A church deacon once confessed a horrible sin in a social media site. After giving a description of what he'd done, the man commented, "I know there's a price to pay for this sin now. And that price is death."
Not only was his heart broken over what he had done; he also knew that the effect on his friends and family would be devastating. And yet, overshadowing his remorse was fear. He had become afraid of God, believing that the sovereign Lord of the universe was now "out to get him."
What would you say to this believer? Does his statement reflect an appropriate view of God's response to sin?
It's true that Romans 6:23 clearly teaches that "the wages of sin is death"; however, this sorrowful young man had overlooked the all-important second half of the verse: "but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." If our Father gives us a gift, we can trust that He will never take it away; it becomes ours to keep-that's what a gift is. We did nothing to deserve it, so we can do nothing to lose it. It all rests on God's initiative.
Moreover, a greater theological principle is at work here. If the believer's sin after salvation could require death-or any form of punishment-then Jesus' sacrifice was insufficient. However, the Bible tells us that Jesus' death was wholly sufficient and a once-for-all payment of mankind's sin debt (Heb. 10:10).
Either Jesus' blood does cover our sins, or it doesn't. There's no middle ground. The Holy Spirit, Christ's words, and biblical testimony clearly assert that it does.