Today’s Reading: Romans 6:19-23
Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 20:1-23; Acts 28:16-31

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. What does the devil tempt you to do? What about the world? How quickly our flesh gives in to the devil or the world! How willingly it follows wherever they lead! “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). There’s lying, cheating, stealing, pornography, sex, pride, deceit, half-truths, lustful thoughts, and actions. All these things and more fill us with regret and shame. When we did them, we didn’t care. We enjoyed it at the time, but Paul’s word rings true: “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?” Those things end in death.

It’s true that the wages of sin is death. Sin deserves death. Every sin. All sins. Sinfulness results in separation from God, physical death, and eternal damnation. As you get paid for the work you do, so also sin’s wage must be paid. The question is this: Who pays it?

You can try to pay it with second chances, more and better promises, more heartfelt good intentions, trying again and again. But take heart, Jesus has paid the wages of sin with His holy precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death. The wages of sin is death—God’s death to save you from death. In Jesus “you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.”

There’s no more fruit of which to be ashamed. There’s Jesus’ fruit—the fruit which Jesus’ cross produces and which He gives to you. He pours the blood-price over you, washing you in it. He feeds you the payment with His Body and Blood which bore and gave the price of sin. Rejoice, dear saint of God, you are in Christ Jesus. You have eternal life. The wages of sin won’t reach you for you have “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Jesus has come and brings pleasure eternal, Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End; Godhead, humanity, union supernal, O great Redeemer, You come as our friend! Heaven and earth, now proclaim this great wonder: Jesus has come and brings pleasure eternal! (Jesus Has Come and Brings Pleasure, LSB 533:1)

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