For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23
Do you want to work your whole life and your payoff will be death? Or do you want to be given eternal life for free, without having to do anything at all to receive it?
Remarkably, we sometimes struggle with this simple choice. Our inclination is to believe that if we do enough good things, then God will accept us and we go to heaven when we die. So we try to do more good than bad, and in the end we hope that when God weighs our deeds on some big scale that the good ones will tip the balance in our favor.
Unfortunately, one single wrong “weighs” more than every good deed we could possibly do. God is the maker of all things and is holy and sinless. Do we really believe there is anything we can do to impress Him, to make Him take notice of how good we are? The scales can never tip in out favor.
But God is so good His love reaches out to us and He made a way to not only tilt the balance in our favor, He just throws out the scale all together. He does this by making eternal life a gift. There is no measuring or comparing or weighing or stacking up. God says, “Forget about your good and bad deeds, and simply receive this. I love you and I want to be with you, so I am giving it to you and you don’t have to do a thing.”
He gives us this gift and He also makes us His children. And we don’t have to do a thing! We don’t gain it through our good deeds, or obtain it by following some ritual, or earn it in any way. God gives us eternal life because He loves us and wants to do it. It’s a gift!