"The Wages Of Sin Is Death"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 210

Context: The apostle Paul, who is almost universally credited with writing this letter addressed to the Roman Christians, declares that all people are in need of the grace of God, salvation from sin. The Jews, though they have received the laws given by God, are unable to obey the laws completely and to save themselves; hence, both Jews and Gentiles are unable to attain eternal life without Christ's intervention. When Jesus died, He carried the sinfulness of mankind to the grave with Him. Sin, dead, had no newness of life. Christ, then, freed from the sinfulness of mankind through His death, rose from the dead in the purity of resurrected eternal life. Those who follow Jesus in baptism also bury their sinfulness in death as they are baptized; thus, they too share with the Master the purity of the resurrected eternal life. Followers of Christ, having accepted the pardoning grace of God, are in bondage to righteousness; those who serve sin are enslaved by death. Paul concludes:

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But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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