From ‘work-based’ Religion to ‘Life-Giving’ Christianity

From ‘work-based’ Religion to ‘Life-Giving’ Christianity

‘…For the wages of sin is death…’ (Romans 6:23)

Can we chew and ruminate on that verse for a while?

‘…For the WAGES of sin is death…’ (Romans 6:23)

WAGES of sin? …wages? Why ‘wages’?

Let’s look at it this way: Before you can talk of ‘wages’, it means you must have done some ‘WORK’! This means there was some form of STRIVING and LABOUR that brought about some ‘WAGES’ to be paid at the end of the day. Who is engaging in ‘work’ here that keeps ending in sin and therefore having ‘wages’ of death? Man! Before going further, Let me be clear that the “work” we are referring to here is that self induced effort to earn righteousness with God.

Listen: human effort to please God will always end in SIN and eventually receive its wages as DEATH! (Romans 8:8) Paul was once into this ‘working’ lifestyle. He had a sincere heart NEVER to break any of God’s commandment… but got it wrong when he thought it was by self-effort and ‘working’ that will get the job done. He thought that would produce righteousness. But his testimony was the opposite:

‘…For I was alive without the law once: but when THE COMMANDMENT came, SIN revived, and I DIED…’ (Romans 7:7)

Interesting. He had a good intention! He thought his ‘wages’ for choosing to be under the commandments will be a super-lifestyle of Righteousness. He was wrong!

‘…but when THE COMMANDMENT came, SIN revived, and I DIED…’

Hope you are following this? Now isn’t it funny that when the Bible wants to talk about ‘sin’…it used the word ‘WAGES’?

‘…For the wages of sin is death…’ (Romans 6:23)

Self induced ‘Works’ are always associated with ‘sin’! But when you read the other side of the verse, you see something entirely different:

‘…For THE WAGES of sin is death; but THE GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord…’ (Romans 6:23)

Did you notice anything? The WAGES of… the GIFT of…!!! Exactly opposite words! Eternal life was not associated with WAGES! Eternal Life is always a GIFT. And inside the GIFT of eternal life lies the empowerment to live the victorious life. GIFTS are never meant to be WORKED FOR! You only RECEIVE them FREELY…else it is no longer a gift!

The more you ‘work’…the more you end up in sin…and eventually experience your wages of ‘death’! But if you RECEIVE the gift of God which is through Jesus, you will have ETERNAL LIFE! And the same way you RECEIVED eternal life as a GIFT,…so you should ‘live the righteous life’ as a GIFT!

‘…AS YE have therefore RECEIVED Christ Jesus the Lord, SO WALK YE IN HIM…’ (Col 2:6)

Don’t return to trusting in your works as a believer…it will end up in earthly frustrations! Else you will join the category of believers who got this loving scolding from Paul:

‘…Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? WAS IT BY WORKING YOUR HEADS OFF TO PLEASE GOD? Or was it by RESPONDING TO GOD’S MESSAGE to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For ONLY CRAZY PEOPLE WOULD THINK THEY COULD COMPLETE BY THEIR OWN EFFORTS what was begun by God…’ (Gal 3:3 MSG)

I would have stopped this post here but let me still buttress this point a little. Follow carefully as I read another popular verse from Galatians:

‘…Now THE WORKS of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies…’ (Gal 5:19-20)

Wow. People read this long list without taking note of the root of the problem.

‘…Now THE WORKS of the flesh are manifest…’

WORKS! WORKS!! WORKS!!! Any ministry that emphasizes self-induced WORKS… will have the WAGES of sin multiplying in their midst! Now, take a look at the other side of this context in the following verse:

‘…But THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance…’ (Gal 5:22)

Wow! I repeat: Eternal Life is not a function of your WORKS!

FRUIT! FRUIT!! FRUIT!!! That connotes LIFE! Fruit bearing is never based on efforts…but the nutrition RECEIVED from the ‘soil’ through the root! Receive nutrition freely from Christ…and ‘Life’ will FLOW through you…producing visible FRUITS for men to see! That is how to live the ‘normal Christian life’! Hallelujah.

Do you want to reign over those sinful habits? Stop the STRUGGLE! The more you struggle…the more you crumble! Here is the Biblical solution:

‘…THEY WHICH RECEIVE abundance of grace and OF THE GIFT of righteousness SHALL REIGN IN LIFE by one, Jesus Christ…’ (Romans 5:17)

Wow! Receive! Receive!! Receive!!! Remember, you are either entangled in THE WORKS of the flesh…or you are simply receiving life to bear FRUIT of the Spirit manifesting through you.

‘…The sting of death is sin; and THE STRENGTH OF SIN IS THE LAW…But thanks be to God, which GIVETH US THE VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD Jesus Christ…’ (1Cor 15:56-57)

Wouldn’t you rather move from a ‘work-based’ Religion to a ‘Life-Giving’ Christianity? The choice is yours.


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