Irony of the Wages of Sin

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

This passage is strange. I mean, strange in a kind of big picture way many Christian theologians interpret it. Something doesn’t make sense here.

I know Christians try interpret this ‘figuratively’ based on this “Now if we have died with Christ we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead…” (Romans 6:8-9) (figurative since we don’t really die – we just stop sinning).

The wages of sin is death. Jesus dies to pay for that penalty (wages). Jesus then resurrects – proving he shall live forever. You come along. You accept Jesus and are promised eternal life (because Jesus paid the price for sin – death). You stop sinning, as best you can, and you still die. Shouldn’t you not die? Didn’t Jesus eliminate the price for the curse of sin by dying? 

If it is figurative (as in not a literal death in which we identify with Jesus by) then why did Jesus have to die a literal death…and are we not paying the price for our sin by dying the same literal death?

The logic is strange to me. All things being equal – Sin – prior to and after meeting Jesus still results in the same thing – death. So what was removed exactly?

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7 thoughts on “Irony of the Wages of Sin

  1. The spiritual death was removed. The physical is just a temporary state of being to the christian. It is the spiritual that is the focus.

    Jesus dying did not mean that we would not sin again, as i have never seen anyone who never sins again.

  2. My issue is if you break down Romans 6 piece by piece the logic is slipping.

    Here is the main point of his intro “How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” (vs. 2).

    Truth is, how has any believer died to ‘sin’ – your admission is thus ‘Jesus dying did not mean that we would not sin again…’. Paul seems to believe ‘you have died to sin’. This is not the case obviously. So I’ll go on.

    “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with…he who has died is freed from sin.” (vs 6-7)

    Seems figurative to me, since the person Paul is speaking to is not dead. However, he is making a connection between the actual death/crucifixion of Jesus (unless Paul thinks that is figurative as well) and our deaths (which is seemingly about leaving an old life behind). Doesn’t work.

    See Paul is comparing apples and oranges: Real death with fake death (not the same thing at all). Jesus actually died to sin (paid the wages of sin). We, do not die, we only identify with that death and try live new lives – fact is – were not dead – thus not ‘freed from sin’. And as you point out, continue to deal with the problems of sin.

  3. “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (vs. 11)

    Love this word ‘consider’. Paul knows he is making an analogy only – that none of this is actually fact – but an example to change our lives from destructive to healthy. Paul knows very well we will also ‘pay the wages of sin’…death.

    “having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (v.18)

    I think he knows very well no one is quite freed from sin thus this whole exhortation in Romans 6….to try get people back in line – to be righteous/just again. The problem is, they were sinning – even after being Christians. How do I know…the next line.

    “I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.” (v. 19)

    I think Paul knew they were struggling around and were being weak – impure and lawless – not really the Christians he envisioned. Paul’s duality is clear here – spirit (good) and flesh (bad) – that’s where his analogy comes from and it’s flawed reasoning (which I have stated in a prior post).

    “For the wages of sin is death…” (vs 23)

    if the wages of sin is death, and we identify with Jesus, who happened to die to pay those wages, then shouldn’t we not die? Or was Jesus’ death not enough and we have to pay our own wages for sin?

    Issue: Paul’s jumping from an actual event (as his example) to a fake death (our changing our lives). He states a pretty strong statement which is likely literal in vs. 23…but if it is literal and we do die one day…didn’t we just pay our own wages then?

  4. In 6:12, Paul is talking about sin reigning in the body. An action cannot reign over anyone, so Paul is not talking about a sin but rather the sin nature that reigns over and controls men. 6:22, the believer is now a slave to God instead of sin, but once again this is not talking about an individual act, but rather the sin nature. Our old man or old nature died with Christ on the cross, via faith, and was replaced with the new nature of God. We are told to renew our minds as our old habits and thoughts did not magically change when the old man died. We still have the old sin habits, but as we changing our thinking to be in alignment with God, we will abandon the old habits as they no longer have an influence over us.

    The eternal life is literal, but referring to an eternal spiritual life instead of physical as the physical is only temporary.

  5. “Our old man or old nature died with Christ on the cross, via faith, and was replaced with the new nature of God” (Xander)

    Doesn’t make sense (logic) since it’s not true. How can you go from our sin nature dying on the cross with Jesus (which actually did happen – he died) and then turn around and admit this is not the case…we will still sin. Well, logically, nothing died with Jesus there then – since we still ‘sin’ – meaning we are still ‘alive’ to it/in it.

    In fact, the best I can tell, the only way we shed such a ‘sin nature’ is to physically 100% die so we cannot ‘choose’ it at all. Like Jesus.

    I get the analogy Paul is using – but it’s flawed out the wazooo. Heck even your trying to explain it and it’s the same issue.

    ” We are told to renew our minds as our old habits and thoughts did not magically change when the old man died. We still have the old sin habits, but as we changing our thinking to be in alignment with God…” (Xander)

    So Jesus actually died and resurrected – yes? No figurative belief about that for you, yes? Would you say he paid the price for sin? If you answer ‘yes’ to those – then Jesus died to pay the wages sin – literal.

    Now we identify with this Jesus character and that death via changing our lives, renewing our minds, to find alignment with God, yes? But do we actually die in any way? No. So it’s figurative our death (not real), yes?

    Have the wages of sin been paid, I guess is the real question? Will you die one day?

    “The eternal life is literal.” (Xander)

    I agree…not my issue…life is as literal in this passage as death is…which is my point and makes the passage illogical.

  6. I get the reigning and non-reigning part – that makes sense to me – it’s the crux of his analogy (changing one’s habits and behaviors). But why not use an analogy that makes sense or plainly admit, your sin nature will disappear – once you die like Jesus.

    His analogy, at least the way it used in many Evangelical churches, sucks. It builds up this idea that Jesus paid for all of our sins on the cross, yet we still continue in them and are never really freed from them until we die ourselves and enter eternity…like Jesus.

  7. Hi: sin comes with death. Death–comes with punishment–“and death followed after” (rusty memory) Nope–HELL followetH… HELL FOLLOWETH AFTER. Death comes with a punishment–EXCEPT WITH JESUS CHRIST: “YAHSHUA,” (Yah is salvation,) when WE DIE WITHOUT PUNISHMENT; ALL WE SUFFER IS CHASTISEMENT; NOT ETERNAL HELL, BUT A QUICK WHIPPING ON THE BUTT BECAUSE WE ARE PART OF THE FAMILY…<3+W–more where that came from, wherever; remember, PAUL IS THE AUTHORITY, NOT US

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