The above bible verse is one of the warnings of God in the scriptures to His people. People also receive warnings in the natural world about many circumstances and the consequences of any action they may want to take.
When a hurricane is approaching, a warning flag is raised. There are always signs alongside the road that indicate what you need to do anytime you drive down the road.
The verse is a red signal to those believers that are hiding under the grace and living in sin, it is at the same time assurance of eternal life for true believers that are walking in the statute and commandments of God.
There are rewards for all your actions and adventures in life even in your Christian life. Isaiah 3 verses 10 to 11 says,
“Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, For they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, For the reward of his hands shall be given him. ”
Some believers feel we are no more under the law but now under the gift of grace so can sin at will and always ask for forgiveness.
Paul clearly states this in verses 1 and 2 of Romans 6,
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound. Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”
He also mentioned in verse 15,
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! ”
These two scriptures strongly suggest God will not pardon our sins because we live under grace. Every sinner gets paid its wages which is death but for those that chose to obey His commandments, He offers a gift which is referred to as the gift of eternal life.
Who wrote Romans 6:23 and when was it written?
The book of Romans 6:23 was written by Apostle Paul. It was written while he was in Corinth in the mid-50s AD.
What is the context of Romans 6?
The context of Romans 6 is about being dead to sin and obedient to God leading to righteousness.
We cannot fully understand the context of Romans chapter 6 without a brief of the preceding chapter. Paul did a clear comparison of Adam and Christ and what their choices brought into the world.
He talked about how sin came into existence through one man’s disobedience and how one man’s obedience restore righteousness to the world.
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” ( Romans 5 verse 19 )
That one man’s sin is what brought death that spread to all men and the righteousness of Jesus Christ brought eternal life to the saints.
In this chapter, Paul addressed the contrasts between sin and grace, death and life. He explained the argument of Christians that dwell in sin and ask for God’s grace to abound.
At new birth, our sins have died with Christ and we are cleansed, which makes us a new creation, pursuing holiness. He started the chapter with a question and gave the right answer. He asked if it is right for Christians after being saved to continue to sin.
Romans 6 verse 2 says,
“Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? ”
He explained why believers must refrain totally from sin. He used the concept of baptism and slavery to enlighten them. At baptism, believers have died with Him on the cross.
They are dead to sin and can no longer be dominated by it. Paul went further to say we cannot be slaves of sin. Everyone is a servant to whomever you obey.
If you to live under the bondage of sin, you are a slave of sin and those that set themselves free from the power of sin are servants or what we can call slaves of the living God. Those who have accepted Christ have also died to sin, and are new creations.
Paul finally admonishes the people to present themselves as slaves of righteousness for holiness. To be free from sin, having become slaves of God, so they can have their fruits to holiness, and in the end, everlasting life.
What is the message of Romans 6:23?
The message of Romans 6:23 is about clarifying the consequence of sin to believers still living in sin and the promise of the gift of God for those that walk uprightly.
We need to know that all were born into sin and all have sinned due to man’s fallen nature.
Romans 3 verses 23 to 24 says,
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified
freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, ”
Many believers feel they can find short cut dealing with God. They referred to some acts of sin as little or small sins.
Some even say it is impossible to do without such little sins as telling lies, taking what does not belong to them, and such. Some carelessly say God will overlook those little sins considering their service in the church.
No one can set his standard with God on human terms but only on God’s terms. Sin separates men eternally from God, which leads to eternal death.
The profit and ultimate penalty of sin is death. This separation starts from our walk with Him. Satan also uses believer’s sins to rob them of their inheritances with God.
Isaiah 59 verses 1 and 2 says,
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. ”
Romans 6 verse 23 addressed both the consequences of sin and the deliverance from it. The wages for sin is death but God has given us a gift of eternal life through the only way to be free from the bondage of sin and death which is Christ Jesus.
The primary aim of sending His son Jesus is for the remission of our sins. Every mortal is expected to therefore seek forgiveness and chose to live a holy life.
That way was pre-determined by God. It is the only way to be forgiven of sin, the only to be redeemed, and the only way to have eternal life.
Jesus mentioned in John 14 verse 6,
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Apostle Paul also states in 1 Corinthians 6 verses 9 to 11,
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor]sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
When you work for sin, your wages are death. But now you are a new man with a new master and a new life, you must resign permanently from your old cruel master and corrupt nature.
You are no more an old man with old nature. Your body is no more body of sin rendering service to sin but you now have free gift of life. Engage fully with your new master so you don’t miss heaven.
2 Corinthians 5 verse 17,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
“For the wages of sin is death,” meaning
For the wages of sin is death,” means there is a reward for every disobedience to God and the result is death.
A wage is what we earn when we work or render any service. In the same vein, through the work of sin within us, we have earned, and we will be paid. The payment in this case is physical and spiritual death.
The death being referred to in the phrase above is spiritual death. Every sinner will first experience separation from the spirit and his body followed by the eternal separation of the spirit from the presence of God.
“but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” meaning
but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” means eternal life is a gift that cancels the wages of sin and is given to believers through Jesus.
Paul contrasted with this statement between what we earn and what is freely given to us. What we deserve and will be rewarded accordingly is death while what is freely given to us is the gift of God.
He went further to say that this gift of God is only accessible through His son Jesus Christ. This gift is free but was not free. Someone paid the price for all to receive it freely.
Jesus shed his blood to cleanse us from our sins. Jesus did this with his death, burial and, resurrection.
The gift of God is His “abundant provision of grace of one man, Jesus who brings eternal life. No one worked for this gift, it is released to all by God’s favour that was poured out onto us.
Jesus also referred to himself as the gift of God to the Samaritan woman in John 4 verse 10,
“Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
The right and the only channel to receive this gift is through increasing intimacy and cordial relationship with His Son Jesus.
What is the difference in biblical translations of Romans 6:23 (NKJV, KJV, NIV & ESV)?
Romans 6:23 NKJV biblical translation “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23 KJV biblical translation “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 6:23 NIV biblical translation “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23 ESV biblical translation “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
There is no difference in the four translations between NKJV, KJV, NIV, and ESV
The four translations are written almost the same and have the same meaning.
Types of Death as mentioned in the bible
According to the scriptures, death is not linked with extinction or non-existence but rather a separation between two things. Spiritual and physical death are the two major types of death that are mentioned in the holy bible.
There are other types of death which are also discussed below.
is the separation of man from God. It is the death mentioned by God when He instructed Adam in the Garden of Eden, Everyone is born spiritually dead as a result of the sin of disobedience by Adam.
Genesis 2 verses 16 to 17
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. ”
is the separation of the soul from the body. Adam finally died a physical death at the age of nine hundred and thirty years in Genesis 5. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.
Hebrews 9 verse 27
“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,”
The Second Death
is the perpetuation of spiritual death into eternity which occurs at the beginning of eternity. This is the final judgment of the non-believers.
Revelations 20 verses 4 to 6
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.,”
refers to separation from God’s fellowship. When a true believer is out of fellowship with God and brethren and begins to operate in sinful nature, such fellow is said to have died a temporal death. This is often termed Carnal death.
James 1 verses 14 to 15
“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed, Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death ,”
is defined as separation from sin and sinful nature.
Romans 6 verses 1 to 4
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.,”
is the inability to procreate.
Romans 4 verses 19 to 20
“And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,”
is the separation from our profession of faith and our deeds.
1 John 1 verse 5 to 6
“ This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth,”
How do I apply Romans 6:23 to my life?
Applying Romans 6:23 to my life is to give myself wholly to righteousness.
God is ever faithful and will not allow us to be tempted more than what we can bear. Believers must be conscious of who they are before salvation and a new human being after.
You can easily tell off the devil and his wickedness when he comes in his devices “get off my side, I am a new creature.” Our obedience to Him ushers us into His presence and keeps us there as long as we keep obeying Him.
It is sweet to serve our new master. He guides and takes us through every step of our journey in life.
What is Romans 6:23 prayer?
Gracious Father, I thank you for the power of forgiveness. In any way I have fallen short of your glory, have mercy and forgive me. Give me a very strong will not to consent when sinners entice me to sin and grant me the grace to walk in righteousness, peace, and joy, demonstrating your life here on earth. AMEN.
Now that we all know that sin is a destroyer of destiny here on earth and in eternity. How then can we win the war over sin? The right answer and the right things to do is to stay in union and constant fellowship with God who is our new master after salvation.
Give yourself wholly to Him and His words. Let the word of God dwell richly in your heart. The good news is that Jesus won the temptation with Satan using the word of God, you can always win.
Always ask for His help anytime you are faced with the temptation of sin.