The wages of sin…
I was doing some thinking about the relationship of sin, death, the cross and what is the eternal punishment.
To some this may be obvious, and I agree, yet to many I believe they have a mixed up view of sin, death the Cross and the eternal life or punishment some will face. If you ask most Christians what will happen when they die, they will say, “I will go to heaven.” If you were to ask, “How long?” I guarantee that you will receive some funny looks! If you were to ask why someone will go to hell there will usually be two answers.
1. They were sinners.
2. They did not accept Jesus.
Now granted all people are sinners. Even the redeemed are “redeemed sinners”. Yet, is it because of our “sin” we go to hell? I know some who are reading are already going, “Yes! Why even ask such a stupid question!” Yet, if you really look at what the bibles states I do not believe people go to hell for their “sin”… at least not since the Cross.
First off the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) Death was the result of the sin that Adam and Eve committed in the Garden. Death was part of the curse that came not only on mankind, but on all creation due to Adams disobedience. So the wages of sin is death.
Meaning, that when we sin we will die. Wages are the payment for our sins. If you go to work at a job, then most likely you earn wages of some kind. You are getting payment for the work you do. The payment comes from the result of your work… so also death comes from the result of sin. We are paid in our debt to sin by our own life being taken by death.
So how does that effect things if you grasp what I am saying here.
From death to life not from sinful to life.
Since the death of Jesus, who had no sin and became sin for us, sin also died with Jesus on the Cross.
2 Cor 5:21. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
There really is no other meaning to this verse other than Jesus became sin for us and in that the balance of sin and death was set to right. So now the result is that it is not our sin that we should be worried about but that we will be dead. Forgiveness for sins came on the cross. I am amazed how many people argue this with me. They claim that forgiveness did not come on the cross as that would mean all people are then forgiven! Imagine that! How could Jesus’ death not forgive us yet also forgive us. I see this as a bit of double speak. Some like Calvin ran into this and realized (and confused), if all are forgiven then all are saved! Of course forgiveness does not equate salvation. You did not know that? The Christian life is not about us getting saved… yes that is part, but it is mostly about the resurrected Christ who now imparts His Life to us. Calvin simply confused forgiveness and salvation as the same thing… Forgiveness at the Cross justified us so that forgiveness could come and the resurrection gave us Life in Christ.
Romans 5: 9. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! 10. For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
First off, noticed when we were justified… by His blood! When did Jesus spill His blood? At the Cross! So we were justified by Jesus’ blood at the Cross
Romans 3:22-24 states this justification was given “freely by grace”.
22. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24. and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Yes, redemption came at the Cross, but life comes with the Resurrection! Again Romans 5: 10 . For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Again, notice that we have already been reconciled… when? At the Cross! Praise God! Yet, it clearly states we are not saved just by the death of Jesus, but we are saved through his Life!
Calvin missed this idea that the Cross was only part of salvation. When he saw that all would be forgiven at the Cross and realized this would me Universal Salvation, he created Limited Atonement. Now I would get into the difference between OT atonement and NT propitiation, though I believe this teaching has become mostly lost in churches today. But since Calvin confused forgiveness and salvation, he missed that we receive the Life of Christ through the Resurrection. Or if he realized that we received life, he missed that we needed the death of Jesus to set the scales to right… to justify or reconcile the debt of sin which lead to death by taking away sin in His own death… and we needed the Resurrection so that we could have the Life of Jesus which is eternal.
Sin and Death are no longer the enemy. They are subject to Jesus and sin was already dealt with at the Cross and soon death will be tossed into the Lake of Fire. Now it is not about “sins” but about dead men needing Life! We are given the ministry of reconciliation to bring others from death to Life! What a glorious calling…