The Present Choice
The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In Romans 6:19-23, Paul said you have a choice of who is going to be your master. Every day you choose whether you will serve sin and Satan, or whether you will serve righteousness and Jesus Christ. Paul gave us three reasons that we should not live as slaves to sin.
First, Paul said sin characterizes the old nature, not the new nature. Look at what happened when we were saved. Romans 6:2 says we died to sin. Verse 3 says we were baptized into Jesus’ death. Verse 4 says we were buried with Him. Verse 18 says we have been set free from sin. If all these things are true, then why would we go back and live under sin? Satan is no longer our master.
Second, sin leads to slavery, not to freedom. When you violate God’s laws, you are saying, “God, I think You are withholding something good from me, so I want to experience freedom.” But sin does not lead to freedom. It leads to slavery. Romans 6:19 says that lawlessness results in further lawlessness. Sin is habit-forming. Do not think you are going to just sin once and be done with it. Solomon said it this way in Proverbs 5:22: “His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin.”
Third, sin results in death, not life. Paul asked, “What benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed?” (Romans 6:21). Before you go back to your old way of living, ask yourself: What was life like before I came to Christ? Was it really that great? What benefit was there? “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (6:23). To Christians who are in danger of going back to their old way of living, Paul said, before you make that choice, consider the consequences. The wages of sin is death.
Why should we choose life in obedience to God? Paul told us about the benefits of the choice of righteousness. “Having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (6:22-23).
When you choose whether you are going to serve sin or righteousness, you should understand two things about obedience to God. First, obedience to God is profitable. The benefit of serving God, of righteousness, is eternal life. Eternal life means the ultimate fulfillment of your every God-given dream and goal. Second, obedience to God is possible. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead has given you a new life and the freedom to say no to sin. Jesus Christ said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Why would any person in his right mind choose to serve Satan rather than Jesus Christ? “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).