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The Problem
Romans 3:21
United in Christ
The Power of the Gospel
The Old Man Is Dead
The Flesh
The Wages of Sin
Free from the Penalty
Our Life Before Christ
Romans 8:1-17
Romans 8:18-27
More Than Conquerors
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"THE WAGES OF SIN"

Romans 6:23
(Part 2)

Sin is also deceitful in that it hides not just its pain and its power, but it hides its wages.  It's like some of those signs you see on the road advertising jobs, "Earn $30,000 A Month-Call Us, No Experience Necessary!"  You call them up and what is it?-it's some off the wall, multilevel thing [pyramid scam].  Right?  And they don't tell you, really, what you're going to get paid.  'Oh, there's the potential for that.'  Yeah, there's the potential that we could get struck by lightning right now, yeah there's the potential that the earth could stop spinning right now, yeah there's the potential that.you know.  But they're not really honest.  Sin is not that way either [honest, that is].  Sin doesn't tell you what it pays.  But the Bible does.  The Bible says "the wages of sin is"-what?-"death."   Now you can't get much more frank than that.  You can't get much more simple.  It's like "Read my lips" you know.  "The wages of sin is death."  That's what you get from sin.  "He that covers his sin" Proverbs 28:13 says "shall not prosper."  Oh, maybe that's why things are happening the way they are.  "But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out" Numbers 32:23 says.  "He who hardens his heart will fall into calamity" Proverbs 18:14 says.  You say 'Well, don't tell me about sin.'  You know, I can't think about when I've preached about sin before.  But I was thinking 'Lord, well what if there are these guys and gals and people out there that are saying 'Don't tell me, I'm going to do what I want.'  And the Lord gave me this Scripture that, just listen-Proverbs 29:1, "A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy."  OK, you can sit there, the responsibility is off my chest.  I've delivered my soul, I've told you.  If you don't soften your heart and turn to God and change your ways, you're gonna get it.  If you're not a Christian, you're going to hell.  The wages of sin is death.  And that's eternal separation from God, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  If you're a Christian and you won't turn from sin, you're going to get it.  You're going to get disciplined by the Lord.  You can't prosper.  The sin is going to find you out.  God started at the top.  He's cleaning house.  The Scriptures says "For judgment will begin with the household of God" (1st Peter 4:17).  Just before the Lord returns he's going to start cleaning house, we see him cleaning house.  He's started at the top with his church, the leaders, and as he cleans house, I'd start cleaning house [in your own life] if I were you.  Because you are not going to be excused.  The Lord's going to clean house, sin's going to be exposed.  And I'd rather take care of it now, I'd rather go to Christ with it now and agree with him, 'It's yucko, Lord, wipe it away, Lord, I don't want it in my life.  I want to turn from it Lord.'  But if you harden your heart, after much reproof you will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.  There won't be a hope for you.  It will be a breaking beyond remedy. 

Sometimes I get frustrated because it looks like those who are sinning are getting away with it.  Why is it that some guy, I know that this is not really a good-why do some people get away with robbing banks?  They rob a bank and never get caught, and they live in the Bahamas someplace, or on some little island, and they live like kings-'and I don't pay a dollar of tax I owe'-that dollar turns into a thousand dollars.  Why is it?  Why is it, I try to live a good clean life, man, I mean, my diet, because of what I've been going through, I eat such a silly diet.  It is soo good, I am soo good in my diet.  I should be like Charles Atlas.  And then I see people who are like the Burger King belch-outs, you know, stuffing that crud down, they drink soda, glunk, glunk, glunk, and I see they never have a problem.  They're healthy, they just go on, they smoke ten packs of cigarettes, they drink every night, and they live to be ninety, and I die when I'm forty.  Why?  It bugs me.  It bugs me as I listen to you, and you tell me things going on at work, and how these rip-off artists at work are getting ahead, you're getting demoted, you're getting kicked out.  You're just trying to serve God, you're being honest, you're being open, you're a businessman, and all you want to do is have a God-honoring business, and you've gone bankrupt, and all these creeps and rip-off artists, they're just making the money!  And I say WHY?!?  THIS ISN'T RIGHT!  I'M SICK OF THIS!  I'M LEAVING, I'M QUITTING.  Do you ever feel that way? So did Asaph.  I want you to turn to Psalm 73 with me for just a minute.  We're just going to take a little diversion, because, you know, talking about sin, I don't just want to talk to those that need to be encouraged to turn from their sin.  What about you people who are just living for the Lord and look at what you're getting for it?  You feel like, 'Well, maybe I should go out and sin!  Have some fun!  I'm sure not having fun right now.'  Psalm 73, verse 1, Asaph, song writer, wrote this Psalm.  We have the words here "Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.  But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling.  My steps had almost slipped, for I was ere envious of the arrogant.  As I saw the prosperity of the wicked"-he says, I looked at the wicked, I saw what they were getting away with, I saw what they were doing, I saw the fun they were having, I saw that they weren't getting into trouble for anything-Aawg!  I almost threw in the towel.  Why am I living the way I am?-verse 4, "For there are not pains in their death"-they live to be 90 and fall asleep and die in their sleep, you know-"their body if fat"-and in those days that was a great thing, because you never knew when there might be an army that comes and besieges your town, so the more fat you had, the longer you'd live.  So here the rich are fat, you know, and-"They're not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like mankind."-and then because of that-"Pride is their necklace, the garment of violence covers them.  Their eyes bulge from fatness."-they've got so much, it's coming out of their eyes.  They don't know what to do with all of their stuff.  They don't know what to do with all of their money.  They're worried about their "investments".  And you're saying "I'd just like to have the 'in' part or the 'vestment' part.  Just the 'ment' part, maybe.  "Their imaginations run, their heart run riot, they mock and wickedly speak oppression, they speak from on high, they've set their mouth against the heavens, their tongue parades through the earth.  Therefore, as people return to this place, and the waters of abundance are drunk by them and they say, 'How does God know?'  and 'Is there any knowledge of the Most High?'"-in other words, these wicked people even mock God, and say 'Is there a God?'  'Who knows?'  'He's not involved.'-"Behold, these are the wicked, and always at ease.  They have increase in wealth, and surely in vain I kept my heart pure."  That's the way he began to feel, 'I've wasted my time.'  "Surely in vain I've kept myself pure, and I've washed my hands in innocence.  For I've been stricken all day long, and chastened every morning."-I mean, I don't get away with anything!  The Lord doesn't let me get away with anything.  These guys are getting away with everything.  They've got everything, I don't have anything.  He says, "I almost fell, until"-he said in verse 15, "If I had said"-or if I draw this conclusion-"I would speak thus, behold I should have betrayed this generation of thy children.  When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight, until I came to the sanctuary of God."  And he says, 'When I got the Divine perspective, I saw their end.'  I realized, this is all the wicked got, the wages of their sin is death, even if they die at 90 years old, they die and go to hell.  They are forever, eternally separated from God.  [The doctrine about what hell is-where it is, how long it is-is a very secondary doctrine in the Bible, in that there are so many interpretations of what hell is, where it is, how long it is, etc.  The passages in the Bible that deal with hell are many and varied.  To view a very interesting study on the subject hell in the Bible, log onto http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm.  This fellowship believes the wicked go instantly to hell, a state where their souls and spirits wander, separated eternally from God.  But log onto that study and see just how varied the Bible passages are on this subject before drawing any conclusions.  You will find the study very interesting, to say the least.]  That's their end. He says, "Surely, Thou dost set them in slippery places.  Thou dost cast them down to destruction.  How they are destroyed in a moment, they are utterly swept away by sudden terrors."  He says, 'You know, it really bugged me until I realized that there's more than just this life.  There's an eternity after this life.  Then he said "I began to get perspective, I began to realize, 'Hey, it pays to serve the Lord.  It pays, eternal life is a lot different from eternal death.  Heaven is a lot better than hell.  And there's not going to be anybody in hell saying 'Man, it was worth it.  Man, I'll tell you, hell is worth it.  I got seventy years on earth and got everything I wanted, OK, hell's fine with me now.'  No, because hell goes on forever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever.  [That's according to this one interpretation.  Another interpretation, called annihilatist focuses on Rev. 20:14-15 which shows the wicked get annihilated in the lake of fire, their lives end in what Revelation 20 terms as "the second death".  According to this interpretation, one of a few, these folks don't go on forever, in an everburning hell, or wandering spirits eternally separated from God.  Their lives are merely mercifully snuffed out by God, while the righteous inherit eternal life and all the joys and wonders that go with it.  The wicked still get what's coming to them, but it's death, not eternal life in pain-which to me looks to be a bit sadistic.  But that's my personal opinion.  People can get pretty angry and dogmatic on this subject that the Bible is far from dogmatic on.  But Pastor Mark is correct, that the wicked don't realize what they're throwing away for a brief moment of fun.  What is 70 years of fun in comparison to eternal life spent in pure joy and happiness?]  It is so foolish to trade eternity in heaven for a few years of passing pleasure on earth.  Some of you have done that up to this hour.  And I don't think it's chance that brought you here, I don't think it was Lady Luck that brought you this message today.  I believe that God in heaven has brought you this to hear, so that you might turn from your ways, so that you might turn from your sin.  Because the Bible says we have all sinned, there's not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.  The Bible says there is no one who does not sin.  The Bible says "Who can say 'I've kept my heart pure, I am clean and without sin'?"  The prophet Isaiah says "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are as filthy rags, we all shrivel up like a leaf and like the wind our sins sweep us away.  If you oh Lord, kept a record of sins, oh Lord, who could stand?"  You say, 'Well, I'll hide my sins, God will never know, no one will ever know.'  That's not true.  Jeremiah 16 says "My eyes are on all their ways, they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes."  Hey, you may fool me, you may fake me out, you may fake your family out, no one may ever know-but God knows.  And you're going to stand before God for your sin [if you don't repent of it.  Repent means to turn around and go the other way].  Psalm 98 says "You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence."  To be sure, your sins will find you out.  God scans your being, he sees everything you've done [don't forget, everyone is connected to God through the human spirit he places in each and every human being.  Remember Cyrus?].  And if God were to regard iniquity, if he would keep a record of our sins, who would stand?  There's only one way to escape.  And that is through God's provision in Christ.  "The wages of sin is death,"-thank God for that three letter word-"BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  There's a way that you can be freed from your sin.  If you've never given your life to Christ, you can give it to him today.  Remember, don't harden your neck.  If you continually harden your neck, suddenly you'll be cut off and there will be no remedy.  [Remember, all of us are only a heartbeat away from death.  Also we are in the end-times, when certain alliances could start forming, and the time for repentance and giving your life to Christ will be cut short as World War III begins.]  The Bible says "Today, if you hear his voice, don't harden your hearts."  Today if you hear his voice, respond.  And always, I'll tell you, God's dealing with some of you, and always there's this thing-tomorrow, next year, I'm not through with what I'm doing yet, I'm not done in this relationship yet, I'm gonna wait until this girl doesn't like me anymore.  Then I'll get right with God.'  I'm telling you, listen, the thing that Satan has brought millions to hell with is one word-tomorrow, tomorrow, do it tomorrow, wait.  God always says 'Now is the day, today, now if you hear his voice.'  And I'm telling you why that's so important.  It's because, God's put up with you a long time, and God is a God of long patience.  The Bible says he won't always have that patience.  The Bible tells us that there may come a time when God stops striving with you, he stops wrestling with you, and he says, 'OK, you can have your way.  Go to hell if you want.  I'm not sending you, you're choosing to go that way.  I have the gift in my hand and you wouldn't take it.  Jesus said "No one can come to me unless the Father draws him to me" (John 6:44).  And so today, if the Father is drawing you, if you feel drawn to give your life to Christ, to have your sins forgiven, your guilt taken away, and to know that if you were to die tonight you'd go to heaven-if you're drawn to that, then listen.  I wouldn't play around with that, because I cannot give you a guarantee that next year or next week or tomorrow you would be drawn.  And I'm not playing around with you.  And I'm not putting a trip on you.  I've seen it with my own eyes.  I've seen people walk out that door, and I've never seen 'em again.  Because it's over.  They made an internal decision, and they said 'No' to God.  I want to encourage you today to say 'Yes' to God.  To say 'Yes' to Jesus (Yeshua if you're Jewish).  To turn from your sin, to confess your sin and to say 'I agree with what God says about this.  I see that I am headed for disaster.'  "There's a way that seems right unto a person, but the end of that way is death" the Bible says [in two separate Proverbs].  "The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." 

I want to encourage you Christians to get right [with God], I want to encourage you to forsake your sins.  If you're in immorality, if you're in pornography, if you're in a financial sin, if the work involvement that you're doing is wrong, if you're cheating at school, if you're lying about your friends, if you're with the wrong people and you know it, I'm encouraging you in Jesus name to turn from your sins this morning Christians [and Messianic believers in Yeshua].  I'm telling you, there's pain ahead.  There's physical pain for some, there's emotional pain for others, there's spiritual agony ahead for some of you.  There's power in the sin that you don't understand, it's going to get a grip on your life and you might not get free.  You say 'Mark, why are you so concerned, I mean, you're sort of really tight about this today, aren't you.'  It's because, gang, I see it all week long, week after week, month after month, year after year I see what sin is doing, and has done, and I feel the pain with those who come in and cry.  I see the power of sin in lives.  I see the wages of sin.  I don't want you to have to go through it.  "Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord.  Though your sins are as scarlet, they can be white as snow.  Though they be red like crimson, they can be as wool" (Isaiah).  Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door knocking.  If any one would hear my voice and would open the door, I will come in to that person's life, and I'll be your friend forever, and ever" (Revelation 3).  I want to give you an opportunity today to give your life to Christ, to turn from your sin, and to accept Jesus as your Savior, to get free from the wages of sin, and instead accept the free gift of God which is eternal life in Christ Jesus.  Jesus died to take the wages of sin upon himself, to take it away from you so that you don't have to experience it.  And if you're already up to your eyeballs in sin, I'll tell you, Jesus, he can deliver you, he can pull you out.  He can restore, he can stop the progression.  I've seen him do it.  There's help in the name of the Lord, but nowhere else. 

          I'd like us to bow our heads now.  I want to pray for you.  "Lord Jesus, I pray right now that you would draw to yourself those that you're speaking to that there would be victory in the spiritual realm, Lord.  That those that might have fought [you] for awhile, they would fight no more, that they would raise the white flag, they'd surrender to you, and give their lives to you.  I want you to pray with me.  If you want to accept Christ as your personal savior, and I don't care who you're sitting by, or who brought you.  You're not going to stand before God with your buddies around you, you're not going to stand before God with friends giggling.  You're going to stand before an awesome God, and you're going to have to give an account for your life someday, all by yourself.  And it's important that you make a decision for Christ, because then you escape the Judgment that is to come, and instead you enter into eternal life.  If you want to accept Christ as your Savior now, if you want to have your sins taken away and your guilt lifted off of you, and you know for sure that you're going to heaven [or enter into the kingdom of heaven as some believe at the 1st resurrection] when you die-and then you can have the promise of God's presence in your life right now-then I want you to pray this prayer with me.  There's nothing magic in my words.  Prayer is just talking to God like we'd talk to a friend.  But he said "Call on me, call on my name and you'll be saved."  So I want you to call on him with me.Pray with me now "Lord Jesus (Yeshua), I know that I'm a sinner, and I'm sorry for my sins.  Please forgive me.  I believe that you died for me, I believe that you died to pay for my sins, and for the wages of sin.  Please save me.  Please accept me just as I am.  Come into my life, Lord.  I need you.  I want you.  I surrender to you.  I believe that you rose from the dead, and you live for me.  In Jesus name, Amen."  If you prayed that prayer, I want to say Welcome to God's family.  Because, the Bible says, whether you feel a big change or not-I felt a weight lift off me when I accepted Christ-but not everybody feels the same.  We're not saved by how we feel.  We're saved by what Jesus did for us, and our acceptance of that.  Feelings can come or go, Jesus, Yeshua always stays.  But you know what?  Your life is different, you are a new person, you are a new creation.  And just to prove it to you, your new faith will be challenged in a way that may be surprising to you.  It might be a challenge that comes from a family member, or a husband or a wife, or somebody at work, or somebody at school, or your group of friends.  They may start to put you down or make fun of you.  The Bible says that can happen.  But that's a good sign.  It's a sign that you're not who you used to be, you are a new person in Christ."  [transcript of "THE WAGES OF SIN" Romans 6:23, a sermon given by Pastor J. Mark Martin of Calvary Community Church, P.O. Box 39670, Phoenix, Arizona  85069.]

These past four sermons in Romans 6 have a unique theme that directly fits the New Testament/Old Testament symbolism surrounding the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread, which symbolize Jesus', Yeshua's sacrifice and us being freed from our old slavemaster, Satan, sin and the world, by passing through the Red Sea, being baptized into Jesus' death, and coming up on the other side of that Red Sea, while Pharaoh's army was drowned.  Ancient Egypt is the Bible's symbol for sin and the world.  For sermons and material related to the subject of Passover, Unleavened Bread and coming out of sin, go to the following links:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/lastsix.htm

http://www.unityinchrist.com/whatisgrace/GoandSInnomore.htm

http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/Leaven.htm

You will find these links relate strongly to the subject of sin, baptism, coming through the Red Sea-which are all tied in with the message of Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread (which Messianic Jewish believers in Yeshua still keep as their days of worship).  The apostle Paul related to the crossing of the Red Sea and Israel's wandering experience in 1st Corinthians 10, showing these lessons have relevance to our Christian walk, as does Passover, which he mentions in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8.  He said this while the Church of God in Jerusalem and many congregations throughout Asia Minor were still keeping the Old Testament Holy Days and Sabbath as days of worship.  In this instance, the NIV has this translated properly.  These four sermon transcripts on Romans 6:1-23 all relate to the above links, and especially the time of Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread.  Be sure to look up and study these links, as they directly relate spiritually.  And just in case you think the actual Exodus may have been a myth, this link below goes to a very interesting article which provides some real solid evidence. 

http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/The_Exodus_from_Egypt.htm   

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