You may have heard the saying, “You get what you pay for.” You may even ascribe to it. I'm not so sure.
If we were to measure this year and recent events we might begin to shudder. Murders, attacks on innocent (and sometimes not so innocent) people, the beginning of another hurricane season, political unrest and uncertainty—to mention just a few. These remind us of the truth of what St. Paul said in our lesson: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Here we can measure what is happening and still take heart!
First of all, there is the burden of God’s Law. Death and damnation await those who sin—and we all sin in thought, word, and deed. Furthermore, we could never fulfill the demands of God’s law. Instead, we find ourselves under its condemnation to everlasting death in hell and absolute separation from God and His blessings. In many of the orders of worship in our church we admit that we have sinned by what we do and what we don’t do.
Then, there is the Good News of Jesus Christ. In John 3:16 Jesus pointed out to Nicodemus that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life! This is the free gift Paul wrote of in our reading. This is pure Gospel, and this Gospel is for you and me!
It was in the light of this message that Paul wrote at the beginning of our reading: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”
In this Gospel we get what Jesus paid for in His perfect, sinless life, innocent suffering and death; and won in His glorious resurrection from the grave!
We pray: Lord Jesus Christ, we give to You our thanks and praise for winning for us full and free salvation from sin, death and Satan’s power. Give us your Spirit that we might ever know and believe this GOOD NEWS! In Your name we pray. Amen.