Monday, November 12, 2012

A Quick Comparison

By Ryan Thornsberry
     Romans 6:23 reads–For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    Ephesians 2:8-9 reads–For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.
     I hope we can see the contrast is between the “wages” of sin and the “gift” of God. I think it is important, from the onset, to remember that contrasts emphasize differences.
     First, Paul tells us of the “wages.” Many of us who have worked or are working this morning understand the concept of wages. Wages are payment for work done. Notice that something has to be done in order to “earn” the wage.
     Wages are depended upon the quality of work, quantity of work, and duration of work that is accomplished. Have you ever heard of someone refusing their check when it came payday? I guess that most of us feel that we have, in some way, “earned” it (I hope we feel/felt that way). But notice the contrast with God’s “gift.” A gift is a “given item.” There is nothing that can be done to earn a “gift.” It is given by the generosity of the one who wishes for me or you to have something. Notice that when we are given a gift, the act itself demonstrates that someone thinks highly of us. Can the same be said for God’s gift to us? Contrary to what we earn on this earth, we will never be worthy of God’s gift to us...the gift of Jesus.
     Next, I want us to consider the differences that these items have in our lives. Notice that we get what we “earn”–we sin, we “earn” death. If we choose to follow sin, act upon its enticements, and turn our backs upon God, we will have a disastrous outcome waiting for us. Death is a condition that we will have placed upon ourselves by our actions. God’s gift is a generous present to us that we do not deserve. Have you turned your back upon Christ this morning? Remember the phrase in Ephesians 2–“not of yourselves...lest any man should boast” There is nothing that we can do, there is no kindness that we can show, or thought that we can think that will make our production similar to God’s gift. The Bible tells us.
     God’s gift is from Him, by Him, to us,(you and me and all who will listen and obey his commandments). Man can’t take credit for this “gift,” but he can ignore it if he wants to. I pray that you are not one of those that ignore Christ.

- Ryan Thornsberry serves as an elder for the Anna Church of Christ in Anna, IL. R. W. McAlister preaches for the congregation and may be contacted through the congregation's website: 

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