BUT, Never sounded so good!
By Andrew Lorek
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
But. That word can cause great relief or it can cause your heart to skip-a-beat. For example: One of your family members may have been severely injured and you to go the hospital and the doctor tells you that he/she will live, but he/she will spend the rest of their life in a wheelchair.
The bright side of the word can be used when you’re taking an important test (of any kind) and your instructor tells you, “it was close, but you passed, congratulations”.
Now in Romans 6:23, there’s a semi-colon being used before the word but, instead of a regular comma. The reason being is because the semi-colon indicates a greater degree of separation. The scripture just doesn't talk about death and life like you were having a normal conversation. It talks about mankind’s disease (sin) and how we can prevent our already perishing man from death and receive life eternal through someone who died and rose, so you can live forever. That sounds like a great separation to me.
Now let’s look at those things which lead to death and to life.
Sin is an ungodly act. It’s something that you do anyway after your conscience tells you you shouldn't. Sin is anything that’s bad. Sin is living the opposite way of how God calls you to live according to His Word (the Bible). The Greek definition for sin is: “missing the mark”.
Roman 8:23 says:
For all have sinned (missed the mark) and come short of the glory of God.
The reason for this is because Adam sinned and allowed it to take place on earth. And because of that, according to Genesis 3:17 God said:”
“cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow thou shalt eat of it all the days of they life.”
Sin is a curse. When you walk in sin and live according to the things of the world, you’re cursed along with it. A curse will follow you all the days of your life until you die. Unfortunately when you die, it’ll only get worse. You might ask why or how?
According to the Bible: a person who dies in sin will go to hell. Hell is no fun place. I’ve met people who said that they were going to party in hell and that they were going to sit with Satan on his throne and all types of foolishness. But that is extremely far from what hell is.
Well first off. Hell is located in the center of the earth. According to Matthew 12:40. Jesus prophesies about Himself and said:
“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of Man (Jesus) be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Hell is the core of the earth. There’s nothing but fire down there. The Bible calls it the “lake” or furnace of fire. Iniquity is another word for sin and Matthew 13:41-42 Jesus says:
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity.
42 And shall be cast into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth”.
Another scripture that deals with sin and the punishment for it is in Revelation 21:8
But the fearful and unbelieving and the abominable and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers and idolaters and liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone…
So as you see, nothing good as a result of sin will happen. It ends with eternal damnation, torment, darkness and worst of all separation from God.
The thing about hell is that it was not created for you and me. It was made for Satan (formerly known as Lucifer) and all the other fallen angels according to Matthew 25:41. You can read about Lucifer in Isaiah 14 and in Ezekiel 28. But since mankind sinned also, we are subjected to hell too because of sin.
Wow. I've heard a lot of people ask: “ If God is so loving why would He send people to hell?” First off, God won’t send you to hell. 2 Peter 3:9 says:
The Lord is no slack concerning His promise, as some men want slackness; but is long suffering to us-word, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Man chose to sin. Even after God haad already told man (Adam) if you eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you will surely die. Since man chooses to sin, they choose their own fate after they see God gave us all free will to choose Him or the world, life or death.
The devil is the god of this world, according to 2 Corinthians 4:4. So if you’re loving and walking with lust after the things of the world, you’re loving and walking with the devil. According to 1 John 2:15, it says
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
The reason for us not to love the world is in verse 17 where it says:
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.
Meaning if you live for this temporary world that will pass away, you will pass away with it.
Well since we've covered half of Romans 6:23, let’s look at the latter half of it. Let’s look at the bright side.
How great do remedies sound when it comes to curing sicknesses and disease. Health is an important issue and there is no reason it shouldn't be a big deal. Now God has already provided healing. According to Isaiah 53:5: … With (or by) His (Jesus’) stripes we are healed.
But I want to discuss a more serious form of health. I want to know if you’re living a healthy lifestyle. Whether you are corrupting your body with sin or bringing life with the word of God.
Now mankind’s disease is sin. And those who die with it go to hell. But something happened so you wouldn't have to go through that. In John 3:16 Jesus says: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life
Romans: 6:23 …But the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
I think we can all agree that if something is given to someone for free, it is considered a gift. As you see in John 3:16,..”God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son.” So unlike getting treated at the hospital where you would have to pay to get surgery or whatever it is that needs to be dome, God’s love for you is so great that He gave a perfect life for a world full of sin so His creation wouldn't perish.
Now let’s talk about this gift named Jesus.
Jesus is God in the flesh. Now God wasn't going to step off His throne with all His glory and appear to His creation as God, people would have been afraid of Him then
He didn't come to scare everyone. Instead He came as a spirit to be born as a baby. Now, who’s afraid of a sweet innocent baby. God came as a man and experienced the human life and all that comes with it. Nothing just from his appearance seemed appealing according to Isaiah 53:2. He faced problems and temptations, too. But He came to be an example on how God wants us to live. Jesus did nothing of himself. Living as an example, He did everything to please God, His Father. He did nothing for the gain of Himself, but did everything to bring glory to God. Him being a servant and leader, He even washed His disciples feet. He loved like no one before and taught like never before.
Jesus knew the real reason for coming to earth. He even told His disciples many times: that He came to save the lost and die for them and arise from the grave. John 15:13, Jesus said: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man (Christ) lay down His life for his friends”. Jesus came to die. He sacrificed and gave His perfect and holy life to gain the lives of many sinners, all for the sake of love.
According to law back then, without the shedding of blood is no remission (pardon of forgiveness). Before Jesus, when you sinned and you wanted God to forgive you, you had to come to a temple where they worshiped God and come before the altar with a slain animal and sprinkle it’s blood over the altar. The animal could have been from a lamb to a bull and, of course, that person would ask for forgiveness and God would choose to accept it or not. If He did, there was probably going to be a punishment for what that person did. That person would have to prove himself and show his works and what he can do to prove his righteousness. So man was to justify himself. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been.
People thought that Jesus came to destroy or get rid of the law. But that’s not what He did. He created the law. He even said in Matthew 5:17,18 that!
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
In the old covenant there are over 600 laws that you had to follow. If you were to break the, you would be either subjected to death or some type of cruel punishment. So as you see, the law is very hard to keep and follow after and people were dying left and right because of it. That’s why Jesus came to fix it.
To be forgiven, blood had to be shed from something that was pure and blameless. That’s why animals were sacrificed, because man was filled with sin. But the animal blood only covered their sins, so God still saw it. Now Jesus was the only perfect human being. He is God in the flesh so He was pure and holy. The only thing that the Pharisees and scribes tried to accuse Him for is blasphemy because Jesus said that He was the Son of God. In those days, to call yourself a Son of someone meant that you were making yourself equal with that someone. So Jesus made Himself equal with God. And though He was, they didn’t believe Him, so they tried to blame Him, but he was blameless. So He had the requirements to be sacrificed as if he was an animal. Jesus, according to John 1:29 is called the “Lamb of God” and is named and compared to a lamb in Peter 1:19 … “Christ, as of a lamb without blemish”. All throughout the Book of Revelations he is called a lamb also. So Jesus, a holy, pure and spotless Lamb was offered as a sacrifice, not for just a couple of sins fur for the sins of the whole world. Wow! The creator of the universe came to earth, all because He loves You and died for you. God shed His blood for a disobedient world.
Now when Jesus dies, He became sin according to 2Corinthians 5:21:
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
Jesus became what He never was and bore something that his character wouldn’t even look to as if it was okay. He carried the weight of the sins of the world and died and went to hel. Since death is the penalty for sin, that’s what Jesus did. He took our place and paid the price and faced the penalty for yours and my sins. He brought our sins and all that leads to death to hell. And this is what separates Christianity from all these other “religions”. When Mary Magdalene, Mary, Jesus’ mother, James and some other women came to where Jesus’ body was placed with spices, they found that He wasn’t there. Instead they saw two angels of God who told them according to Luke 24:6.7
“He is not here, He is risen!”: remember how he spoke. Spoke unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
7. Saying, “the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified and the third day rise again”.
Jesus beat death! He died with sin and left sin back in hell where it belongs and He arose with power and glory. Jesus conquered the world completely. Facing the cross was only the beginning When Jesus shed His blood on the cross… well you read it for yourselves.
13. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He (Jesus) quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all your trespasses;
14. Blotting out the hand writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way.
Picture your sins being on a piece of paper like a certificate and had your death written on it because of sin. Picture it nailed below Jesus’ feet on the cross and the blood of Jesus that was shed, being poured down covered your certificate of death so you wouldn’t be able to see it. You wouldn’t notice it anymore. That picture is stating in bold letters: No matter what you have done, it’s not too big or bad for the powerful shed blood of Jesus to wash away and make it as if it was never there. So because of the cross, you get to live as if you’ve never sinned because perfect and pure blood is there in replace for your sin-filled life that was beyond unclean.
Jesus couldn’t have just died and left the world with no hope. He would’ve died in vain, for no reason. According to 1 Corinthians 15:14: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching in vain (wasted), and y our faith is also in vain.
So if Jesus never arisen , then there would be no purpose to live for Him. Who wants to serve a dead God? It also says in verse 17:: And if Christ be not raised…ye are yet in your sins.
Jesus had to rise and show the world that he beat and conquered sin and defeated the enemy, which is Satan. He was an example and He arose to show us that sin doesn’t have to rule and be a factor in your life. Jesus as God and also a human defeated it and left it where it belongs and you could do the same thing too. Jesus arose because He knows that you won’t be able to walk that narrow path on your own. So He offers to be with you every step you take. He will be the strength and hope that you need to make it in this world. Since Jesus has conquered the world and all that comes with it, you can too. According to Luke 10:19 Jesus says:
“Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
He gives you power to conquer all the trials and tests of this life.
To go along with Romans 6:23, Romans 5:17-19 states all that I’ve written in these few scriptures.
17. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness. (Jesus and all He did) shall reign in life by one.
18. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation. Even so by the righteousness of one the FREE GIFT came upon all men unto justification of it.
19. For by one man’s (Adam’s) disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I’m sure if someone gave you a free gift, you would accept it. God did that also. All you have to do is accept it.
Receive Jesus into your life and put your trust in Him. You weren’t made to live on your own and trust in yourself. Real leaders follow God. Jesus died and arose so you and Him can live together forever in heaven. He died so you can live and escape the fiery coals of hell and experience everlasting joy and peace in a place where bod does not exist. I promise you won’t regret it. You have everything to gain and nothing, absolutely nothing to lose. You won’t know that God is real until you change your ways and follow Him and put your trust and believe on God for everything. It’s all a matter of faith. When you use it, you’ll see how real God is. He gives you the choice to experience the full measure of His love for yourself. Choose wisely.
I pray that you will open your eyes and see the grace of God and His love for you and that you won’t be afraid to give Him a chance.
Perfect love casteth out fear.
1 John 4:18