Eternal Life Is a Gift





“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 6:23


  1. Our beloved brother Paul made the cross of Christ his preaching emphasis (I Cor 2:1-5; Gal 6:14).
  2. If we are gripped by the Spirit to consider this gift, all Christian duties become easy privileges.
  3. We understand the doctrine of salvation very differently from others, and we must not compromise.
  4. But it is not enough to know this doctrine, despise its opposing heresies, or present it boldly to others.
  5. The key is knowing and loving the God and Mediator by which you were saved from your just wages.
  6. I am convicted that our love of the doctrine may exceed our love of the doctrine’s God and Saviour!


  1. The conjunctive conjunction “for” coordinates the thought here to the previous verses.
  2. The context is simple enough: God’s grace should lead us to righteous living (Rom 6:1-22).
  3. God’s grace by one man Christ Jesus does not allow casual living or worship (Rom 5:1-21).
  4. By living holy lives without sin, we are God’s servants, waiting for eternal life (Rom 6:22).
  5. The great reasons in this verse are (1) sins cause death and (2) we owe God for saving us.

The Wages

  1. Wages are something you earn for work done – they are a payment owed to you for actions.
  2. God told Adam in Eden about the wage for eating the forbidden fruit – death (Gen 2:16-17).
  3. There is a consequence and result for sinning – God’s justice must pay death (Ezek 18:4,20).
  4. Every man has sinned and fully earned the wages of death in its various forms, for our conduct falls far short of God’s glory and holiness, excluding us from heaven (Rom 3:23).
  5. Every person hearing this sermon or reading this outline has accrued wages that will be paid!
  6. God, as He is holy and just, is very faithful to pay – your certain payday is near (Heb 9:27).

Of Sin

  1. Sin is the transgression of God’s law (I John 3:4). It is not based on what anyone else thinks.
  2. If you, anyone else, or everyone else justifies an action, it does not matter to the Paymaster.
  3. Sin does not need to make you feel bad to be sin. Sin is any action contrary to the Bible.
  4. Everyone around you may be sinning and seeming to get away with it, but death will come.
  5. Sin is entirely and only known by learning the pure word of God and its claims on our lives.
  6. If just eating from a forbidden tree damned an entire race for eternity, then every sin counts.
  7. If smiting a rock instead of speaking to it cost Moses the land of Canaan, every sin counts.
  8. The nature of any one sin against a holy God brings the same guilt as breaking all (Jas 2:10).
  9. God’s holiness declares that even thoughts of foolishness are sin (Prov 24:9; Matt 5:22,28).
  10. God’s holiness declares that even idle words of our mouths are sin (Matt 12:36; Eph 5:3-6).
  11. Anything less than loving God with all your being breaks the first commandment (De 6:4-5).
  12. Anything less than glorious honor of parents is a heinous sin (Deut 27:16; Pro 20:20; 30:17).
  13. Dozing in hearing or reading this sermon is a sin in the very act of religion (Heb 12:28-29).
  14. Sin is the most cursed and foolish action in the world – bringing all sorts of death as wages.
  15. Amnon’s lust for Tamar made him sick, but the sin brought greater hatred (II Sam 13:1-16)!
  16. Judas sinned horribly for 30 pieces of silver, but then hung himself violently (Matt 27:3-10).

Is Death

  1. Death is the end of life. Death is the beginning of torment. Death is misery, pain, and trouble.
    1. The spirit, which animates the physical body, leaves to cause death (Eccl 12:7; Jas 2:26).
    2. When the rich man died, then his eternal existence in torment began (Luke 16:22-23).
  2. Death is a happy, lively, and gorgeous girl as a cold, ashen gray, and shriveled old woman!
  3. Death is a strong, virile, and handsome man curled up with only yellow skin and bones left.
  4. Death is working right now to choke out your life and leave you a rotting, stinking corpse.
  5. Death is the greatest punishment an infinitely wise Creator could design for rebel enemies.
  6. The world may laugh and joke about the certainty of death, but check them out at a funeral!
  7. Adam had the good life. It has never been better in this world. But death destroyed it all.
  8. When he ate the forbidden fruit, he lost his joy and peace with His Creator God and himself: he became a guilty and frustrated rebel against God and his ways to destroy his own life.
  9. Adam died spiritually in his affection for God and His ways in the day he ate the fruit; and then he decayed slowly until physical death took him 930 years later; and though he suffers in hell now, he will still get to face God again for his formal rejection by His Creator and be cast into the lake of fire with the devil and his angels for the second death … eternal hell.
  10. You were born dead to God and everything good, will die physically very soon, and then will be cast into eternal torment forever and ever, which is the second death (Rev 20:14; 21:8).
  11. You were born spiritually dead in a dying world, so you cannot do what you desire and need to do, find any good in this life that truly satisfies, or achieve success that is just out of your reach (Eph 2:1-3). You are discontent, frustrated, miserable, and unable to help yourself.
  12. Death is consuming and devouring you as you read, for it is always working hard on sinners.
  13. Death is sucking the memory out of your brain, the sight out of your eyes, the hearing out of your ears, the teeth out of your mouth, the taste out of your tongue, the moisture out of your mouth, the elasticity and clarity out of your skin, the firmness out of your flesh, the hormones out of your body, the form out of your shape, the strength out of your bones, the power out of your muscles, the flexibility out of your joints, the color and shine out of your hair, the hair off your head, the brightness out of your eyes, the desire and ability out of your sex, the insulin out of your pancreas, the processing out of your kidneys, the courage out of your mind, the remaining beats out of your heart, and the life out of your soul. See Eccl 12:1-8.
  14. Death is eating us alive while I speak, and its conclusive finality is about to take us all down.
  15. You will decay until you are a rotting and weak lump unable to eat, swallow, or breathe!
  16. And this death is good news … for it ends the painful connection of your spirit to your body!
  17. And when you die, your body lying cold, pale, and still in a casket, your spirit will be sent down, down, and further down into the black abyss of infernal wailing for eternal torment without relief or any hope at all of any lessening of the misery and pain for all ages to come.
  18. You were born dead; you cannot live forever, or even for long; and a worse death comes!
  19. This is death – in three dimensions – and it is the just and right wages for each of your sins.
  20. You will be paid, for you have sinned; the sins deserve the pay, and God is faithfully just.


  1. The disjunctive conjunction “but” sets the second half of this verse in opposition to the first.
  2. O glorious but! Bless God for this inspired disjunctive (Rom 5:20; 6:17; Ga 1:15; Ep 2:4,13)!
  3. You are about to read the glorious, total, and final remedy for all the wages of all your sins.
  4. Reader, if you will humbly bow before the just wages you deserve, this “but” will be sweet.

The gift

  1. You deserve your wages – you earned every bit of them: but a gift has now covered them all!
    1. The God Who must pay you death for your sins to be holy and just … gave a gift instead!
    2. No wonder it is called the glorious gospel, for who can even imagine such good news!
  2. Eternal life is a gift of God; it is not an offer needing to be accepted or received; Hallelujah!
    1. God gave His elect to Jesus Christ in an eternal covenant before the world began (Rom 8:29-39; Eph 1:3-4; II Tim 1:9; John 6:37-39; 10:26-29; 17:2; Hebrews 2:13; I Pet 1:2).
    2. God gave His Son Jesus Christ to die in their place for their sins (Matt 20:28; John 3:16; 10:11,17-18; 19:11; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 5:2,25; I Timothy 2:6; Titus 2:14).
    3. God gave eternal life in legal justification and vital regeneration, and He will yet give our eternal inheritance based on the Book of Life (John 10:28-29; 17:2; Rom 3:24; 5:15,16,18; 8:32; I Cor 2:12; 15:57; Eph 2:8; II Pet 1:3; I John 5:11; Rev 13:8).
    4. There is not a remote chance that even one of God’s elect will die without salvation, for all shall be saved without loss of one (John 6:37-39; Rom 4:16; 8:28-39; Heb 2:13).
    5. If God offered eternal life, no one would take it (Ps 14:1-3; Jn 5:39-40; 6:44; Ro 3:9-18).
    6. If God offered eternal life, no one could take it (John 8:43,47; Rom 8:7-8; I Cor 2:14).
    7. A gospel based on merely an offer from God requiring conditions from you is insanity!
    8. Our receiving related to eternal life is purely passive (Rom 5:11,17; Gal 4:5; Heb 9:15).
    9. The receiving in John 1:12 is the result and evidence of God’s work (Jn 1:13; Rom 9:16)!
  3. There is no offer of eternal life dependent on sinners fulfilling terms in order to be saved.
    1. Jesus Christ offered Himself … to God … for us, not to us (Hebrews 9:11-15; Eph 5:2).
    2. His offering put sins away forever by one offering on the cross (Heb 9:24-28; 10:1-18).
    3. If anything is offered to the elect, it is merely practical benefits for life now (Rev 3:20).
    4. We offer ourselves to God as a sacrifice in Christ (Romans 15:16; Heb 13:15; I Pet 3:21).
  4. The acceptance involved in salvation is God accepting us, not us accepting God or His gift.
    1. For the sake of learning, consider how Paul explains the value of verb voices (Gal 4:9).
    2. The first and most important acceptance was God’s of Christ’s offering (Isaiah 53:10-12).
    3. Then we were accepted and received in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:6; Rom 15:7; Hebrews 12:6).
    4. We accept and receive the good news of what has been done in order to obtain practical benefits (Acts 10:43; 17:11; 26:18; I Cor 15:1; II Cor 5:19-20; 6:1; I Tim 1:15; Jas 1:21).
    5. Our obedience is made acceptable to God by Christ, and it only proves our previous acceptance with God (Acts 10:34-35; Rom 14:18; II Cor 6:14-17; Heb 12:28; I Pet 2:5).

Of God

  1. Bless the Lord: forget not all His benefits, Who forgiveth all thine iniquities (Psalm 103:1-5).
  2. Brethren, we are bound to give thanks to God alway for this unspeakable gift (II Thess 2:13).
  3. What did the angels say in announcing our Saviour’s birth? Glory to God in the highest!
  4. He is the Almighty God! The Blessed God! The Dreadful God! The Eternal God! The Faithful God! The Great God! The Holy God! The Immortal God! The Jealous God! The Loving God! The Mighty God! The Omnipotent God! The Powerful God! The Redeeming God! The Saving God! The True God! The Wonderful God! The Excellent God!
  5. No wonder Psalm 136 repeats, “His mercy endureth for ever,” for all twenty-six verses!
  6. No wonder Jesus Himself praised God for His inscrutable will in salvation (Matt 11:25-27).
  7. No wonder the apostles were humbled and glorified God for Gentile salvation (Acts 11:18).
  8. Why did God give this gift of eternal life to enemies? For His glory (Rom 9:22-24; Eph 2:7).

Is eternal life

  1. The contrast between the death we deserve and the life we receive is impossible to describe!
  2. Instead of eternal torment as rebel enemies of God, we enjoy God’s presence as His children.
  3. Instead of corruption consuming every virtue of our bodies, we will be incorruptible forever!
  4. Instead of separation from God as our great Tormentor, He will be our loving Father forever!
  5. Many have sought for the fountain of youth to postpone death and secure life, but here it is!
  6. All tears, death, sorrow, crying, and pain will be taken away in God’s heaven (Rev 21:4).
  7. This is no mere probation from the fires of hell … it is an eternal inheritance as sons of God.
  8. God promised eternal life before the world began to those He gifted in Christ (Titus 1:2).

Through Jesus Christ

  1. The only way a just and holy God could save sinners was through the mediatorial Substitute, Jesus Christ the Son of God (Matt 1:21; Rom 3:26; I Tim 2:5; Heb 9:28; I Pet 2:21-24).
  2. The wages you had accrued – even the death you had earned by sin – was paid against Him.
  3. God chose a mighty man to take our wages and destroy sin, death, and hell (Ps 89:19). Glory!
  4. All the promises of God, including that of eternal life, are sure in Him (II Cor 1:20; Tit 1:2).
  5. What should have happened to sinners did indeed happen to Him under the full fury of God.
    1. He endured the extensive physical aspects of the sore bruising and death you deserved.
    2. He endured emotional and personal humiliation and great mental anguish you deserved.
    3. He endured spiritual attacks from the devil like you cannot imagine that you deserved.
    4. He endured above all His Father deserting Him to utter loneliness for guilt of your sins.
  6. He was rejected by God, put to death, and laid in a tomb for the worms! But He rose again!
  7. God can only accept you in heaven through the death of His Son (Eph 1:6; II Cor 5:18-21).
  8. He is the only Mediator by which we must be saved (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; I Timothy 2:5).
  9. Anyone chosen in Christ is infinitely free from any chance of loss (Romans 8:29-39)! Glory!
  10. Anyone trusting in Christ is infinitely free from ever being ashamed (Rom 10:11; I Pet 2:6).

Our Lord

  1. Jesus is not merely our Saviour, as some lascivious antinomians attempt to argue: He is also our Lord, as Ruler and Master of our lives, deserving our fullest and perpetual obedience.
    1. These heretical perverts water salvation down to where accepting Jesus as your Saviour will cause you to be born again, your name to be written down in the Book of Life, and God to leap to your wishes to include you in His last will and testament for eternal life.
    2. Thankfully, there are a few deluded Arminians that still require accepting Jesus as Lord.
  2. Unless you live as if Jesus Christ is your Lord, there is no evidence you were given the gift.
  3. Observe the character of those who are no longer under condemnation for sin (Rom 8:1-5).
  4. Saying the words proves nothing. Many will say, “Lord, Lord,” and go to hell (Mat 7:21-23).
  5. Saying the words in sincerity with commitment is a work of the Holy Spirit (I Cor 12:3).
  6. Saul of Tarsus responded to Jesus with these words, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”
  7. If Jesus Christ is truly your Lord, you will conform your life entirely to match his words.


  1. Do you find in this God and the free gift of His Son the sweetest thing you have ever heard?
  2. Do you find in this God and the free gift of His Son the motive to love Him more (Luke 7:36-50)?
  3. Do you find in this God and the free gift of His Son the motive to live for Him more (II Cor 5:14-15)?
  4. How can you lay hold of this gift and know you were chosen to it? Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and keep His commandments (Acts 16:31; I Thess 1:2-4; I Tim 6:17-19; Jas 2:14-26).
  5. Based on this great mercy of God, He calls us to be transformed to please Him (Romans 12:1-2).
  6. Our youth have more than their Creator to remember now … they also have their Saviour (Eccl 12:1).
  7. They should use the dew and strength of their youth to serve their great God and glorious Saviour.

For Further Study:

  1. Sermon Outline: “Jesus Is Lord,” declares the duty and the details of living with Jesus as Lord of your life.
  2. Sermon Outline: “No Fine Line,” will provide the Bible basis for great assurance of your salvation.
  3. Sermon Outline: “Seven Proofs of Unconditional Salvation,” proves that eternal life is given, not offered.
  4. Sermon Outline: “Is there a Burning Hell?” provides the Bible details and proof for eternal punishment.
  5. Sermon Outline: “Death Declared, Defied, and Destroyed,” shows Jesus Christ’s victory over death.
  6. Sermon Outline: “I Have Found a Ransom,” exalts the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour from our sins.
  7. Sermon Outline: “We Would See Jesus,” describes in detail the four aspects of His death for us.