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