and Eve to eat from all trees inside the Garden of Eden except the “tree of the knowledge and evil… for in the day which you eat of it you shall truly die” (Genesis 2:16-17, ESV). But when they ate from the forbidden tree and committed the first sins of humanity (way to go men!), they seem to definitely die.
Instead, their choice started a process of physical death that could claim their lives, their children’s lives, and the lives of anyone else from then on (except for Elijah and Enoch, however that’s a distinct story).
Not best that, but physical death began to ravage all of creation. In Genesis 3, God needed to kill an animal to cowl Adam and Eve’s nakedness. This became the primary death in the Bible and a painful and “image demonstration” of the nature of sin as well as a foreshadowing of the “shedding of blood” required to cover sins. This sacrifice also in the end pointed to Jesus who might later offer himself to humanity at the cross.
Then Adam and Eve’s firstborn son, jealously murdered his brother, humans started “killing” flora for meals in place of simply fruit (Genesis 3:18), nature have become more difficult with “thorns and thistles” (Genesis 3:18), animals started to consume each other, animals started to fear human beings (Genesis 9:2), and human beings even started out to eat animals (Genesis 9:3). Mankind’s have become so destroyed by sin that a few generations later, all but one circle of relatives died in a worldwide flood!
As a side note, the idea of sin yielding bodily death makes experience in a literal, seven-day understanding of Creation. In order for evolution to work, limitless generations of a less tailored species need to die for more recent, more advanced, certainly decided on species to thrive.
Even theistic evolution paints God as incompetent, Scripture as dubious, and mankind as arbitrary, and death as right or as a minimum helpful and part of God’s unique advent. This, but, isn’t always real because death came as a end result or “wage” of humanity’s sin.
Check out this post: Isaiah 53:5 “By His Stripes We Are Healed”
Sin Brings Emotional Death
When Adam and Eve sinned, they started to suffer and experience death and destruction many different ways not as obvious or objective because it was felt in their soul. Their closeness with God was long past, their communion with every other was severed, they lost the Edenic lawn, and more.
Still nowadays, every human stories innumerable “emotional” deaths reigning of their lives due to the “corruption” of sin (Romans 5:17; Galatians 6:8). We lie, cheat, gossip, slander, hate, kill, lust, act immorally, suppose prideful, and stay in idolatry in opposition to God, which divides and destroys regions of our soul (Galatians 5; Romans 1).
Just study through the Old Testament or turn on the information in case you do not know what I mean! The end of the road for sin is constantly death (James 1:15; Matthew 7:13; Romans 7:13). Apart from God, even the grief that we sense from our sin leads to death (2 Corinthians 7:10).
Sin can be as compared to an infectious virus that influences our character, motives, mind, emotions, expectancies, and each different factor of our minds and hearts. Similarly, the 16th-century reformer, John Calvin, wrote that “not one of the souls stays pure or untouched through that mortal ailment.” And when we leave this “contamination” unchecked, it leads us all to destruction.
To make topics worse, our sin deadens our moral senses in order that we even mislead ourselves about the seriousness of it (Jeremiah 17:9). Even the most reputedly non secular human beings have regions in their lives death from sin.
For example, Jesus bluntly accused hypocritical human beings of being “whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear lovely, but within are complete of dead humans’ bones…” (Matthew 23:27, ESV).
Check out this post: What Does it Mean to Seek God’s Kingdom?
Sin Brings Spiritual Death
The third wave of death from sin is spiritual death. While death in the body and soul are large, spiritual death is exponentially more serious because it’s miles eternal. In fact, Tim Challes explains that for unbelievers, physical death is merely the entrance into spiritual death.
Scripture calls this the “second death,” which should be granted to sinners because the holiness and justness of God demand it (Revelation 2:11; 20:6-14; Hebrews 12:29; Exodus 33:20). John describes this eternal punishment like this:
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion might be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, that is the second death (Revelation 21:8, ESV).
Scripture describes spiritual death because the very last judgment for sinners in the form of everlasting separation from God in an area of hearth, darkness, unhappiness, and pain suit for the “Satan and his angels” (Matthew 25:41-46; Luke 13:28; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Hebrews 9:27).
The worst a part of all of it is that we cannot actually do whatever about our sin to forestall those waves of death because we’re sinners via nature. We do not emerge as sinners from the things we do, our sin is symptomatic of our inflamed circumstance (Romans 5:12).
Even doing “good” or “religious” things can’t keep us. As John Calvin noted it, we are “descended from impure seed” and born “inflamed with the contagion of sin.” Left to ourselves, we’re doomed to die.
But happily, that isn’t the end. There is any other side of the “coin” that tells the others half of the truth. There is a “vaccine” which could eliminate the contagion and deliver us eternal life. Paul preaches: “…However the free gift of God is everlasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23, ESV).
That is by far the best news we could ever be given and the only hope we must escape the outcome of our sin.