Psalm 144:4 Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.

The Wages of Sin


Target and Arrow 2 - Sachin Ghodke

Target and Arrow 2 - Sachin Ghodke

Romans 6:23

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

This passage perturbed me this week.  It’s a passage I have in the past just accepted without thinking about at all in a “Yeah, sin leads to death, tell me something I don’t know”… kind of way.

However, I started wondering why.  Why does sin, any sin at all, not just the ‘big ones’ lead to death.  Have I ever done something that was really worthy of death?  As far as human laws are concerned (and I would presume and hope that God is more forgiving and gracious than humans), the worst I’ve done has landed me with a fixed penalty notice and 3 points on my driver’s license.  If even men wouldn’t put me to death for that, why would God?  That seems a bit harsh don’t you think?

So I thought and thought some more and here’s what I came up with.

Sin, literally understood holds the concept of ‘missing the mark’ like in archery or in clay pigeon shooting, hence Romans 3:23.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

In essence, the issue is whether or not we have lived up to God’s glory, and whether or not we have lived up to our full potential as people that bear God’s image.

If we do, we are ‘sinless’, if we do not, we have ‘sinned’.

I don’t imagine there is anyone who has never felt that sinking feeling of having messed up, or feeling bad, having hurt someone, or feeling disappointed with themselves for not achieving what they knew they could have done.  That’s the bit when you feel ‘sin’, that’s the bit when it bites and that’s also the bit where ‘sin’ effectively carries its own punishment.

God doesn’t need to punish us for our ‘sins’, they always blow back in our faces and carry their own consequences, their own ‘punishments’.

That’s all very well, but it doesn’t answer the question as to why missing that potential, not attaining to that Glory of God requires me to die!!

Here’s how I’ve grown to understand it.

Most of us would be very happy if everyone else in the world acted exactly as commanded / suggested / recommended (depending on your viewpoint) in the bible.  If the rest of the world was unselfish and kind and generous and didn’t bear grudges, was patient and not boastful or envious, we’d all be happy especially if we could still have that bit of selfishness, greed, anger, malice, envy or whatever other vice we might have.

The trouble is that God is aiming at a restored and renewed world that is eventually made perfect again.  If one person is left in the ‘old mould’ then it will spoil it for everybody else. So, to be fair, if we don’t live up to the glory of God, if we miss the mark or sin, everybody gets the same end result – death.  Then at the end of time, “the dead will be raised. We will all be changed, so that we will never die again”  {With some caveats that we won’t go into here!}. (1 Corinthians 15:52).

The only other option is that we get miraculously changed during our present lives by God at some time of his choosing, into sinless, eternal people and if that was a gradual, ongoing process, I imagine it would be pretty confusing for everyone (think Highlander)!

Does that make any sense at all?


2 responses to “The Wages of Sin

  1. NENENG TARIGAN 10/11/2010 at 15:32

    I am sure God will forgive, no matter big our sin was as long as we repent, regret and refrain from creating another sin….

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