Sermon – The wages you deserve, or the gift you don’t deserve (Romans 6:15 – 6:23) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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The wages you deserve, or the gift you don’t deserve

John Maiden, Romans 6:15 - 6:23, 14 January 2024

As we continue our series in Romans, John Maiden preaches to us from Romans 6:15-23. In this passage, and V23 in-particular, we see the reality of our position before God, the amazing gift of God despite this, and what it means for us today.

Romans 6:15 - 6:23

15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

Romans chapter 6 verses 15 to 23. What then? Shawi sin because we are not under law, but under grace, by no means. Don't you know that when you offer yourself to someone as obedient slaves, You are slaves of the 1 you obey, whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, auto obedience, which leads to righteousness.

But thanks be to God that though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You've been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I'm using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever increasing wickedness, so now of yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you are slaves to sin, you are free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?

Those things result in death, but now that you have been get free from sin and they become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of god is eternal life in Christ, Jesus, our lord. I'm in John. Great. So, good evening.

My name is John Maden, and I'm a member here at Cornerstone Church. It's great to have you with us. I'm going to pray, and then we're gonna look romans chapter 6 and specifically verse 23. So let me pray. Father in heaven, we thank you for who you are, how majestic is your name.

We thank you for what we've heard that you are doing work all over this world. You are, bringing people to faith in yemen we think that it's your gospel, your good news, that is proclaimed. And as we meet this evening, we pray that you would, lift our eyes up that we would see more of who you are, and that will lead to rejoicing and praise we do not get what we deserve, but you give us eternal life in Christ Jesus Solid, amen. So, as Steve said, this evening, we're looking at Romans chapter 6. And we're looking specifically at verse 23.

So right at the end of this passage, and it's it's sort of like a summary. Paul summarizes this this passage in this verse. So we're gonna really sort of focus in. And I'm gonna reread, this verse again in a moment before I do that, I want you to to to open it in the in the bibles that you've got in front of you. And have a look at it, and I want you to think about what's the most hopeful word in this verse?

What is the the most hopeful words in verse 23. I'll read I'll read it again. For the wages of sin is death, But the gift of god is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our lord. If you weren't here last week, we're now on to week 2 of a short 4 week sermon series looking at 4 different verses in the book of Romans to help us understand what salvation is. Last week, Tom preached on Romans chapter 3 verse 10, which says there is no 1 righteous not even 1.

And we saw Paul paint a really bleak picture of who we are. We heard that no 1 is righteous, not 1. Think of, I don't know, think of like the best person, you know, the person you like the most. Not even 1 is righteous. Even, like, I was I was reading a leaflet back here yesterday, remembering, Bradley, and it said, even, with god, even if you get to sort of 9 if there's an it's like an exam, if you got to 99 percent, the bar is a hundred percent.

Even the best person you can think of, and and maybe it's it's you, if you think very highly of yourself, not not 1 that we've all sinned And what Paul means by that, and as we heard last week, go back and and listen to to that sermon if you if you weren't here, is that we've all suppressed the truth We know about god and exchanged it for a lie. Tom used this example of trying to sort of hold down an inflated beach ball underwater. We suppress the truth, but truth God's truth. It always comes back up. We we suppress the truth.

That is that's what we heard about. That was what sin is. And this week, we're going to see that pulse of expands on our understanding of sin and how sin works. And we'll see that scene is a problem that every 1 of us faces. I'm gonna look at how that works its way through in our life.

So yeah, as we turn to this verse, At the start, we're gonna see that the bleak picture that we saw last week, that no 1 is righteous, not 1, that bleak picture just gets worse. We're gonna see it get worse. But as we do this, as we a journey further down the Romans road as we sort of understanding the way of salvation. We come to this first, in in the middle of this first, And I tried to pause to to help you out. We come to this small, hopeful word, but and if you're not a Christian here today, The more you hang out with Christians, you realize we love this word.

Whenever we come across it, we love it because It spells hope for us. It it separates what what this this 3 letter word in in verse 23 does. Is it separates the bleak picture that we have in the first half of the verse, the bleak picture that we've seen on this road, this Romans road. And it separates that from, a picture of who and and it contrasts that with a wonderful picture of who god is And as we'll see that by his grace, he's he's given us what we don't deserve. So this, but it takes it shows us this bleak picture of what we deserve.

And it contrasts it with a beautiful picture of who god is and that by his grace, he's given us what we don't deserve. So let's look at this verse to help you sort of just structure it. I know it's only 1 verse, so it should be sort of easy to follow, but to help you sort of start piecing it together before we dive in, to the words. There are 2 big contrasts that we need to see this evening in this verse. There's The first 1 is wages of sin versus gift of god.

And the second is death and eternal life in Christ Jesus our lord. So wages versus gift and death versus life. And the way that we're gonna sort of really get into this this verse this evening is we're just gonna walk through the verse 1 word at a time and draw out these contrast that Paul's showing us. And we'll see that all of us deserve death, but god in his mercy offers us life. So verse 23 for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of god is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our lord.

So the first point is the wages, the wages of sin is death. When it comes to sin, Paul says, we get what we deserve. To and to illustrate this, to help us understand this, Paul uses 3 different examples in the passage. To really sort of draw out how sin works. So we're gonna look at each 1.

He uses the language of slavery. He uses the language of agriculture and he uses the language of work. So first look up verse 16 with me. So chapter 6 verse 16. And I'll just read it again.

Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, You are slaves of the 1 you obey. Whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness. So Paul says, we are each like a slave. And we offer ourselves to a master. We go to the master and we say, I will work for you.

And when we think about slaves in the time when Paul was writing, it was it was so much more than this. It was If you offered yourself as a slave, it was like saying, I belong to you. Verse 16 in verse 16 Paul is saying, Whoever we offer ourselves to as a master, it gives us an outcome, a reality that that we deserve. He's using the illustration of a slave and a master to show us that depending on who the slave works for, determines what their outcome is. And there are 2 options here in verse 16.

Can you see them? Don't you know that when you offer yourself someone as obedient slaves, your slaves of the 1 you obey, whether you're slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness. You can either be a slave to sin, and the outcome is death or you can be a slave slave to obedience and the outcome is righteousness. And by righteousness, we mean rightness with god. And in verse 16, this this isn't enforced labor.

Paul says that we offer ourselves to 1 of the 2 as a slave. We offer ourselves freely. And that is how sin works. We make sin or master. And when we make sin or master, the outcome is death.

So that's the language of slavery. Let's move to further on in the passage, and we get to the language of agriculture. So I'm going to read verse 21. Paul says what benefit did you reap at that time from the things you're now ashamed of? So the illustration that Paul uses here is that we're farmers.

We plant the seeds of sin into the ground And remember, when we talk about sin, we talk about all the different ways that we reject god and we turn to other things that are not him. And over time, that sin, it takes root in the ground. But, you know, we know how this works. There's the beauty of pulse of illustration. It takes root in the ground.

It there's a there's a shoot that comes up. The sun comes out. We water it. We nurture it, it grows up, and Paul says that that seed that we planted produces a crop. That seed grows up.

It produces a crop, and that crop is what we reap at harvest time. The crop reveals something about what we planted. So last week, we looked at how sin is the suppression of the truth about god And here, Paul in this passage is showing us that it doesn't just end there. It's not just that we suppress the truth about god. And that's it.

We go home. We say, great. Thanks, Tom. That was a good sermon, but there it is. No.

The mechanism of sin. There's there's a mechanism that when we sin, we plant a seed and we reap the consequences of that as we keep going through verse 23, we will see that consequence. We will we will get there. But I really want you to understand that That is there's a mechanism Paul's trying to really help us to understand. It's it's not in isolation.

And and then finally, we come to verse 23. And here in verse 23, Paul uses the language of of work. He uses the word wages. This is this is from the world of work. This is, you know, you might not know a lot about slavery, although sometimes work can feel like that.

You might be sat here thinking I live in London. I don't know a lot about farming. So Paul, by, you know, by his sort of foresight, knew that Kingston would not know about those 2 things. And he says, Okay. I'll talk about work because you probably know about that.

So this is the language of work and the illustration that are that we're really gonna sort of focus on and sort of rub into our hearts this evening. Paul is saying, well, I'll read it again. For the wages of sin is death. Paul is saying that sin is like a destructive employer who pays us what we deserve. We are all employees in a warehouse of sin.

And day after day in our lives, we turn up to the warehouse. I told you it's a it's a bleak this is a bleak picture of who we are. We turn up to the warehouse and we do our work. Which is sin. Turning away from god, going our own way.

The way like and and how do we do this? The the way we love money more than him. The way we trust in ourselves and our own plans instead of trusting in his. The way we say we want your gifts lord, but we don't wanna know you. Give me give me all the things that is life on software.

I don't I don't wanna know you. I don't wanna know the giver. The ways that we seek approval and gossip about our colleagues at work or other people in the church. What we're really doing is we're just we're just stacking the shelves of sin. And it comes to the end of the month.

We get our paycheck, and that shows us the wages of all our work. The wages for all the sin that we have done. Paul uses the word wages to show us that death is something that we are getting because we deserve it. In a sense, we work for it. And we to sort of summarize on wages.

We we know from last week looking at Romans chapter 3 that everybody is a sinner. And as a result of our sin, we're going to get what we deserve. So this is for all of us. There's no there's no 1 sat here in this room who's like, you know, I'm not in the warehouse. I'm not stuck in the shelves.

No Paul is clear this applies to us all. And we're going to get what we deserve. And as we read through verse 23, we'll see that the next key word is death. So back to verse 23 for the wages of sin is death. This is my second key words.

There's 4. This is the second death. The wages of sin is death. We've looked at how sin is like an employer that pays us what we deserve, Now we see what kind of employer sin is. Sin is deceitful and sin is destructive.

So sin is deceitful. Go back to Genesis, Adam and Eve, They thought that eating the fruit from the tree that God had told them not to eat from would give them life. They thought it would give them knowledge of good and evil, something more. It it promised something, but it delivered the opposite. And the very things that we look to to give us life that aren't god, that aren't the life giver, it works in the same way.

There's deceit So we we look to money to give us security and a better life. But if we make it our boss, It doesn't satisfy. It leads to insecurity. Ecclesiastes chapter 5 verse 10 says Whoever loves money never has enough. How much wisdom in that?

Whoever loves money. If you love money and you hear this evening, Do you have enough? The bible tells you, no, whoever loves money doesn't doesn't have enough. There's a deceit and in the things that we put our our lives in. If it's the approval of others that we want above all else, that ultimately, it it it promises glory.

Right? We see then the influences it promises something spectacular. Imagine all the likes. Imagine being the sort of I remember being at uni and people always talk about the big name on campus. There was a big name on com you know, the big names on compass and the the local student people would do a whole spread.

It'd be like, here's Rory, big name, and, Tom, and, you know, it was a and he'd be like, I imagine if my name was a big name. No 1 knows who I am. So it it promises glory and praise, but it's always fleeting. It comes and it goes. There's there's likes, and it's a bit like what please y'all see please yes he says about money.

If you have a lot of influence, if you have a lot of power and praise, it's never enough. Ultimately, if approval of others is what you want above all else, it'll leave you envious and insecure. If it's success, you're left tired and never satisfied. I know my own life times I'm chasing success at work or in other things. Over god, it is just relentless.

I just burn out It goes on. There's there's so many it goes on. There's so many ways, that this works, but I sin promises freedom. It promises life, but Paul tells us, it only deceives us. And ultimately, all these things lead us away from god away from the giver of life and and that separation from the giver of life, it leads to death.

So it's a second point, sin is destructive. As we look at death. It's like Paul is opening up the pay slip of your life. And instead of your salary and your pension and your national insurance contributions and your other taxes He opens up the pay slip of your life, and what does it read? It reads death.

It reads death. It reads death. And as we learn last week, this is all of us. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of god. Tom talked about the arrow.

So towards the target. We've all fallen short. And therefore, we all get the same pay slip. Death. And we see in the Bible that this payment of death.

It it's in stages. It's it's not all in 1 go, but the full payment will come eventually and it will be final. So We see with this pay slip, it's death, death, death, but as we sort of think about the wages of sin is death in this verse, I want you to see that there there's death in stages. There's sort of stages to the wages. I imagine, and, yes, the stages of the wages and and the full sort of payment the full paint will come, and we're we're just gonna sort of unpack that.

How what what do I mean? What do I mean mean by that? Because it's it's really taking me a a lot of time to trying to think it through. And, I imagine there aren't many of us sitting here who have ever sort of built their own home or sort of built their own mansion, by a university studied history, and I did a lot of architectural history. And I remember 1 of the things that that came up a lot in the sort of writings that I was doing on the eighteenth century was this real problem for the rich and famous in the eighteenth century It kept him sort of awake at night, and it wasn't sin.

It was, how best to pay for my new mansion? And the the sort of 2 sort of key things that they were asking themselves was should I pay my builders, my laborers by day, giving them a daily wage, which on the 1 hand meant they turned up each day, but on the other didn't exactly incentivize sort of them to get the job done quickly. Or would I pay them by great? This is what they used to talk about. Should I pay them by great?

Like, where they would hire an architect and say, look, here's all the money up front. Go and build my mansion, make sure it's built on time and in full. And in a way, we see that when Paul talks about the wages of sin, there is a payment by day a daily wage, and there's a payment by Great, a full and final payment. And we we see this again right at the start of the Bible. Paul's not giving us anything new.

So you don't need to turn to it, but I'll just read out Genesis 2 for 16 and 17. And the lord commands the man, you are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil for when you eat from it or does god say you will certainly die? Well, if you're new to this story, spoiler alert, What do Adam and Eve do? They go and eat from the tree, sin enters into the garden of Eden, and what happens? Well, they don't immediately die.

So so what's going on here? And this is the the sort of different stages to the wages When Paul talks about the wages of sin is death, he understands that this payment by day, when sin enters into the Garden of Eden, There's shame, there's humiliation, there's distance from god. There's a death that we all know and experience now. There's a brokenness of life, a sense that things aren't the way that they should be. There's a payment by day.

And we all experience this brokenness daily. Some days, more acutely, some less, but it's there. And we all know this. The world knows it. It's in the songs that we sing.

What's wrong with the world, mama? People living like they ain't got no mama. That is 1 of the most popular songs by the by in This century, by the Black IPs, where is the love? What's wrong with the world mama? That cry out.

It's not it's not just Christians who know this. We all know it. As we heard last week, we suppressed the truth the truth about who god is and who we are. And we also know it here too. Do you feel the world is broken?

We do. We sing it here. Not quite as catchy maybe as the black eyed peas, but, We all know to be true that the wages of sin is death, and there is a daily payment, there is a daily brokenness to life. And there's there's something as I was preparing this, there's something in this verse that got really put on my heart, which is This is not just academic nor is it trivial. The brokenness of sin is is very real for all of us, very real for many of us in this room.

And some of you will know that. You'll know that this evening. You look at the week ahead. Some of you will know what it's like to faith bullies tomorrow or a real harshness. Some of you at the moment will know that brokenness and sickness and illness, maybe the fear of death.

And some of you some of you will know this intimately in terms of losing someone close or seeing someone really struggle. There is a brokenness. We we feel it, Some of you will be experiencing broken man at marriages. It's it's right to mourn. It's right to mourn.

It's right to mourn this brokenness. As as Christians, it's right to to see it for what it is. Like, read the Psalms. King David, he mourns the wickedness of this world and the brokenness of it. And he mourns his part to play in it.

And he was a man after god's own heart. So Yeah. This is not this is not just a this is not just a theological exercise. Romans is not just some some truths that we sort of nod along to. This Roman sort of gets into the thick, the the the sort of deepness of our life, but there's truth in it.

And as we'll we'll see as we keep going through the verses, there's also wandering it. So there are way there are stages to the wages but there's also more. In addition to the daily brokenness, there's something else we need to get. There's also a payment by great. When it comes to the wages of sin, there's a brokenness that we all experience daily, but there's also a more severe payment.

By great spiritual death. When Adam and Eve sinned there was spiritual death that we all inherit, This and and and we work for the sin that is in our lives, it causes a separation from god. And Paul says that for all of us, This will lead to a physical death, a death that will be final, irreversible, and eternal. So there's death and brokenness payment by day, and there's payment by great. And finally, as we look at the wages of sin is death, We need to see that by making the consequences of sin death, what god is redoing is he's taking off sin Seriously.

Whilst god uses a marriage to illustrate his love for the church. In contrast, death is the way that god illustrates to us the severity of our sin. If you've ever walked around a graveyard or been to a funeral, you'll know. We all know how terrible and intrusive death is. And this is how seriously god takes us in.

Okay. So we've looked at wages and death, and it paints a bleak picture about all of us. But remember and remember last week there is no 1 righteous. All have sinned. This verse tells us that the wages of sin for all of us is death.

I'm just gonna pause theirs because it's so bleak. If I sat down now, if that was the end of the verse, that where would where would that leave us? It would, you know, how would we reconcile that to the songs that we sing about how good god is? So now as we read this verse, we come to the hope full little word. But now we come to the hopeful little word.

The but that contrasts this bleakness, the wages, the death that we deserve, with the gift that is life. So my third word is gift. I'll read the verse again for the wages of sin is death. But the gift of god is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our lord. So now let's dig into the gift.

What does this mean? How does this completely flip that bleak picture on its head. The gift of god is so different from the wages of sin. Whereas the wages of sin is earned and gives us what we deserve, the good news is that the gift of god is not earned. It's not what we deserve but it's freely given and freely received.

I'll give you an illustration when I gave my son Ruben a present on Christmas day a few weeks ago, is not because he's earned it. He's 1 and a half years old. He doesn't poll his weight around the house. I don't give based on his performance. Like, father Christmas, by the way.

What's father Christmas like? If you're good, you're getting presents, if you're not good, you're getting coal. No. It's not like that. I give to my son because I love him.

And he doesn't do anything to receive it. It's freely received. And so it is with God, we see here in this verse that eternal life in Christ Jesus is a gift. It's not based on works nor on our own merit, but it's based on god's gift. What Paul is saying here is so different from wages.

We don't have to be employees anymore, stacking the shelves. This is the good news because as we've seen, if we have to rely on ourselves, on our own strength, we all fall short, and that leads to death. But if we accept the gift of god that leads to life, And what does this gift reveal about who god is? Well, if sin is a destructive employer, god is a generous father. If you're not a Christian here this evening, it may be that your view of god is not like a generous father at all.

But it's of god as a boss. And church is like a factory floor. The hub is like a factory where we where we come to work and earn approval from god. Maybe you're a Christian here, and that's how you've been treating god. And the church.

But Paul says no. It's the gift of God. If you're trusting in your own work, earning your wages, it can only lead to death. And we need to know. We need to know this.

We need to know this so that we can see that all those things, the truths we're singing about just now that god is good. We need to know that god is a good, generous father. When we see, but the gift of god. It points us to look up to a good and generous father. In the gospel of Luke in chapter 15, we read about this parable of the lost son that Jesus tells us.

And Jesus shows us so much about the heart of who that father is, who god the father is. The younger son He goes to his dad and he says, give me my inheritance. I wish you were dead so that I can have your stuff. I want it now. And off he goes, and he squanders it all, and we often really focus on all that squandering, don't we?

We really but no, the tragedy of the story is also the separation. The separation from the son and his father. And it's the same with the older brother. He treats the father like a boss. And like if you don't know the story, go and go and read about it.

It's incredible. It changed that story changed my life. He he the older brother, he treats the father like a boss, not a dad. They both cut themselves off from their father, but Jesus in this story shows us the father's heart. What does the father do?

He waits patiently and with compassion for his children. He's there waiting day after day waiting, looking out on the horizon. And on the day that he sees his younger son, who has squandered it all, we He sees him on the horizon coming home. He rejoices how he rejoices. He runs out to meet him.

And what does the what does the sun say? Well, the sun, he's like us. He says, I've messed up Dad, I'll be a laborer for you. I'll work. But god says no.

God the father says no. I'm not taking him in as a as a labrum. I'm taking him as a as a child. He gives him the gift. Gives him the he's he's a generous god.

He gives a son not what he deserves. He deserves death for the way that he's treating that in that culture, he's he deserves death the way he's treat the father. But the father gives him what he does not deserve and gives gladly. He welcomes him back into the family with the finest robe. And a and a and a great big party.

If the wages or the reason I sort of went there is if the wages of sin are something we deserve, the gift of god is receiving that which we do not deserve. And it's wonderful. He's a good and generous father. Do do you know? Do you know him as a good and generous father or do you know him as a as a boss who calls the shots, drives you down into the ground?

And that comes to the final words that we're gonna look at. So it's life, We've looked at the wages of sin over here versus the gift of god. So wages versus gift. And now we come to the other contrast, death, and eternal life. So what is the god what is the gift that god gives us?

It is eternal life in Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus is the gift. Eternal life is in him. In him in Christ. There's lots of people in this world who would think who think that they would like eternal life.

But they don't want Jesus. You hear of people freezing their bodies. Free their bodies nowadays. When they die. So that technology 1 day might, you know, do the business and bring them back to life, like, fool them out.

That they smell awful. But even that is even even that even that sort of, you know, even coming back to life in this world. It's still in this broken messed up world. But the gift of god is so much more wonderful than that eternal life in Christ Jesus, it brings an end to death and the brokenness. And it and the gift is a turn an eternity of life with him.

And this eternal life is a free gift for us Why? Because it's been paid for by Christ. This is the good news. This is why we're looking at this verse. For the wages of sin is death.

It's bleak, but the gift of god is eternal life in Christ Jesus our lord. The eternal life is a free gift for us because it's been paid for by Christ. When you recognize the bleak the reality and the brokenness of your life, of sin. And you stop trying to earn your wages and your own strength. But instead, when you put your life in his hands.

Jesus takes that pay slip that we looked at, that pay slip that reads death, death, death, and he says, the wages of sin is death. It's true. But I have paid it. Jesus says I have paid that on the cross. He takes the payslip and he pays it on the cross.

That is the good news. When we hear about people coming to know Christ in Yemen, that's the same good news. It's the same good news that was preached 2000 years ago, and it's the same good news today. It's so simple that like Romans even before the same people say, oh, Romans is so difficult and complex and it is, and it's so rich, but it's also so simple. Jesus the only 1 who has ever lived who is sinless, the only 1 who hasn't fallen short before the perfect standard of god is the only 1 who can pay and he pays it.

He pays it freely. This is why the but in the verse The little butts is such a hopeful word. The cross shows us that god didn't leave us in our sin. We didn't end the verse. Before the button go home.

Jesus died and rose again. So that we could be set free from death. This hopeful word, the cross shows us that we're in this bleak place that can only lead to death. But Jesus died and he rose again so that we could be set free from death and brought into eternal life with him. And he doesn't just pay for what is due.

He also swaps his record with us. We get a whole clean pay slip All the death is wiped away. So when god looks at us, he sees the righteousness that Christ had. He sees the the pace that Christ had. He he swaps it with us.

And this gift of life, this is sort of my final point. This gift of life is is is so radical. It's so simple yet. It's so radical. If you're sat here today and you're just thinking, no, I've heard this before.

I've heard this before. And I know I do this when I'm sat there. I think you just need to take a a moment to realize what a what a big deal this is. I was I was listening to, a podcast over Christmas and his by his historian, Tom Holland, who's not a Christian. And he's been studying history for all his life.

He loves it. And, he's been looking at, like, particularly the history of the West Bauci history of the world, and and he sort of comes this conclusion. He's not a Christian. He he's like, this truth It turns the world upside down. It's radical.

It's not a Christian, but it it's radical. We sometimes as Christians, we don't we don't We don't get that. We just get our truth. Yeah. Let me go home and we eat a lasagna, which I am excited about.

I'm, See, take a moment just to the let me the wages of sin is death, but the gift of god is eternal life in Jesus. And the question for all of us, particularly if you don't know if you don't know, Jesus, You're not trusting in him is do you want to receive the wages that you deserve or will you receive the gift that you don't deserve? And that leads me to a final point. How do we respond to this? How do we respond to this verse, this truth, this wonderful truth with praise.

This is so different to the wages of sin. The gift of god is so different to the wages of sin. You know, none of us will turn up to work tomorrow, singing hymns of Thanksgiving to our employers. That'll be weird. And that's because by nature, our work is transactional.

We go and we earn our pay. But with god, we get what we don't deserve. Praise god. That's rejoice. We get what we don't deserve in his mercy and his grace.

And that leads us to praise. It can only lead us to praise. If you're a Christian here this evening, brothers and sisters. Once we recognize once you recognize that you deserve death, but god gives you eternal life in Christ. Does not lead you to praise god.

Or generous father to praise Christ who's paid it all for you on the cross. When we sing how great is the lord, as we sang earlier, it's because we recognize that we deserve death, but god has offered his life. We'll sing soon. No condemn no condemnation now. I dreads.

Jesus and all in him is mine, alive in him, not dead, alive. My living head and clothes in righteousness divine. Let's praise him. Let me pray. Father in heaven.

You're a good you're a good father. Help us to see the reality and the brokenness help us to see our part to play in that. Help us to turn away lords. If we've been living I say you're a boss, if we've been treating you like a a boss Change your hearts, turn us away from that bleak picture where the wages have seen his death and turn us towards you help us look to the cross. We pray that by day, every day you turn us to the cross and by great that our whole lives would look to the cross.

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