For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Roman soldiers could be seen everywhere in the time the New Testament was written and the Apostle Paul would have seen many of them in his many travels. Paul often refers to the soldiers, to their training and their equipment. Here in Romans 6:23, Paul mentions two types of money which the troops received. He does this in order to teach us a very serious and important lesson.
Paul writes about the wages of sin. The word for wages he uses was the word for the ordinary pay a Roman soldier received — it was his due, that what he had earned. If we choose to keep on sinning as an unbeliever then we get our due, which Paul says is death.
But there is this other word — the gift. When a Roman Emperor had a birthday or some other great celebration he gave his soldiers a free gift — he gave it out of the goodness of his heart. Paul says this is what we receive from God when we believe — his (free) gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Isn't that really wonderful?
We get our due wage if we remain sinners but we are given the amazing gift of God when we come to trust in Jesus. Surely, surely it is so much better to accept God's gift of life with him for ever than to work away at a life that will only earn you death for ever?
Dear Lord, I thank you for the gift of life with you for ever through what Jesus has done for me. Amen.