“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Wages are something we have earned or have coming. The Bible says that what our sin has earned for us is death.
God created Adam and Eve in His own image and placed them in the Garden of Eden where they could live forever. He told them not to eat of the forbidden fruit. He said, “The day thou eatest thereof , thou shalt surely die.”(Gen. 2:17) They disobeyed God, and that day death entered the world. Because of sin, we all die. The Bible says that, “By one man, sin entered the world and death by sin, so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
But let me ask you this, “What is death?” Death is separation. Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body. Spiritual death is separation from God. Here's the truth God wants us to know. He is on one side and all of us are on the other, and sin has come between and separated us from the life of God. If we go into eternity still separated from Him, we will be separated from Him forever in what the Bible calls hell or the lake of fire. We don't hear much about this today, but Jesus said more about it than He did about heaven, that we might be warned. If your house was on fire, you would not get out unless you knew it, would you? God wants us to know the danger so that we will escape.
What makes our situation worse is that we are helpless to do anything about it. We are separated from God by and impassable chasm. It is like two people trying to leap across a great chasm. The first comes and immediately falls to his death. The second, a superb athlete leaps far out over the chasm, but he distance is too great, so he also falls to his death below.
The first represents the person whom we all recognize as a terrible sinner. The second is a person of fine moral character who does good deeds and is very religious. He does much better, but he too falls short of the perfection God requires. God is holy and he cannot allow any sin in heaven. Do you know how good we would have to be to get to heaven by our own merit? We would have to be perfect. and none of us can meet that standard, can we?
This all leaves us in a bad predicament, doesn't it? We are guilty because we have sinned, lost because the penalty for sin is death and separation from God forever, and we are helpless to change the situation. Therefore, if we are to have eternal life, it must be on a completely different basis than by anything we can do, and it is.
Do you recall what we read a few moments ago? “The wages of sin is death. The verse continues, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
God offers us eternal life as an absolutely free gift and this gift is in our through Jesus Christ our Lord. This is the best news I ever heard. There are only two things you can do with a gift. You cannot work for it, earn it or deserve it. You can only either receive it or reject it.