What Does “Wages of Sin” Mean?

The wages of sin is death: So many things in the Bible can be hard to understand if we don’t have the proper frame of reference. Because the Bible’s 66 books are one contiguous story. A lot of our “why” questions can only be fully understood if we have knowledge of how events came about.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “The wages if sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a). A wage is something you get as a result of an action. People get a paycheck for the work they have done on behalf of their employer.

“Wages of sin” is easily explained as something you get for an action you have taken against God and more specifically “Sin” is an action we take against the will of God. That’s why there is the 10 Commandments, which is a basic series of statements outlining God’s will for our lives.

Not to over complicate this, but sins, large and small, all carry the same weight. If a person says “I wish that guy was dead,” from God’s view, it is the same as killing him. Just the act of thinking about ending the life of any other person is the same as actually doing it. If you’re really honest, through thought, word or deed, we have all broken all of the commandments.

Some don’t believe in sin

People easily dismiss “sin” or deny there is any such thing as sin. God’s word disagrees with that. The the third chapter of the first book of the Bible, Genesis, we see clearly the first sin committed.

In the Book of Revelation, the last book in the Bible, we see God’s final answer to man’s turning away from Him. It is a horrifying account of God’s wrath being poured out. Yet even in the midst of His wrath, there is a precious and tender account of God’s grace and love. Saving those who turn to Him and acknowledge who He is and what He has done for them.

Two ways into heaven

Entry into heaven is very simple. There are two ways. You can obey God’s 10 Commandments to the letter, every moment of your life and never break one. Ya right. Nobody but Jesus has ever obeyed all the commandments.

Here we are, standing before a perfect, holy and righteous God, who is all powerful and the creator of the universe and we’re going to look Him in the eye and tell Him He’s wrong? Tell Him that we didn’t sin?

All the great people we read about in the Bible were all seriously flawed. The prophets of the Old Testament, the Apostles are all just human and they did sin. They all fell short, no matter how hard they might have tried or how close they might have come, they’re were sinners. Without the gift of God, they’d all be in hell.

Jesus is the second way to heaven

The second way to heaven is through the gift of God in His son Jesus. From Genesis to Malachi in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), man failed. Therefore, being human, we are in an absolutely hopeless and helpless state.

God sent His son to fulfill all of the righteous requirements of His Law. In short, what we cannot do ourselves, God did for us. All we need do is admit that we aren’t perfect, admit that we sin. Accept that we need forgiveness from God. He offers all of us a free gift. When we acknowledge His gift, we receive life everlasting. Jesus, who died on the cross, paid the penalty for our sins.

God wants us to accept His gift

God does not desire that any person should perish. But sin, turning away from God, must be punished. The wages of sin is death according to God’s law. God is perfect and righteous, but if He did not punish sin, He would not be perfectly just. Therefore, while offering the gift of life through faith in Jesus, He warns us of His wrath.

Sin is ugly, nasty and ungodly. God must and will eradicate it. God desires to save us all. Jesus said:

For God so loved the world that whosoever believes in Him, shall not parish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

God gently shows us the way to avoid an endless, eternal state of pain and suffering… the wages of sin. It is an offer of endless love and affection. It is a wonderful alternative to an unspeakable fate.

God knows we are guilty offers amnesty

Let’s put it another way. You go before a judge. The prosecutor lays out the truth, a fact-driven, ironclad case. You are guilty. You know it, the judge knows it. The judge passes sentence, either a long prison term or an enormous fine, so great you could never pay it.

The judge passes sentence. Then he stands up, removes the judge’s robe and walks around the desk and stands next to you. The judge reaches into the pocket of the rope and comes up with the huge amount of money to pay the fine. Justice has been served and the penalty is paid in full. That is what God offers us to pay the wages of our sin. Again, what we can’t do, God does through Jesus.

The Gospel of John describes sin and redemption

God’s tells us of His gift in the Bible. The Gospel of John is a good place to start your own research into wages of sin. Also, Paul has a lengthy dissertation on wages of sin and the human condition in the Book of Romans. We are all encouraged to examine God’s word to gain a deeper understanding of His law and gifts.