“For the wages of sin is death...” - Romans 6:23
What is a wage? A wage is what you earned. It is what you deserve. A wage is what you work for. In Bible times, the word for “wages” referred to the daily food ration that was given to a Roman soldier for his service at the end of every day. It was his pay for simply doing his job.
Romans 6:23 teaches, “The wages of sin is death.” Death, then, is not a physical problem, but a spiritual one. This silent killer is called, “sin.” We are all sinners. We have all done wrong. Sin is like a poison that kills all of us. Many people have a problem with this truth because they think, “Wait a minute, but we are not all equally sinners. There are really bad sinners, and ‘good people’ who are sinners.” However, it is not the amount of sin that kills, but the fact of sin that kills. We are all sinners. Therefore we all die whether we are a good or bad person. No one truly dies of natural causes. Rather, we all die of one supernatural cause – sin.
Sin’s death is multi-faceted. Sin kills physically in that our earthly bodies die. Sin also kills relationally. Sin kills marriages, friendships, and even peace between nations. The greatest way sin kills, however, is spiritually. Sin kills your relationship with God. God is in the light, but sin puts you in the dark. God is life, but sin puts you to death. The physical death separates the soul from the body, but spiritual death separates the soul from God.
When you read the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2-3, you see that God warned them that if they ate the forbidden fruit they would die that very day. They ate the fruit, but they didn’t die that day. Or did they? God doesn’t lie. They did die. They died immediately in their spirit. They died spiritually. Ultimately, like all people, their spiritual death led to physical death.
What this word really refers to is “eternal” death. We are separated from God by our sins. Therefore, if we die in our sins, we will die eternally separated from God. Spiritual death can be reversed by a personal relationship with God. Physical death will be reversed by the resurrection of those who believe in God when we receive a new body that will never die.
Application: Are you separated from God by your sins, or have you placed your faith in Christ and been forgiven and given eternal life?