Wednesday, May 11, 2011


It seems that whenever I see a number, as in an address or the time on a digital clock, I think of a Bible verse having it as a reference. This morning, I sat up on the edge of my bed and saw that it was 6:23 a.m.; Immediately the words of Romans 6:23 filled my mind. As must be obvious, I felt I should write about it, so here is my take on the verse.

The Greek word translated "wages" is ὀψώνιον (opsōnion), a soldier's compensation for service; a soldier's support given in place of pay [i.e. rations] and the money which he is paid. It is what he deserves.

"Sin," in the Greek, is ἁμαρτία (hamartia). It means "to miss the mark," which is holiness; that is, "to violate God's law." In other words, it is the work that deserves the wages.

In the original, "death" is θάνατος (thanatos). It is the separation of the living component of a person, the soul (Gen. 2:7; 1 Cor. 15:45), from his body. However, in this case, it refers to the second death (Rev. 20:6), which is eternal (Matt. 18:8). Death is the payment one deserves for failing to be holy.

The word, "but," simply connects two contrasting or opposite statements.

Gift, χάρισμα (charisma) used here, is contrasted with "wages." While wages are earned by work, a gift is unmerited, that is, undeserved. It is interesting that the same Greek word is also translated "grace," which tells us much about the character of the Giver.

θεός (theos) is obviously the Greek word for "God." In many cases, it refers to the Holy Trinity, but in this case, it refers to the Father. "But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them gave He (Father) power to become the sons of God (Father), even to them that believe on His (Jesus) name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (Father - Jn. 6:44)."

"Eternal" comes from αἰώνιος (aiōnios), meaning "without end, to never cease, everlasting." The word, "life," from ζωή (zōē), is here contrasted with "death." Just as life is a gift from God, eternal life is a gift.

The word "through," although not specifically stated, refers to the work of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 16:7-15; 2 Cor. 3:6). Jesus Christ, our Lord, described Himself as the "door" to the Father (Jn. 10:9; 14:6). Not only was Jesus Himself a gift to the lost world (Jn. 3:16), He provided for the gift of eternal life. Praise be to God for His matchless gift of holiness (Rom. 5:17).

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