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Monday, August 05, 2002

Edifier du jour-Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
While this verse is in the New Testament Top 40 (27 with a bullet?), the second half of this verse wasn't quite as familiar. Wages are paid to someone who works, while gifts do not require work. I'm often irked at advertisements for "free gifts" of something or another, thinking the phrase redundant. However, the NASB (for some reason, Bible Gateway's NIV's been down for about a week), which is normally a good word-for-word translation, has free gift here in verse 23. God's grace is a free gift, not a gift that has to be reciprocated, for we can't do what Jesus did on the cross. Religious that have you working for your salvation are having you work yourself to a double death. While we will strive to advance the Kingdom and help God, we can't even start to repay the free gift given to us at Golgotha. People don't like to be in a position that they owe someone; many will want to find a way to relieve themselves of their debt. You can't do that with God's grace. You can't go up to God like the old melodramas and ask "How can I ever repay you?" God doesn't say "I take all major credit cards." Instead, He says "Fugitaboudit! Just follow my Word as best you can and we're even." P.S.-I remember from my role-playing game days a appendix for Boot Hill, a Wild West game from the D&D people. Their table for expected robbery loot was entitled "The Wages of Sin."

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