The Wages of Sin is Death – Death is an Enemy of God.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 1 Cor 15:26 ESV
God does not pay the wage of death, Mr. Sin pays the wage of death.
For the wages of Mr. Sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 6:23 ESV (emphasis Mr. Sin mine)
To understand Romans and much of the New Testament we must understand that in Roman 6:23 the word “Sin” (266 - Hamartiais in the Greek) is a noun, not a verb, like most think. As a matter of fact, in the book of Romans, Paul use this same word, a noun, 48 times. The verb “sin” is used only seven times in the book of Romans.
What is a noun? A person, place or thing. So, in Romans 6:23 and most of the book of Romans, the word Sin is NOT talking about our sinful actions. It is talking about Mr. Sin, our slave master, our inherited fallen nature from Adam, our ruler before we come to Christ. Our position as slaves under Mr. Sin was a “sinner.” A slave cannot set himself free from their slave master; they must be purchased or redeemed by another.
Read the following from Romans understanding that six times Sin is a noun and only once a verb in verse 6:15.
15What then? Are we to sin (verb) because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,c you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of Sin (noun), which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of Sin (noun) have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18and, having been set free from Sin (noun), have become slaves of righteousness. 19I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
20For when you were slaves of Sin (noun), you were free in regard to righteousness. 21But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22But now that you have been set free from Sin (noun) and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23For the wages of Sin (noun) is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 6:15-6:23 ESV
We were owned by Mr. Sin from birth, born into slavery, made sinners by Adams disobedience and on a crash course with death with our fallen nature in the driver’s seat. We had no choice in the matter. Wow, think about that truth.
For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners (adjective), Rom 5:19a ESV (Adjective’s are descriptive. Like a dog wags it’s tail because it is a dog, A sinner, sins.)
Therefore, just as Mr. Sin (noun) came into the world through one man, and death through Mr. Sin (noun), and so death spread to all men because all sinned (verb) Rom 5:12 (emphasis mine)( Again, a sinners nature is to sin.)
Does this truth help you understand why Jesus would come to save you from your birth into slavery to Mr. Sin?
Adam was born in the image of God, We were born in the image of the fallen Adam, made sinners with a fallen nature bent towards unbelief.
When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. Gen 5:3 ESV
Satan deceived Adam knowing that sinners could never be right with God. He got Adam to sin and place all of humanity into slavery. Jesus came to set us free from Mr. Sin, the slave master.
Here is more from Romans using our new understanding. Note in verse 15-20, Paul points out that it is no longer I, but Sin (noun,) who lives in us that does the wrong thing. Mr. Sin, our inherited fallen nature that drives us to sin.
7What then shall we say? That the law is Sin (noun)? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known Sin (noun). For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8But sin (noun), seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, Sin (noun) lies dead. 9I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, Sin (noun) came alive and I died. 10The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11For Sin (noun), seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
13Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was Sin (noun), producing death in me through what is good, in order that Sin (noun) might be shown to be Sin (noun), and through the commandment might become sinful (adjective) beyond measure. 14For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under Sin (noun).
15For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17So now it is no longer I who do it, but Sin (noun) that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but Sin (noun) that dwells within me.Rom 7:7-20 ESV
Paul talks about being captive to the law of Sin (noun).
23but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of Sin (noun) that dwells in my members. Rom 7:23 ESV
Wow! Makes a big difference understanding Sin is a noun and Mr. Sin, our inherited fallen nature, not our sins (verb), was the real problem.
Jesus Set Us Free from Mr. Sin the Slave Master Leading us to Death
Death is God’s enemy, and God takes no pleasure in the death of anyone, including the wicked. God desires that all come to a saving knowledge of Jesus.
For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.” Ezek 18:32 ESV
Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel? Ezek 33:11 ESV
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. Rev 20:14 ESV
and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 2 Tim 1:10 ESV
When we placed our faith in Jesus, we were saved from Mr. Sin, set free from Mr. Sin our slave master and saved from death. We were made right with God by Jesus one act of obedience. God no longer calls us sinners, He declared us righteous, holy, sanctified and perfected in Christ, as righteous as we will ever be, not in the flesh but the spirit. The flesh will never be perfected, that is why it dies.
So by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Rom 5:19b ESV
Mr. Sin no longer has dominion over us because Jesus disarmed him of the one thing that gave him the power to condemn and kill, the law.
The sting of death is Sin (noun), and the power of Mr. Sin (noun) is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 15:56-57 ESV
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Col 2:13-15 ESV
You see, when we accepted Jesus, we died and were born again in Him. We died to the law of sin and death, the ministry of death engraved on stones.
6who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
7Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, 8will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 9For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. 10Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.2 Cor 3:6-11 ESV
1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.2For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Rom 8:1-2 ESV
We died to the law that gave our slave master (Mr. Sin) power over us.
1Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage b3Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
4Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
Immediately upon accepting Jesus, believers are forgiven of past sins and placed under grace where sin is not imputed, out of the enemy’s reach. The only way he can affect us is if we believe his lies like Adam did in the garden. He wants us to buy into his constant attempts to get us to doubt our right standing with God in Jesus. He constantly tries to get us to believe we are still under the dominion of the law.
For Mr. Sin (noun) will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. Rom 6:14 ESV (emphasis mine)
Thank God, we are under grace and not under the law where Mr. Sin (noun) has no dominion over us and Mr. Sin (noun) lies dead.
For apart from the law, Mr. Sin (noun) lies dead. Rom 7:8b (emphasis mine)
but sin is not counted where there is no law. Rom 5:13b ESV
For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. Rom 4:15 ESV
Does this mean we will never sin (verb) again? No. We were set free from Mr. Sin and death, and perfected in our spirit, but our history of sinning is ingrained into our brains and embedded in our flesh that will never be perfected. Our minds need to be renewed and it takes time. Jesus mission was to save us from Mr. Sin and death.
We Are God’s Children Not Slaves or Servants
Jesus did not purchase us to make us slaves again to fear of punishment when he purchased us with His blood. He set us free and our Father adopted us as His children with a great inheritance.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Rom 8:15-17 ESV
So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Gal 4:7 ESV
In the entire New Testament, Sin is a noun 177 times here and here, and a verb 43 times.
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