There are federal and state laws which define the minimum wages that are applicable for workers in the United States of America. Laws of this nature are effected in order to insure that employees receive a salary that is at least equal to an amount established by the legislative bodies responsible for such matters. This wage typically goes up periodically as the cost of living increases due to inflation or other factors. Frequently history has been changed by well organized campaigns organized for the sole purpose of increasing the minimum wage. For the record, as far as this writer knows there is no maximum wage cap that applies to workers in this country.
By comparison, there is an eternally fixed wage for sin. It does not change with the economy, with the cost of living, with political pressures and campaign, or for any other reason. The minimum wage is also the maximum wage. It was not fixed by a human legislative body, not can it be altered or repealed b y one. “The wages of sin is death…” according to Romans 6.23. This wage was not arbitrarily fixed based upon the majority of political leader’s feelings; it was fixed forever more by the declaration of God Almighty!
Here is the complete text of the verse just cited: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6.23). It is interesting that death is earned as wages, but eternal life is a gift in this text. There is a very good reason for this, namely, no one can earn eternal life. After all has been said and done, we are all yet “unprofitable servants.” (Luke 17.10). Therefore, if anyone is to receive eternal life, it will be on the basis of a gift and not wages!
There is an even larger context to today’s focus verse. It takes in the majority of Romans the sixth chapter. This particular chapter is a logical argument against “continuing in sin that grace may abound” (Romans 6.1). Those who “continue in sin” are “the servants of sin.” (see Romans 6.1,6.16-17). The slave of righteousness will not receive the same wage as the slave of sin, nor will the slave of sin receive the same gift as the slave of righteousness. Fairness on God’s part insures that this will not happen!
Adam was told the penalty for disobedience and it has not changed; it is still death. Regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he was told: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2.16-17). Specifically, note that Adam was told that death would occur “in the day that you eat of it.” And, that is precisely what occurred. Adam did not die physically when he sinned; rather he died spiritually! He was separated from God by the act of sin that he committed and he began to die physically on that very day; but he did not physically die on the day in which he ate.
Fools make a mockery of sin (Proverbs 14.9), and men attempt to do the same regarding God. However, their efforts to do so are completely vain. Even those who figuratively “shake their fist at God” and dare Him to strike them dead fail in such vanity. God is not mocked; we will reap whatsoever we sow (Galatians 6.7). Just as surely as physical crops produce after their kind, so will sin produce after its kind!
Someone framed a memorable saying when he wrote: “Sinners frequently sow their wild oats and then pray fervently for a crop failure!” It will do no good to pray that prayer! God has set the wages of sin and no amount of pleading will change it! Sow good seed and avoid the trap which Satan sets through sin!
1. What is the difference between a wage and a gift?
2. Did Adam die in the day that he ate of the forbidden fruit? If yes, in what way?
3. What does it mean to be a slave to sin? Is everyone who commits a sin a slave to sin? If not, what distinguishes these two classes of sinners?
4. How do fools make a mock of sin? How do they attempt to mock God? Will they succeed? Why or why not?
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