Many believers can almost instinctively complete this statement: "For the wages of sin is_____." Reading that sentence, perhaps you even filled in the blank out loud: death. We all know what that means, right? Verse 23 of Romans 6 proclaims it's what we deserve for our sin. This is how we view ourselves from time to time-dirty sinners who have narrowly escaped a horrible death.
The problem here is that too many believers remember just the first half of the verse-the part that deals with our sin. If we focus on the sin rather than God's plan for restoration, then our entire spiritual perspective gets off balance. Emphasizing the sin directs all the attention to self-what I have done, how I have acted, where I have been. This self-centeredness will never lead to the peaceful assurance of salvation that the Lord has provided. When we focus on ourselves, we leave little room for God.
Romans 8:6 is a good companion verse to the one we've been looking at, because the Lord would have us focus not on our problem, but on His solution. You see, Romans 6:23 is not simply a condemnation for sin; it is a proclamation of salvation! The apostle Paul boldly declares that God saw our dire situation and acted on His own initiative to rescue us.
The heavenly Father graciously handed salvation over to us as a free gift. And when the Lord gives a gift, there is no one who can ever steal it away and nothing that can interfere with its permanence (Rom. 8:35-39). That's the assurance our God wants us to have.
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