For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NASB)
We all know that pleased feeling when we get our paycheck. Even if it isn’t as much as we need to make all our ends meet there’s still a satisfaction in having it placed in our hand. We’ve earned it. Many make their life’s work to receive wages that are at odds with God. Some work harder than others at that job but when it comes to payday all that reject the Son rejects the Father who sent Him (Luke 10:16). It’s interesting that Paul talks about wages for it connotes labor and loyalty to something or someone. The thing about the final wages of sin is that even if we did nothing we still have earned it because we were born alienated from God through Adam’s sin.
Satan’s wages are separation from God and eternal death. His workshop at first can seem beautiful and exciting until the harshness of the job catches up to us through the evil that comes from the tools of the trade. There’s not enough room here to list the terrible things we can learn to do to ourselves and others. Satan is not only a harsh taskmaster he absolutely hates his employees. Murder is in his heart for there is no truth in him (John 8:44).
Notice Paul doesn’t say the ‘wages of eternal life’ for eternal life is a gift. God says if we trust in His way of salvation, that is the Perfect Sacrifice of His Son Jesus, then we won’t receive wages for that choice-we’ll receive a present (a present is always free) in the gift of righteous eternal life. There is no labor needed to gain it. It’s the gift that keeps on arriving; a lifeline of peace and spiritual sustenance. How much easier is it to receive a gift rather than a paycheck? That’s not too simple; that’s the gift of grace.