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 all day, and your compensation will be death? Or do you want to be handed eternal life as a free gift that you don’t have to do anything to receive?
Remarkably, we sometimes struggle with this seemingly simple choice. Instead, our inclination is to believe that if we do enough good things, then God will accept us. So we try to do more good than bad, and in the end we hope that when God weighs our deeds that the good ones will tip the balance in our favor. But we don’t take into account that one single wrong thing “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 tip the scale 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 adjusting. God says, “forget about your good and bad deeds, and simply receive this gift. 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.” More than that He not only forgives, He changes us into 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 and forgiveness because He loves us and wants to do it. It’s a gift!