The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
A construction company repairing bridges and roads at Arcadia, Missouri, put up a sign of its own that said: “Slow Down or Die.” The state highway department called it “irregular,” that is, different from the kind of warning signs it puts up.
It is all too true that many highway deaths are caused by excessive speed and the lack of caution.
In all of life some people die because they don’t slow down in their work, their energy-draining lifestyle, or their use of alcohol and drugs. The message to them, in plain words, is: “Slow Down or Die.”
The same applies to our spiritual life, so often beset by sin. The prophet Ezekiel states: “The soul that sins shall die” (see Ezekiel 18:20). Nothing is said that it is not only accelerated sinning that brings death; slow, infrequent sinning does the same. This includes all of us. The warning sign of God’s law is very plain on this.
So we need another sign – the sign of the Gospel. It declares: Because Jesus died, you live. Because He rose again, you can rise daily from the tomb of spiritual sin and death, and you will on the Last Day take part in the bodily resurrection. Because the Holy Spirit comes to you through the Gospel, you have faith. That is good news, and how you rejoice to hear it, see it, and read it as you journey through life!
Someone traveling on a highway saw a sign at a church that read: “The wages of sin is death.” He mused to himself that such a church message was incomplete – it could give people the wrong impression of Christianity. On his return trip he read what was written on the other side of the sign, namely: “But the gift of God is eternal life.” This was the second part of the quotation from Romans 6:23. This is the message of the Gospel.
As we travel through life, we need both signs – the one that says, “If you keep on sinning, you’ll die,” and the other one, too: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will live.”
PRAYER: Thank You, Holy Spirit for giving me life in Christ and for keeping me in the faith through the Gospel. Amen
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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