“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:22–23, KJV 1900)
When I was a young boy, I remember receiving one of the greatest gifts one Christmas. My mom and dad gave me a new Ru-Mer surf fishing reel. At that time, the Ru as we called it was the premier fishing reel for surf casters. What made this special was that there was no way, on my meager income, that I could consider purchasing one for myself. When I opened the box, the first thing I did was take the reel in my right hand and start cranking it with my left and dreaming about March when the striper season opened again. That was nearly 55 years ago and I am still using that reel.
Gifts are very special. For something to be a gift, several things are required. First, someone other than its recipient must pay the purchase price for the gift. Second, the purchaser of the gift must give it free of charge to the recipient. For if it is not given freely, it is not a gift. Last, the recipient must receive it freely.
We who believe have received the gift of eternal life. And it truly is a gift. The Lord paid the price to purchase this gift for us. What was this price? Paul says that, “the wages of sin is death.” There was a price to be paid for us to have life and that price was death. Jesus died on the cross to pay this price for us. He died to pay the penalty of our sin so that we could have life. God offers the free gift of eternal life to us. He requires no payment from us for this gift. If He did, it would no longer be a gift.
We cannot do one thing, that is we cannot do one good work to get the gift of eternal life. If we could, eternal life would not be a free gift. All we have to do is to receive it. Thirty-seven years ago, I, a spiritually impoverished beggar, reached out a beggar’s hand to receive the gift of a King.