Romans 6:23 says, " For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our lord." What does this really mean? A wage is something that we earn, something we pursue and expect like payment for services provided. In the same way we are going to be paid for all the sin we have done and that payment is death. But why does Paul use the term "wage"? When we work a job, we hope to get paid what we deserve, what we have earned. Through the work of sin within us, we have earned, and we deserve, physical and spiritual death. We spend a lot of time worrying about getting what we deserve in life, thinking that we deserve more and that we deserve better. But what we deserve is not good. What we deserve is not better. What we deserve is death. You may say, then what's the use? There is hope and that hope is found in Jesus. In this passage, a wage is something we have earned, death yet a gift is not something we deserve or have earned, but rather something that is given to us out of love and grace especially when we don’t deserve it. While our wage for sin was death, the gift that Jesus gave us was that He took the penalty of our sin and died on the cross.
Because of Jesus, we can know what love looks like. We can know what grace looks like. We can know what eternal life looks like.
We can live a life better than we could ever hope to deserve, a life that is abundant regardless of circumstance and filled with grace and thanks.