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The Gift You Don't Deserve: Scripture Memory #4

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted September 3, 2014

RELIGON – I will never forget my first paycheck. It was awesome! I was about 6 years old and my uncle would carry me out to some family land in Calison that had been used as a dumping site for years. He and I would load up scrap metal and then drive 20 miles back into Greenwood to sell it for a penny a pound. We would work all day and I would make about 9 dollars. He probably spent $10 in gas, but it was time well spent. I learned that if I worked hard, I would get what I deserved.

Now this is not always true in life I know. But for most of you who work, you give up your time to go to work so you can get a paycheck, which you worked hard to earn.

This week is our second verse from the “Romans Road.” It taps into this internal desire to get what we deserve. The verse is Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” One writer noted that “With the possible exception of John 3:16, no other text in Scripture better sums up all sixty-six books and thirty-one thousand verses of the Bible. This is the ultimate Reader’s Digest version of God’s Word. “

Think about the breadth of this small verse. Notice the way the verse is balanced between its two clauses:
The wages of sin is death.
The gift of God is eternal life.
Many writers have also noted the balance of the verse.  If we pull out the primary words of Romans 6:23 and place them side by side, we can see its logic and contrasting argument:
Death—Eternal Life

If you work you know what a wage is. It’s what we get for what we do. The Bible says that we’re all employed by sin, and the result or payback is physical, spiritual, and eternal death. This is something that we deserve for how hard we have worked in our rebellion and sin against God.

But the most amazing part of this verse is that God wants to withhold this wage of death.  In contrast to that, God wants to give us a gift, which is everlasting life. My youngest son Luke turned five this past weekend. He had a great party and he got lots of gifts. You know, not one of those gifts were left unwrapped. He opened everyone so he could enjoy what his friends gave him. He had to take, receive, open, and then express gratitude for the gift.

This is the same mindset we need to have as we look at the gift God wants to give in exchange for withholding our wage of death that we deserve. This is a gift that only comes wrapped in one package—Jesus Christ our Lord! But until you accept and unwrap that free gift it remains outside of your life.

The gift of Jesus is meant to be enjoyed! Luke received a really cool Duck Dynasty remote control dune buggy and he has been driving it all over the house! He is having ball with it. Jesus is meant to be enjoyed. If Jesus to you is a cosmic cop trying to crush your joy, you don’t know Jesus.

I read this week a sermon entitled “What Happened at the Cross Stays at the Cross!” the preacher meant that our sins were buried with Christ at the cross so that no one can bring them back up to shame us, and our sinful lifestyle should remain a thing of the past, buried at the cross.  Because we now enjoy Jesus, the sinful things that separated us from Him no longer hold power or sway over our lives.  So now the gift is offered to you? Do you want what you deserve or do you want what God wants to give you? Work on this verse and keep reviewing all the others we have studied as well! 

Pastor Phillip

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