12th July 2013

Contrasts 

“For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
Romans 6:23 (NIV UK)

Do you find that contrast is a good way to learn about something? We use it in everyday speech. For example, we may say that something is as different from something else as night is from day.

The Apostle Paul used contrast often to help his readers understand a biblical idea. Paul wanted the Roman church to grasp that life without grace is a spiritually terminal condition; only life “under grace” reaps holiness and results in eternal life (6:14-15, 22). To press this home Paul employs contrast.

Paul compares “wages” to “gift”. Wages are the result of something we work for. They are something we earn, a future reward for present effort made. A gift, however, is unearned. It is given, not out of merit, but freely out of love.

Then “sin” is contrasted to “God”. If we need a definition of sin, it is life without God. A sinful lifestyle is a lifestyle without God.

Lastly, Paul presents the state of “death” in stark contrast to “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. In the sentence they are placed as opposing thoughts. The opposite of death is eternal life in Jesus. Death is final, but life in Christ goes on forever. If we are not under grace, we earn participation in the finality of spiritual death; whereas if we are under grace, we participate in the gift of eternal life in Jesus.

In summary, “wages” is contrasted to “gift”, “sin” to “God”, and “death” to “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”; in each contrast the first thought is as different from the second as night is from day.

Prayer
Wonderful Father, thank you for the clarity of Scripture. Thank you for your grace, the unmerited gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus.
In Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by James Henderson

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bible2About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.  You are welcome to attend any of our Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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