Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
A Gift from God
Everyone who has a job looks forward to payday. After putting in all those hours of work, you receive your paycheck. It is something that is owed to you. You and your employer came to the agreement that you would work for an amount of time and, in return, your employer would give you an amount of money.
In this section of Paul’s letter to the Romans, he uses that same picture. If you work, you are owed something. However, he shows us that, when it comes to salvation and heaven, it is not something that we are owed, but comes as a gift from God.
Paul says elsewhere in this letter, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). We deserve to be punished by God for all eternity because of our sins. This includes every single time we have had thoughts that were wrong or said things that we shouldn’t have. If you want to talk about something we are owed, this is it! We deserve eternal death.
However, as Paul points out, when we are brought to believe in Jesus as our Savior, then we are in a right relationship with God. Even this faith that we have is not our own doing. We cannot choose to believe in Jesus. This only comes through the work of the Holy Spirit as we hear God’s Word.
God owes us nothing. Yet, he gives us everything. Isn’t it wonderful to know that God does not give us what we deserve!
Heavenly Father, thank you for not giving me what I deserve. Thank you for giving me what Jesus earned for me. Amen.