For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 6:23 NRSV
We are all familiar with wages; it is what we have earned for our work. So even if we are now retired and drawing from social security, retirement accounts, or pension, we are in a way still receiving wages for work we've already done. A gift, on the other hand, is free. We don't have to work for it; someone who loves us wants to give us something. We all understand this, one we earn and the other free.
The Apostle Paul here is being straightforward if we work in sin, we earn death. Sometimes this may lead to our physical death, but his focus here is the demise of our soul. But, thanks to the grace of God, there is an alternative, we can accept a free gift -- no strings attached. This gift is retirement from sin; we only need to stop earning those sinful wages.
Wait, don't we continue to sin even after we accept Christ? Yes, sadly, but again we are benefactors of God's grace. Yet another gift. God doesn't stop handing out presents. Eventually, when we shuffle off this mortal coil, we receive one final gift, the gift of eternal life.
Gracias and Almighty God, we give you thanks for your many gifts. We are grateful for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, in which you offered us an escape from the slavery of death with the promise of eternal life. Please help us as we reject sin today and strive to lead righteous lives. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.