Who is He really?
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
When the word ‘God’ is said, so many different ideas of meaning can be conjured up. But who is God really? This passage gives us a glimpse of the true nature of God.
Death here is not physical though physical death is part of the result of sin entering the world. Sin is a modality of life bent toward selfishness leading to the destruction of all that God is within us. Death works to destroy peace, joy, love, compassion, goodness, and faith. This state of being earns for us eternal death.
We may think that it is God who sends us to Hell, but in reality, the work of death within us through sin kills everything in us that is from God by removing us from His presence progressively until we spend eternity totally deprived of any contact with God.
The world imagines God has a harsh ogre impossible to please who gleefully waits for a reason to condemn us. But God knows we never chose to be sinful. Yes, the unchosen sinful nature has a causal effect leading to sinful acts, but no one stood before God before birth able to choose to have the sinful nature or not. We were born this way. This way in which we were born is working to kill us now and forever. And what is God’s response? A gift.
He has gifted us without merit the spirit of life to rescue us from death. God is not the harsh Judge as much as He is the benevolent Gifter. There will be a day when we will be judged before the throne of God. The judgment will simply reveal those who rejected the gift that would have saved them.
Too many of us run around trying to be good enough to earn life out of fear that God is going to reject us if we are not good enough, but that is not who our God is. He is the Rescuer. He has seen us trapped by the flames of death, climbed up to us saying, “Come with me and you will be saved.” This is a kind, loving, compassionate God. That’s who He really is.
Prayer: Lord, help me to see You as You are in Your kindness and reject the idea You are brutal in Your judgments. Then help me to be like You in kindness and grace. Amen.