by Dr. Charles Stanley
Friday August 4, 2006
Eternal Life: Adjusting Our Focus
Many believers can almost instinctively complete this statement: “For the wages of sin is ________.” Reading that sentence, perhaps you even filled in the blank out loud: death. We all know what that means, right? This passage in Romans 6:23 proclaims what we deserve for our sin. This is how we view ourselves from time to time — dirty sinners who have narrowly escaped a horrible death.
The problem here is that too many believers remember just the first half of that verse — the part that deals with our sin. When we focus on the sin rather than the solution, then our entire spiritual perspective gets off balance. Emphasizing the sin directs all the attention to self — what I have done, how I have acted, where I have been. This self-centeredness will never lead to the peaceful assurance of salvation that the Lord has provided. When we focus on ourselves, we leave little room for God.
So, as we read Romans 6:23, the Lord would have us focus not on our problem, but on His solution: “But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” You see, this passage is not a condemnation for sin, but a proclamation of salvation! The apostle Paul boldly declares that God saw our dire situation and acted on His own initiative to rescue us from a horrible sin-death.
The heavenly Father graciously handed salvation over to us as a free gift. And when almighty God gives a gift, there is no one who can ever steal it away and nothing that can interfere with its permanence (Romans 8:35-39). That’s the assurance our Lord wants us to have.
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