WHAT is the wages of sin?
"The wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23. "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Genesis 2:17. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Ezekiel 18:4.
How did death enter the world?
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Romans 5:12.
PROBLEM OF WILLFUL SIN
God is merciful, but does this clear the guilty?
"The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty." Numbers 14:18. (See Exodus 34:5-7.)
What is the result of willful sin?
"If we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses. Of how much sorer punish- ment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the cove- nant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace ?" Hebrews 10:26-29.
To whom has execution of judgment been committed?
"Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." Romans 12:19. "The Father hath . . . given to the Son . . . authority to execute judgment also." John 5:26, 27. (See Jude 14, 15.)
What presumptuous course do many pursue?
"Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." Ecclesiastes 8:11.
What message has God sent by His ministers?
"Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him." Isaiah 3:10, 11. "We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us." 2 Corinthians 5:20. (See 2 Timothy 2:24-26.)
To whom is this gift given?
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have ever- lasting life." John 3:16.
How is the gift received?
"He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that be- lieveth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18. "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." John 1:12.
How can man escape this penalty?
"The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23.
NOTE.—"God threatens to punish all who transgress these commandments: we should, therefore, fear His anger, and do nothing against such command- ments. But he promises grace and every blessing to all who keep them: we should, therefore, love and trust in Him, and gladly obey His command- ments."—Luther's Small Catechism in PHILIP SCHAFF, The Creeds of Christen- dom (Scribners), vol. 3, p. 77.
"Through the atonement of Christ more honor is done to the law, and consequently the law is more established, than if the law had been literally executed, and all mankind had been condemned."—JONATHAN EDWARDS (Con- gregationalist), Works (1842 ed.), vol. 2, p. 369.
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