The Good And Bad News
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
— Romans 6:23
Modern culture has been replete with a series of good news/bad news jokes. For example, there is the one about the pastor who stood up on Sunday and declared, “The good news is we have enough money here this morning to pay off the church debt and to build our new building.” Then he added, “But the bad news is, it is still in your pockets!”
When we come to Romans 6:23, one of the most informative and inspirational verses in the Bible, we find some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that “the wages of sin is death.” But the good news is that “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
There is some bad news in this verse:“the wages of sin is death.” The Greek word for sin is best understood as “missing the mark.” The word picture describes an archer who shoots his arrow at the target and misses the bull’s-eye.
We all find ourselves here as “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We have all missed the mark, and the bad news is that its cost, or wage, is death.
A wage is what we get for doing something. We work a certain number of hours, and our employer pays us an agreed-upon wage. It is something we have earned, some- thing we deserve. It is something we have coming to us. The Bible says, “the wages of sin is death.”
It is strange how many men and women sin, thinking it is going to pay dividends of fun and pleasure. But Satan is a liar. Sin pays its wage all right, but its wage is death, which is separation from all that is good.
Payday is coming someday. That is the bad news. When we miss the mark, it costs us greatly.
(Adapted from the Joshua Code by O. S. Hawkins, copyright Thomas Nelson).
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you humbly today just as I am. I have missed the mark in so many areas of my life this outgoing year. I ask for your forgiveness and cleansing. Blot out every debt against me by the blood of Jesus Christ. I repent and commit myself afresh to your will and counsel as I look forward to the incoming year. So help me God, In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.