Wages of Sin or Gift of Salvation :: By Nathele Graham

When you were a child, were you given chores to do in order to earn your allowance? Most people learn at a young age that you need to work for what you have. As a person grows and matures, a job is necessary to provide wages to buy food, clothing, and shelter. If you haven’t learned that principle, then you need to. It’s Biblical to work to earn a living.

When Paul wrote to the people in Thessalonica, he encouraged them to follow his example of behavior. They were to behave in an orderly fashion, not keep company with brothers who weren’t walking in the way of the Lord, and they weren’t to live on handouts. The example Paul and his friends had given was that of hard-working men who earned their living.

“For when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

Some people can’t work because of physical limitations, but Paul was talking to people who wouldn’t work.

There is a time when you shouldn’t work hard to earn something. That’s when you’re working at sin. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

It’s easy to look around and see the suffering that sin leaves. Bars are filled with people who are there seeking enjoyment but end up with health issues because our bodies aren’t made to be drenched in alcohol. Marriages are destroyed because when under the influence of too much alcohol, it’s easy to make poor decisions and go home with the wrong person. Instead of going to the local bar to find friends, why not join a local congregation to worship the Lord? Your entire family is welcome there, and you’ll be encouraged to honor your marriage by honoring God.

Let’s look at a likely wage for the sin of drunkenness. You’ve been to the bar, and at closing time, you stagger to your car. As your eyes begin to focus, you finally find your keys and begin driving home. While driving, you have a hard time staying in your lane and are going too fast. You swerve into the path of a young couple on their way to the hospital because their first baby is about to be born. The wreck is horrible. The young husband is killed immediately, but the wife lingers between life and death long enough for their baby to be born. You survive, but the reality of the wages of the sin you embrace will stay with you for the rest of your life.

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1). How hard did you have to work to earn the wage of death?

There are many sins aside from drunkenness that a person has to work at. For instance, if you are friends with a crowd that likes to shoplift, your conscience will hurt if you know that taking what belongs to others is a sin. You may have to work at ignoring your conscience in order to keep those friends. Question: If you’re a Christian, why are you interested in cultivating friendships with people who willingly sin?

Many people lie in order to get government benefits, which is a sin. “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). If you’re a Christian, the Holy Spirit will draw you away from sin, but if you plug your spiritual ears enough, you just can’t hear Him.

Sin separates us from God. This separation came from Adam when he ate the forbidden fruit. He made a choice to reject God’s rules and follow the voice of Satan. God was very clear in telling Adam not to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17).

There was plenty of food for Adam to eat, so eating that forbidden fruit wasn’t necessary to survive. When God made Eve from Adam, it was Adam who should have made it clear to her what God said.

Men, do you lead your family closer to God, or do you let them find their own way to God? I hope you’re the strong spiritual leader of your family.

Adam loved Eve, and from the conversation she had with Satan in the Garden, it’s clear that Adam had mentioned God’s rule to her. Satan always twists God’s truth by lying to us. Eve made her first mistake by allowing herself to be in a position that Satan could tempt her to break God’s rule. Never compromise God’s word because Satan is right there to lead you to sin and death. Eve ate the fruit, then Adam ate. Adam’s sin brought death upon the entire creation. The wage of Adam’s sin brought physical and spiritual death and separation from God. Eternal damnation instead of eternal life.

I often wonder how Adam and Eve felt as they watched the result of their sin cause the death of their son Able. They had many children who grew and had children of their own. As the world population grew, so did sin. Idolatry has always been a source of evil, and Satan is behind it. Faith has always been the only way to find salvation, and as the world became filled with wickedness and sin, all creation was corrupted. Fallen angels had mated with human women, causing hybrids that weren’t human and, therefore, unable to be redeemed. Genetic tampering caused all of God’s perfect creation to be corrupted.

“And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth: both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:7-8).

Noah found grace because he hadn’t been corrupted by the sin that gripped the world. God told him to build an ark. In order to keep His creation pure, everything had to be destroyed. God chose Noah, who was genetically pure. “These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9).

The perfection found in Noah wasn’t his lack of sin; he had a sin nature just like others, but he was “tamim,” a Hebrew word meaning “without blemish,” “without spot.” The same word is used in Exodus to describe the Passover Lamb, whose blood would save the Israelites from death and allow them to be set free from slavery.

Noah was obedient, and even though he had no idea what rain was, he set about building an ark. When a person is obedient to God, things always go better. While the world laughed at him, he and his sons were obedient to God. And when the rain came, Noah, his wife, his sons, and their wives were safe inside the Ark along with the animals God sent. Judgment would come, but Noah (a type of Israel) would make it safely through the Judgment. Prior to God’s judgment, Noah’s great-grandfather had been Raptured. “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). Enoch is a picture-type of Christians who will be Raptured prior to God’s judgment in the Tribulation.

If death is upon all of us because of Adam’s sin, and the wages of sin is death, what hope do we have? Our hope is found through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

There is only one way to break the bond of working for the wages of sin. Admit that you’re a sinner bound for eternity in the lake of fire that burns forever. Then place your faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is no other way to find eternal life than through faith. There are no wages to earn the gift of salvation because you cannot work for it. It’s a gift from God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

As with any gift, you should be grateful to the Giver. The gift is free to you; all you have to do is accept it. If that gift means anything to you, changes in your lifestyle should begin to take place. God’s love should replace the anger, pride, and sin ruling your life; Jesus should be your example. The gift He gave you cost Him everything. Live for Him, and sin will lose its hold on you.

Sin comes from Satan. Just as that liar tempted Eve by twisting God’s words, he will come after you. Arm yourself with God’s word, and don’t listen to lies. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

Sin is everywhere in this world, and temptation to sin is in front of Christians just as it’s in front of non-believers. That’s why we need to always be on guard and only obey Scripture.

What if we fail? What if we have a weak moment and yield to the sin that once ruled our life? “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Jesus is always willing to forgive, but that isn’t the green light to sin as much as you can so He can forgive you more. If you proudly hold onto your sin because you’ve been forgiven, then you need to be sure you sincerely repented. Repent means to change your mind about sin. Sin can be addicting, and it isn’t always easy to give it up. When temptation enters your mind, don’t allow it to stay there.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Turn to Jesus. Pick up your Bible and read Scripture. Replace Satan’s lies with God’s truth.

Are you tired of living a life of sin and earning the wages that come from rejecting Christ? Faith in Jesus is the only way for your burden of sin to be removed. Ask Him now for His free gift and accept it. He paid a huge price for it, but it’s free for the asking.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham



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All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

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