Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Wages and Gifts

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:23

One of the gifts that Cindy gave me was a nice leather journal with a snap. It is not the first time that I have received such a gift, and I often use it to write sermon notes, or sparked ideas that may cross my mind during bible study. I particularly like the design of this journal because it incorporates a holder for my ball point pen.

From the sermon this week by Reverend Thorpe, I had written down this verse from Romans. The sermon topic was Hell, and how we Christians have become indifferent to it. Anyone who goes to work understands what a wage is. I go to my job, work forty hours and receive a paycheck every two weeks. That paycheck is the wage that I have earned for my services to the company I work. I also should be paid a wage for the sins that I commit against God: death. I have observed death enough to know that it is the natural conclusion to life. The leather journal with the a snap was a gift that Cindy gave me. I did nothing to earn it, and if I tried to repay Cindy for the journal, would it still be a gift? No, it would be something that I have purchased. Eternal life is a gift that God gives. And It does not mean that I will not die physically, unless the Lord returns before I die.

I think, however, that one should consider the possibility that if the eternal life is life beyond our current context, then the death referred to is also a death beyond the our concept of death. When you wonder "why are Christians so Jesus Happy," it is because his death purchased that gift for us. His death covered the sin that I have committed in the past, and he is faithful to forgive the sins that I will commit today. But, there is a catch: Jesus does not force himself on to anyone (often, we assume that role), but stands at the door and knocks. The individual must open the door.


Rick said...

hey, chuck - can you break this out a bit? "if the eternal life is life beyond our current context" - what does that mean, and what if that's only one way of looking? i mean, what if "eternal life" is something that's supposed to be within our context, not just beyond?

thanks for posting - i love this stuff, but only as it gets us closer to the heart of God and how that's supposed to be meaningfully played out, you know? :)

Chuck said...

With "current context" I was heading towards an experience beyond what we currently know.

So, something happens beyond our current life that brings us into an eternal life. When you die without Christ, you still have an external life: it will, however, be spent in an eternal fire.

To your point, eternal life now, that is the mindset that I believe we should be living. What would happen if I paused more often to just ponder on this marvelous gift I have been given? I have been given a gift that I defintely did not. I am Free! I have been reconciled with the Father and am back in his arms. How should this influence me in my day to day "current context"?

Otherwise, you might fall into looking for something in the future to fulfill you now.

Rick said...

good stuff, chuck - and great gifts :) - keep it going, buddy. woot woot.