The Wage or the Gift?
Wages are something that you earn. Gifts are something that you are given without earning.
The book of Genesis in the Bible says that a long time ago everything was very good. That was right after God created people. He looked at His creation (everything) and said that it was very good. The first two humans, Adam and Eve, were living in a perfect world, in a perfect creation. They were given the gift of life and they were given all creation as an inheritance from God.
Believe it or not, with all the rules that we live with today (civil and moral laws), they only had one rule from God, which was “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Then, as the story goes, Satan, in the form of a serpent (Revelation 12:9), came and spoke to Eve. His temptation for Eve was to get her to not believe in/trust what God told her and Adam, and he worked his lies a little at a time ““Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”” to which she rightly replied that they could eat of the trees of the garden, except the one God told them not to eat. She even repeated to the serpent that God said that if they did eat from that specific tree, they would die. Satan continued with his lies, telling Eve that she would not die, but instead would be like God if she ate from the tree. Unfortunately, the appearance of the fruit and Satan’s lies were enough to tempt Eve into trying the fruit. She liked the taste of it and shared it with Adam, who also tasted the fruit, knowing that it was against God’s command.
This is the original sin, sometimes called the fall of man. Adam and Eve did not trust or obey God. They put themselves above Him. They broke the one and only rule. Mankind and all creation were now tainted with this act (Genesis 3:14-20).
We, the children of man carry sin with us as a result. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23), and this puts us in a bad relationship with God (Romans 5:10, Colossians 1:21).
But God did not leave us in this mess. He sent His Son into the world to be born a (sinless) man. Jesus Christ, born of Mary, is God in the flesh. His specific reason for coming into the world was to die bearing the sins of us all and to rise from the grave. In doing so, He conquered sin, death and the devil, and made all things right with God once again (1 Corinthians 15:57, Hebrews 2:14).
Our earthly nature is to sin (that is, put ourselves above God, and do what we want). The wages of sin is death, as was foretold by God before Adam and Eve committed that first or original sin. Because of our sinful nature, we cannot stop sinning, so we can’t earn our way into heaven (eternal life with God).
But, because of the love of God for us, Jesus came for us and died taking on the cost of sin upon Himself. In doing so, He gave us the gift of eternal life with Him and God the Father. That which was broken, was restored in Christ. We have but to trust in God’s free gift of salvation for us.
Thankful for His many gifts,