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                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS"

                  God's Gift Of Eternal Life (6:22-23)

INTRODUCTION

1. An familiar verse is that found at the end of Romans six...

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

2. This passage is often used to suggest that eternal life is...
   a. A gift given when one becomes a Christian
   b. A gift requiring no effort on the part of the recipient(s)

3. It is true that elsewhere we learn that....
   a. Eternal life is described as a "present possession", enjoyed now
      by the Christian - 1 Jn 5:13
      1) Referring to a relationship made possible by knowing God and
         Jesus - cf. Jn 17:2-3
      2) A feature of that which Jesus describes as the "abundant life"
         - cf. Jn 10:10
   b. Salvation is not merited or earned - cf. Ti 3:4-7
      1) Even though it does require obedience - He 5:9
      2) The gospel contains that which must be obeyed - cf. 2 Th 1:8;
         1 Pe 4:17

4. But in the context of Romans six, the gift of eternal life as
   described by Paul...
   a. Is not a present possession, but something received at the end of
      life! - cf. Ro 6:22
   b. Is received not without effort, but as the result of a holy life!
      - cf. Ro 6:22

[As we carefully consider verse 22 along with the rest of the chapter,
note first that eternal life is...]

I. GIVEN TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN SET FREE FROM SIN

   A. BY DYING TO SIN...
      -- Paul begins chapter six by revealing:
      1. One who dies to sin should no longer live in sin - Ro 6:1-2
      2. He who has died has been freed from sin - Ro 6:7

   B. IN BAPTISM...
      -- He then explains how and when one dies to sin:
      1. Where we are baptized into His death - Ro 6:3-4
      2. Where we are united together in the likeness of His death - Ro
         6:5
      3. Where our old man was crucified with Him - Ro 6:6
         a. That the body of sin might be done away with
         b. That the we should no longer be slaves of sin

[Those who have died to sin in baptism have been set free from sin. But
now note that according to verse 22 eternal life is...]

II. GIVEN TO THOSE WHO HAVE BECOME SLAVES OF GOD

   A. NO LONGER SLAVES OF SIN...
      -- Consider what Paul wrote:
      1. We have died to sin - Ro 6:1-2
      2. We now live with Christ - Ro 6:8-11
      3. We are not to let sin reign and have dominion over us - Ro 6:
         12,14

   B. NOW SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS...
      -- Consider what is now the duty of Christians:
      1. We are to present ourselves to God as alive from the dead - Ro
         6:13
      2. We are to present our members as instruments of righteousness
         to God - Ro 6:13
      3. We have become slaves of righteousness through obedience - Ro
         6:16-18

[As slaves of God, we are now to be obedient slaves of righteousness.
From verse 22 we learn that eternal life will therefore be...]

III. GIVEN TO THOSE WHO HAVE THE FRUIT OF HOLINESS

   A. WHO WERE ONCE SLAVES OF SIN...
      -- They were slaves of sin:
      1. When they presented their members as slaves of uncleanness and
         lawlessness - Ro 6:19
      2. When they were free in regard to righteousness - Ro 6:20
      3. When they produced shameful fruit leading to death - Ro 6:21

   B. WHO ARE NOW SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS...
      -- They are now slaves of righteousness:
      1. For the purpose of holiness - Ro 6:19c
      2. For the fruit leading to holiness - Ro 6:22

[Finally, from verse 22 we learn that for those who have the fruit of
holiness, eternal life is...]

IV. GIVEN AT THE END OF LIFE

   A. AT THE END...
      -- Eternal life is given to those:
      1. Having died to sin - Ro 6:22a,1-11
      2. Having become slaves to God - Ro 6:22b,12-18
      3. Having had the fruit of holiness - Ro 6:22c,19-21

   B. ETERNAL LIFE...
      -- Some observations concerning that which comes at the end:
      1. Some translations say "everlasting life" (KJV, NKJV), but it is
         the same expression translated "eternal life" in verse 23
      2. Here Paul speaks of our "future hope", given at the Judgment:
         a. Of which Jesus often spoke - Mt 25:46; Mk 10:29-30
         b. As Paul did elsewhere - Ro 2:4-7; Ti 1:2; 3:7
         c. Pertaining to that life with God we enter into in the age to
            come - cf. Re 21:3-7

CONCLUSION

1. From our study of the context of Ro 6:22-23, we have seen that
   eternal life is...
   a. Given to those who have been set free from sin
   b. Given to those who have become slaves to God
   c. Given to those who have the fruit of holiness
   d. Given at the end of life

2. If so, then how is eternal life called a "gift" (or "free gift")...?
   a. Because it requires the kindness, love, mercy and grace of God
      - cf. Ti 3:4-7
   b. Despite our obedience, we have not earned or merited this gift of
      eternal life

3. Do we desire to receive "God's Gift Of Eternal Life"?  Then one must
   ask...
   a. Have I been set free from sin by dying to sin in baptism?
   b. Have I become a slave to God, presenting myself as a servant of
      righteousness?
   c. Am I bearing the fruit of holiness in my life?

Let Jesus be your author (source) of eternal life as you humbly obey
Him... - cf. He 5:9; Mk 16:15-16
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