Whereas God’s giving of His law in the Old Testament brought us condemnation, God’s giving of His Son in the New Testament brought us salvation. Having been convinced by God’s law that we can never earn God’s acceptance by our own goodness, our good works and deeds, God gave us His Son to persuade us that salvation is a matter of God’s grace, not our goodness, as well as a matter of Christ’s atoning work for us, not our good works for Christ. As the Apostle Paul taught in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Salvation is a gift of God given to us for His glory. It is not something we can earn so that we can take the credit for it. Since Christ has already done everything that needed to be done for our salvation, because we couldn’t do any of it for ourselves, all that’s left for us to do is reach out in faith and receive God’s gift of salvation from Christ’s nail-scarred hand. There’s nothing else for us to do. However, if we refuse to swallow our pride, come to Christ on our knees, and by faith accept His gracious nail-scarred handout, then, the gift of God, which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, will never be ours (Romans 6:23).
Think about it; a gift cannot be earned, lest it cease to be a gift. It can only be received or rejected. On the other hand, wages are earned. They are what we’ve worked for and deserve. When Paul says the wages of sin is death, he is saying death is what we’ve all earned and deserve. Thankfully, he says we do have another alternative, which is eternal life. Yet, it is not a wage, something we have earned and deserved, but a gift, something graciously and freely offered to us by God, which we can only receive or reject. What will you do, receive or reject it? The choice is yours!